The super exciting 2008 Printz winner’s summary post

Am I overselling it with that post title? Possibly.

This was another eclectic year for honored books. Two were underwhelming to me (One Whole and Perfect Day and Reposessed). Another was a delightful and unusual book of poetry (which reminds me, I still haven’t read any Sylvia Plath. Too many books, not enough time….). Dreamquake was not as good as the first book in the duology, but I still enjoyed it — but caution that you do need to read both, you can’t just jump in to the second, award-winning book.

This year’s winner, The White Darkness, was a strange and uncomfortable read. I’m not sure I would have picked it up, based on the description, but I’m glad I got the chance to read it. I think that’s why we need passionate librarians, who can get to know their patrons and encourage them to read interesting books that they might not choose on their own.

“Repossessed” by A.M. Jenkins

This was? OK? I guess? The idea was interesting, a demon possessing a teenaged boy, and experiencing life on Earth through his body, but the execution was a little underwhelming for me. I guess I wanted there to be more to it, more plot, more exploration, just…more…

It also took a preachy turn to it towards the end that I thought was a little too in your face, message-wise.

This is ridiculously short, but the more time I spend agonizing about what to say about a book that clear the threshold of awesome for me is less time I can spend reading….

“The White Darkness” by Geraldine McCaughrean

This was….a strange and intense book. Having gone on my own little adventure a few years ago, on a rafting trip through the Grand Canyon, I find reading about other adventurers to be very captivating. Not that my adventure in any way compares to what Symone, the main character in this book, experiences when she goes on a “vacation” to Antarctica.

From the start, you suspect that something is off, and the whole book is one big descent into madness. I found myself unable to look away as everything horrible happened, and just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did, and in ways I didn’t expect.

This is another one of those books that won’t be up your alley if you don’t like unreliable narrators, or need happy endings for your books.

“Your Own, Sylvia” by Stephanie Hemphill

I was not expecting to like this book at all, and honestly, there was a fair amount of dread on my part before starting it.

Poetry? About Sylvia Plath, the poet? I’m not smart enough for that — for poetry. This is my high school English experience still haunting me. Not surprisingly, poetry is not as hard as I once thought, and if nothing else, this Printz project has gotten me to read plenty of it!

I don’t consider myself any kind of judge of poetry, so I don’t know if Hemphill’s poetry is any good or not, but everything about this book worked for me. I know that the author was fictionalizing the thoughts and accounts of Plath’s life, but it drew me in, and made me want to learn and read more. Plath’s own novel and poetry are now on my TBR list.


“One Whole and Perfect Day” by Judith Clarke

I was completely underwhelmed by this novel and was glad it was so short. I didn’t really care about the characters, and all of the coincidences were a little too coincidental for me.

The whole thing felt a little pointless, and while I can handle a character-driven story that is light on plot, this was a little too far over that line for me.

Oooo, a three sentence post. OK, 4 with that one. Well, once I finish this it’ll be 6.