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

Monday, November 23, 2015

When I Was the Greatest vs. The Truth About Alice

When I Was the Greatest vs. The Truth About Alice

Laura and I had the pleasure of reading two pretty decent books this round, which made for a tricky decision in the end. When I Was the Greatest is a novel that features young male characters that are easy to like because of the way they generally made good decisions despite being faced with tough situations and difficult life circumstances. It has some humor, a strong voice, and a feel-good ending...but maybe a little too feel-good. Everything wrapped up so neatly that we thought it was a bit hard to believe. There was a lot of build up to a climax that was a bit anticlimactic. However, I did give this book a try in my grade 8 class as a lit circle option, and my students who are reading it are liking it so far. Laura and I both liked it too, but not as much as our other book.

The Truth About Alice is our pick to go through to the next round. This book centres around the topic of bullying and the effects of rumors and lies on a person in a small-town high school. Each chapter is from a different character's perspective, making for a truly "gossipy" feeling throughout. There are a few twists that I didn't expect towards the end and Laura and I both liked that the ending was hopeful but not perfect.The book got better and better as it went on. It was more realistic than When I Was the Greatest and would definitely appeal to young female readers, primarily. 

That's all...we're hoping for more good reads after an enjoyable first round!


  1. I am so disappointed by this. Edgy books for boys is the niche that needs filling. Crochet covered gun books are needed more than gossipy girl books. Those are a dime a dozen! And I would be willing to bet that more girls would be interested in "When I Was the Greatest" than the other book. Well, from my school anyhow. BOOOOOOO!

  2. Neither of us would disagree that When I was the Greatest was an enjoyable read. I would disagree with your description of "edgy" though. That was my whole beef with the book -- the characters ALWAYS made good choices. I wanted more edgy!