Friday, August 30, 2013

Something Strange and Deadly Book Club: Week Four

Hello again and welcome to the final week of the Something Strange & Deadly book club sponsored by Epic Reads. If you want to learn more about this fantastic book club dedicated to Susan Dennard's debut novel, click here.

This Week's Question: "'Eleanor, you have a choice,' [Jie] said softly. 'You always have a choice.'" (p. 166, Something Strange & Deadly)How do you think this quote relates to the overall theme of Something Strange and Deadly? Do you think Eleanor behaves as if she has a choice at the start of the book? What about at the end of the book? And do other characters behave as if they have a choice or do they see themselves as victims of circumstance?

What a question to end this book club on! Choice is a popular concept to explore in fiction for a reason, especially in the world of young adult literature. When people are young adults in their teens and early twenties, it's often the first time in their lives they are making important choices for themselves rather than always having others make them for them. This is absolutely true of Eleanor Fitt. As much as this story is about fighting zombies, it's a journey of making choices and being strong enough to stick with them. Eleanor doesn't behave as if she has a choice at the start of the novel because she's never had one before - these are uncharted waters for her. Over the course of the book, she thinks for herself, develops her own beliefs of good and bad and right and wrong, and by the end we see an empowered young woman who has made incredible sacrifices. Yet I don't feel sorry for her - instead I empathize with her because while she is making her choices, others are making their own. She makes a choice about who and what she wants, but so does Daniel and so do the other Spirit Hunters, and unfortunately they don't all make the same choice. It's heartbreaking and frustrating, but all things considered Eleanor handles it well. Her newfound ability to choose means she no longer has to conform to f that's not what she wants. And Miss Fitt chooses to own her name, which is an awesome sight to behold.

I had so much fun participating in this book club, so thanks to Susan Dennard for this great story and to Epic Reads for sponsoring this!

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