Tournament of Books, Round One: Allegedly vs. Wires and Nerve

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

41Pkis9KXqL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_Mary is a 16-year-old living in a group home who has been incarcerated since she was 9 years old for – allegedly – killing an infant. When she finds out that she is pregnant, she begins to revisit the details of her case in the hopes of being allowed to keep her baby. The picture you get of Mary develops through her own first-person narrative, her memories of the events of her childhood, and excerpts from books and newspaper articles. The more we hear from and about Mary, the more we wonder how reliable a narrator she really is. Likewise, through her interactions with her mother, the girls in the group home, and her boyfriend, we see how complex and tragic all their stories are. In the case of her boyfriend Ted, I think this is the first time I’ve ever felt angry at a character and for them at the same time. Aside from her mother, the adults in this book (social workers, group home staff, and therapists) are less complex — they’re just awful.

Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer

7I read Cinder a few years ago, but haven’t yet gotten to the other Lunar Chronicles novels. Wires and Nerve starts off with a recap and an introduction to the characters, which was extremely helpful, though I still felt a bit adrift at times. Iko is an android who has gone from a boxy white robot-looking body to a sleek escort body. Her status as an android puts her in a unique position to hunt down and capture wolf-hybrid soldiers on Earth while Cinder manages politics on the Luna. An android surpassing her programming and exploring her humanity is not an entirely new concept, but I love Iko’s development and how confident and badass she is.

And the winner is:


Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

I read Allegedly first, and though it was a hard act to follow, I really did endeavor to be as objective as possible and give Wires and Nerve a chance. Wires and Nerve is a nice story, but it just doesn’t have the depth or the urgency. I’d recommend it to teens who read and enjoyed the Lunar Chronicles and are looking for something quick to read, but I wouldn’t suggest it to anyone who hasn’t — I felt adrift enough having read just the first one. I’d recommend Allegedly to any teen who is looking for a good story, and to fans of realistic fiction (I know several). I also this this would be a strong recommendation for adult readers of crime and suspense. Ultimately, Allegedly is the winner because I am still thinking about this book, and I want as many people as possible to read it so I can talk about it with them.

Jacquie Christen is the Public Services Assistant Manager at the Glenside Public Library District. She is a mom to two girls, loves running, and her newest side project is

Back to Round One, Bracket Twelve

Onto Round One, Bracket Fourteen