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

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Family Romanov vs. Only Ever Yours

I echo what my reading mates posted about both of these books. I appreciated Fleming's choice to only include small details that were actually substantiated by historical evidence, rather than going the route of the overly-speculative, fictionalized history that seems to be really popular in YA (and poorly researched) non-fiction. I also appreciated the inclusion of primary sources throughout, although as Brad noted in an earlier round, they got a little old and I found myself skipping over yet another narrative of poor peasant life. It was a quick read, and while I don't feel like it presented a ton of new information or a totally different perspective, I think some students might like it.

I actually stopped reading Only Ever Yours. 100 pages in and I still felt like all I had read about were the same routines of body-shaming. I get it, dystopian society, you're judgy and awful and women have no rights (they don't even have capital letters!) The characters felt flat and the narrative didn't seem to be going anywhere fast. I could envision a certain kind of student enjoying it - one who had made their way through the entire Uglies series (and every other series in the genre) - but I can't envision a student thinking that this was the best book they'd read in ages.

My vote goes to The Family Romanov.

PS - I heard on CBC that there is a special marathon confession happening today at St. Joseph's Basilica. In honor of the event, I will confess my sin here: I shouldn't have voted against Symphony for the City of the Dead! And certainly not in favor of The Lumberjanes. I think it's actually - in retrospect - one of the better books this Smackdown. Mea Culpa.

1 comment:

  1. I am not a priest but I feel we have all gone down that path...I'm reading that book regardless. In the meantime say seven Mighties and read Gabi, A Girl in Pieces.