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

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Family Romanov vs The Living

In this round, we were saddled with The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming and The Living by Matt De La Pena. Both books were decent - but neither was excellent. 

When a book starts with an ominous warning from a mysterious stranger, you know it will be exciting. The Living certainly delivered on that aspect. With its fast-paced plot, The Living leaves you unable to put the book down for fear of leaving its protagonist, Shy, barely gripping the edge of life. I think the best way to describe it is action packed. However, it has its share of clich├ęs, and there are a few plot holes here and there that make the story difficult to believe. Also, in some cases, it lacks important description and some character depth which could have improved the story.

The Family Romanov was an intriguing true story about Russia's last royal family. It was a good way of relaying information about the Romanovs and it made the historic piece fun to learn. However, it was less exciting than The Living, and therefore is less entertaining from a teen's perspective.  The Family Romanov will have a place in the classroom but once again we are not convinced many teens will pick this up by themselves.  

Although not an amazing book, we chose The Living to move on to the next round.

Submitted by Maureen and Cara (teen reader)

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