Weekend Ramblings: Tournament of Books (Part 2)
You may have seen Nook’s Tournament of Books that’s going on this month, where each day, two of the previous year’s top books go head-to-head until there’s only one left, which takes home the grand prize — The Rooster.
This year, I’m doing my own Tournament of Books, based on some of my top-rated fictional books of the previous year (Feb 2012 – Feb 2013). Each week, I’ll cover one round of battles, and on the 31st announce the overall winner.
See round 1
1. A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff vs. Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan
Sugary-sweet fantasy vs somewhat dark realism? Sorry, the cake wins again. (Seriously, try the peanut-butter cake recipe. It’s delicious.)
2. Every Day by David Levithan vs. Garden of Madness by Tracy Higley
We’re all mad here, or at least everyone thinks we are. Levithan’s book pulls of his strange mind-bender so well here, I have to give it to him.
3. Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli vs. Into the Dark (Legend of the Great Horse #3) by John Allen Royce Jr
A strange match-up here of a quirky coming-of-age vs a historical fiction revolving around horses. For the uniqueness of the plot, I have to give it to Spinelli.
4. The Madness Underneath (Shades of London #2) by Maureen Johnson vs. Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
NO! I was hoping these two wouldn’t come up against one another so soon, because they both have fabulous characters, voice, plot twists, and fascinating twists. Which ghost story is better is really hard to tell. I’m tempted to eenie-meenie-miny-mo it, but I think the historical tie-ins tip the scales slightly in Johnson’s favor. VERY slightly.
5. The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski vs. Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson
Another tough call in the world of YA ‘ghost stories.’ Chicago vs Mississippi? Alternate dimensions vs a haunted past? Both were rather chilling, but Nickerson’s is the one I’d be most likely to re-read.
6. Such Wicked Intent (This Dark Endeavor #2) by Kenneth Oppel vs. The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott
YA Frankenstein fantasy vs adult Titanic historical fiction… a tough call no matter how you put it, but I found Oppel’s characters more interesting and engaging, so I’ll have to go with that.
7. The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton vs. The Thief of Auschwitz by Jon Clinch
For two historical fiction novels both taking place during WWII, these books are completely different. One is the story of the British homefront and the secrets of a woman there during the bombing of London; the other is the story of a family in the concentration camps of Auschwitz. Though Clinch’s portrayed a harsher reality of war, I found Morton’s a more enjoyable read.
8. Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund vs. UnWholly (Unwind #2) by Neal Shusterman
Again, two very different novels face off. A harsh time in history vs a harsh time in the future. Though I admire Hedlund’s ability to portray the Michigan logging camps, Shusterman’s book was much more of a page-turner.