Smackdown Books 2017

Arlene's smackdown17 book montage

The Memory of Things
Hour of the Bees
The Gospel Truth
Ultraman, Vol. 1
Ghost
The Bunker Diary
Echo
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
One
Updraft
All American Boys
»

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

War vs. Porcupine

Image result for the blitz children evacuation

I'm a bit torn on this one! I really enjoyed The War that Saved My Life.  This was augmented by the fact that I read it, coincidentally, right between two very good "grown up" books about The Blitz - Life After Life and Everyone Brave is Forgiven.  I felt strongly for Ada, and the author did a great job of revealing her inner turmoil and fears. I did, however, sometimes find her tenacity and cleverness a bit a bit unbelievable. ("I have no concept of grass or trees! But I also just taught myself how to ride a horse in no time at all!")  I also really loved the subtle references to Susan's back story, and wanted to know more about her.  I agree with other reviewers, however, that the mother was just a bit *too* evil and irredeemable, and the ending was a bit too tidy. (But I was happy! And that's good, too!)

There were many things I liked about The Porcupine of Truth, as well. I appreciated how the author dealt with the realities faced by too many LGBTQ+ youth today, and connected the characters to the historical oppression and struggles of that community.  I also appreciated how Konisberg addressed white privilege (and how it's often "invisible" to white people) through Carson's realizations as he travels with Aisha. But... there is a LOT going on, and maybe this is my bias as an adult reader, but I get a bit perturbed at YA where the teens are infinitely more self-aware and wise than most of the adults in their lives.  Plus, there's a bit too much of the John Green-esque implausible teen banter.

So, as I'm a bit on the fence as always, I will happily defer to the crowd and vote for The War That Saved My Life. No smacking this time, sorry!  My zombie pick goes to Wolf by Wolf. 

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