Smackdown Books 2017

Arlene's smackdown17 book montage

The Memory of Things
Hour of the Bees
The Gospel Truth
Ultraman, Vol. 1
The Bunker Diary
Trouble Is a Friend of Mine
Footer Davis Probably Is Crazy
The Hired Girl
An Ember in the Ashes
The Porcupine of Truth
Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir
Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans
Goodbye Stranger
Beautiful Blue World
The Blackthorn Key
All American Boys

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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