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, February 23, 2017

The Porcupine of Truth The Memory of Things

The Porcupine of Truth, Bill Konigsberg

A book about a life changing, epic road trip, who wouldn’t want to read this book. Or, so we thought.  This book was okay, nothing epic or life changing about it. Carson was a bit creepy and clueless and he just didn’t seem to get it that even if Aisha wasn’t gay she might not be into him. There was a lot of whining on Carson’s part about his relationship with his mom and dad and Aisha, it got pretty old fast.  He was definitely not a likeable character and it was hard to root for him. The one stand out of the book was towards the ending and we get to know a bit more the history of why his grandfather left. We wish it would have focused more on that part than sad, whiny Carson. In the end, our overall comment is “meh” and we are not choosing it to move on.
The Memory of Things, Gae Polisner:
This book was marginally better.  Some people who have read it felt that it was life changing, no one in our group felt that way.  It did deal quite well with the initial aftermath of 9/11, the chaos that surrounded the fall of the towers and the terror the city went through.  Kyle was a much more likable character and the author did a decent job showing how he dealt with everything.  Hannah’s inner monologue was very choppy and hard to follow. The buildup of her character’s memory loss was a letdown when she recovered her memory and her big secret was revealed. Unlike The Porcupine of Truth where the ending made up for the rest of the book, here the ending felt forced and rushed.  Neither book was a fantastic read but we could see some kids enjoying these books. However, as we have to pick one, we are voting for the The Memory of Things to move on.

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