I'm bipolar. I blog about it. I also blog about sex, theology and atheology, funny shit and sad shit, books, music, feminism, and love. Mostly love.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Good Reads review of Ashfall

I'm not going to summarize it. You can read the preview if you click on the book. This is more of a personal response than a review.

I had forgotten how much I love YA. This book started off with an unfortunate event, and things worsened in an increasingly realistic line of disaster. That realism was definitely my favorite part. It was so incredibly POSSIBLE, that it was all the more terrifying. I found myself trying to feel everything they felt along with them. Mike just about did that for me with his intricate (but most importantly, readable) descriptions.
On that note: I've always loved survival books--I think because I hope I'd be that strong if I were plopped in, say, the Red Zone of a super-volcano eruption. It had been a while since I'd actually read a really good survival book like this, though. And now that I'm (slightly) more mature, it was far more emotionally exhausting than if I'd read Ashfall in junior high or high school.
I can relate to Darla and Alex in ways I couldn't have before. It's easier to imagine my own heartaches intensified than it is to try to imagine that feeling initially. There's another argument for adults to read YA!
Also... DARLA! I love her. Now ...that's a heroine I can get behind. She is tough, tough, tough, but she has an impressive capacity for love and compassion. And Alex? I haven't read a more likable hero since Harry Potter. He changes so dramatically over the course of the book, but the change is subtle. His transition into adulthood caught me by surprise.

I love, loved it. I cannot wait to stick my nose in Ashen Winter (OVER THANKSGIVING BREAK!) I can't believe it took me this long to pick up! I'd convinced myself I didn't have time. But if you really love a book, and you fall in love with those characters, and they're in constant danger!... then you make the time. Thank you, Mike Mullin for reminding me of that.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Proof and the Pursuit of Happiness

I was talking to a little girl a few nights ago. (I guess high school isn't so little, but I remember teaching her dance as a much younger, little girl. I'll call her what I want.) She's the product of a very hard life and a lack of those survival skills required to get her needs met. And now she's coming to me to help her. I want to give her Waycross. I want to make her feel important and tell her that she's more than capable to be better than she is right now. I want to give her the world. I want her to change and come to me someday with a degree and whatever else she wants out of life. A wife, kids, a healthy, happy life... whatever it is. I want things to be better for her than they were for her parents. I want her to beat the odds. Her sister, whom I love dearly, has done that. She is a brilliant woman.


It doesn't really matter what I want. It matters what she wants. And she is denying herself the right to want it. The pursuit of happiness, if you will. She's so scared that she won't have all those things, that she's given up. I do have some small hope, however. She contacted me. Why would she call me and tell me all the bad things she's doing if she didn't want me to tell her what to do in order to be better. She didn't text me to tell me she wasn't going to be anything (although that's what she did). She texted me to tell me she wanted help. She just doesn't know how to ask for it. Is this my new project? Is this little girl going to be mine now? Am I going to subject myself to heartbreak if (and when) this doesn't yield immediate results, or work even in the long run? But I feel like I have to try. She's reaching out to me, and I can't shut her down. I just can't. And this is what I want to do with my life. I want to prove to girls like her that it's not wrong to hope. It's possible to be something different. That's the career I'm looking at right now, and I have to get used to that heartbreak. It will come--and in a way I need to prove to myself I'm capable surviving that.

Proof. I need to prove to myself that I can make a good enough argument to prove to the children I love that they are worthy of the pursuit of happiness. Mission statement?

Intervention of the soul.