Thursday, March 13, 2014

Eleanor & Park VS The Rosie Project: Dubuque Tournament of Books, round 2

This week we'll be posting the judges' decisions for the second round of the 2nd Annual Dubuque Tournament of Books. To see an overview of the judges and contestants, check out this blog post. To see why Becky selected Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell in the first round, click here. To see why Sue selected The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion in the first round, click here.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1d2MCwnl4KKHo4KwKFZRusmd1eiv-dOl4Ky1H0DZWqVU/viewform
Judges: Becky and Sue
University of Dubuque and Clarke University (respectively)

In the spirit of Don Tillman, the main character in The Rosie Project, who was always making lists based on his sometimes odd preferences, we decided to see how Eleanor & Park stacks up against The Rosie Project using our favorite criteria for books!

One point for each criteria that is met:
Criteria (Becky and Sue)
Witty one line reviews
X
X
Characters go on a trip--preferably a road trip


X
Characters that have pets




A structural plot device




Graphs and charts to explain complicated plots




Provide a musical playlist
X


Last page of the book is an even number
X


Edited by David Levithan




Author has brown hair
X
X
Characters have pronounable and non-ridiculous names
X
X
An index




Use footnotes--even in fiction




Acronyms are used frequently


X
Create intelligent, strong-willed, quick-witted leads
X
X
Weather is part of the plot




Graphic cover
X
X
One of the sub-characters keeps a diary


X
Snarky best friend/minor character


X
Recipes for the meals they eat in the book





If we tally up the votes, it’s 9-7. But that doesn’t seem right. After some discussion, we both agree that Eleanor & Park should win this round. Maybe if we split it up by reviewer: Becky’s 5-4. Sue’s 4-3 with The Rosie Project still wins both. I think the lesson we learn here is the same one that Don does in The Rosie Project, objectivity is a great approach in science, but maybe not so much in the area of love. Books are more than just the sum of their component parts. The Rosie Project has lots of the characteristics we were looking for, but Eleanor & Park has that little something we didn’t know we wanted. Or didn’t know was exactly what we needed.

When finding a wife or picking a book, I think we all agree that you’ve got to let the heart decide. And these hearts pick Eleanor & Park!

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