Tanya's Reviews > The Blade of Shattered Hope

The Blade of Shattered Hope by James Dashner
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Jun 13, 2011

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bookshelves: youth-fiction

I wavered between giving this three or four stars. I suppose if it had allowed me, I'd have compromised on three and a half. Dashner is only getting stronger in his writing, as well as his plotting. My reservation lay in content. While the protagonist is now thirteen, he is facing and witnessing some truly disturbing things--things I don't believe eleven-year-old readers are prepared to handle. I'm not sure if it's because the author had begun his YA series by now, but he's included some YA content in what should be a middle grade series, in my view.

The lines between the two genres are surely becoming blurred. Indeed, there has been on ongoing discussion in the media (and certainly punctuated yesterday by the Supreme Court ruling allowing extreme violence in video games marketed to middle graders) regarding the seeming uptick in the level of violence and sex allowed into YA fiction. To have that kind of violence creeping in here for what should be a middle grade read bothered me. Perhaps my memory's poor, but at least in Rowling's Harry Potter series, the protagonist was a year older in each sequel and the darkening seemed to happen more gradually with plenty of lighter moments to break up the tension.
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Reading Progress

June 13, 2011 – Started Reading
June 13, 2011 – Shelved
June 13, 2011 –
page 126
28.25%
June 18, 2011 –
page 239
53.59%
June 21, 2011 –
page 300
67.26%
June 23, 2011 –
page 328
73.54%
June 27, 2011 –
page 367
82.29%
June 27, 2011 – Shelved as: youth-fiction
June 27, 2011 –
page 385
86.32%
June 28, 2011 – Finished Reading

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