Smackdown Books 2018

Wolf Hollow
Salt to the Sea
The Serpent King
Optimists Die First
The Hate U Give
Orphan Island
Dan vs. Nature
The Female of the Species
Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere
Paper Girls, Vol. 1
The Passion of Dolssa
The Distance Between Us
When We Collided
Louis parmi les spectres
Girl in the Blue Coat
Defy the Stars

Thursday, November 26, 2015

And We Stay or Gabi – A Girl in Pieces

Our two competitors were:
And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard (although we could never accurately remember the title; often saying If I Stay).
Gabi – A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero.

Both books dealt with the fairly heavy subjects of life and death, and emphasized the healing power of poetry.

The main character in And We Stay came from what we might call a “normalish” or perhaps a more familiar family setting, so dealt with her trauma in a way we might identify with. However, we got sort of annoyed at the frequent references to the poems of Emily Dickinson as a coping device. We felt it really slowed down the pace of the book. (No offence to you Emily Dickinson fans.)

 We found Gabi- A Girl in Pieces to be timely and very frank as the 17 year old character shared a year of her life through diary entries. Although this book had a lot of  'off' language we found that this actually helped to illustrate Gabi’s character and emphasize the severity of the issues. Gabi, the main character was a lot braver in confronting life’s challenges. She faced things more head on and finally in the end took control to fix the endless problems that came her way. Some of the realistic and timely issues included body image, sexual orientation, family dynamics and friendships.

Our lack of background knowledge of the Mexican culture and Spanish was a minor challenge. However, we felt that Isabel Quintero did an excellent job in including translations as needed. The inclusion of some dialogue in Spanish actually added to the authenticity of the work.

References to some very great poets and authors will also entice the reader to do some extra interesting research.
All in all a powerful read!

Deb and Dianne 

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