Monday, December 1, 2014

Marshall Owen #6

The Batboy
Mike Lupica
Philomel Books
246 Pages

          "I think maybe you're a little burned out." "Burned out," Brian Said, nodding like he was agreeing. "At fourteen. Good call. Burned out. Why didn't I think of that?"

          As in most situations getting burned out can be a real killer, it makes doing what you love to do hard to handle. Sometimes a break is needed from even the most fun activities. Brian is still the bat boy for the Tigers, and as the season goes on members of the team seem to think that he needs a break from baseball for a while. They tell him that he knows a lot about the sport, but he is around it to much and it is making him crazy. Most people can relate to this instance with almost any activity, after being around it for a while you just need to step away and take a break.
          Brian really loves his position as the bat boy and really loves interacting with the team. Quitting his position would be hard for him and he would not like going back to his normal life. Brian gets news that his dad is coming to watch the Tigers play a baseball game to scout Hank, a Tigers player, in hopes that they can get him to play in Japan. This news makes Brian excited that he gets to see his dad, but he doesn't want to see his favorite player Hank to leave the Tigers.
         At the end of the book Brian is playing baseball for his local team and is struggling. When He looks to the bench he sees his friend Hank standing there. Brian is in shock and is puzzled and ask a million questions. Hank just explains that after their game the night before he drove all the way back to watch his buddy Brian play. Hank gives Brian some reminders and when Brian gets to the plate to bat he hits his first home run. Just like every player would be after hitting their first home run Brian was super excited.
          Mike Lupica does a great job of going into detail about the setting of his books. In Batboy Lupica does a good job explaining where the setting is at all times and does a great job of explaining the characters. Where I got confused was keeping all the characters straight and not getting them mixed up. Other than that part the book was very good read and I would recommend this book and any of Lupicas books to anyone intersted in sport books.
       


Crossed Millicent Cameron
Ally Condie Comp. 3
Dutton Books Blog 6
367 pages
I never named anything I’ve written before
no reason to
since
it would all have the same title anyway
- for you -
but I would call this one
one night
that night
when we let the world be only you
and only me
we stood on it while it spun
green and blue and red
the music ended
but we
were still
singing
(page 213)
The poem from the book talks about how these two people, Cassia and Ky, get to see each other, but are not supposed to. At the beginning of this series, Cassia and Ky were matched together, but weren’t supposed to be. At first the situation started as a small mistake, but then turned into a huge problem.
Cassia has to find Ky. She knows around where he might be but still has to find him. Both of them, at a point, have to escape from somewhere. Then, the come to find each other. At the end, they are in these groups and are being put together to go somewhere. The Society has changed many situations going on and everything is different.
In this book, the relations relate to two people who are basically banned from seeing each other, but find a way to be together. Their whole world is changing and situations are risky between them and the Society.

This book is good to read if you like interesting fiction with twists. I am interested to read about the outcome of the next book. I wonder: what will happen to Cassia and Ky, and what will happen with their world and the Society.   
Jazmin Cruz
Comp. 105

Identical
Ellen Hopkins
McElderly
565 Pages

"One thing to live for, one day at a time."

     Identical is about twin sisters that are both broken because of their family life. Their family looks perfect, but they aren't. Kaeleigh is sexually abused by her father ever since a car accident a few years ago that left her twin sister dead. At first, I thought that Kaeleigh and Raeanne were two different people with their own lives, and they were. Until the car accident. Their father was driving the car with the whole family in it and they all got into a car accident. Raeanne actually died in the accident. Kaeleigh has been living her life thinking that her sister was still alive. But she wasn't. When I first read this, I thought it was pretty confusing. Now I realize it's not very confusing though. Kaeleigh was said to have a personality disorder called Disassociation Identity Disorder. The doctor explained that she probably got this disorder to try and cope with the trauma after losing her twin sister.
     Once I read this part of the book, I love it even more! I liked that there was such a huge plot twist. I also loved how there was some psychology that was a pretty big part of the book. I am really interesting in psychology, so that's why the ending of this book was interesting to me. It was also cool because in Psychology class, we just got done with the chapter about disorders and we actually had to do an essay about Disassociation Identity Disorder. It just really amazes me that someone can have a disorder like this. I don't understand how someone can act like two different people but not even know it.
     Now that I am done reading Identical, it is one of my favorite books. I love how Ellen Hopkins writes her books, with the poetry style. On some of the pages, the words were shaped as a heart which is interesting to me. Overall, it was a fantastic book and I would recommend it to young adults because there is also a lot of talk about drugs, alcohol, and self harm.

Noah Wittrock #6

Noah Wittrock
Glass
Ellen Hopkins
Margaret K. McElderry Books Simon and Schuster, New York
Comp. 3
310 pages.
“The next, all is forgiven, everything is right, and you can’t really remember why you were so mad in the first place. It’s irritating because one of life’s true joys is being righteously mad about something. But load the pipe and the ‘righteous’ part vanishes in a puff of smoke.” (p.446)
This quotation threw me off a little. I thought is was going to be more about the girl’s views but then it turned into a drug reference. I chose this quotation because of that. The first part of the quotation seemed like it was going to be somewhat relatable because sometimes getting mad is a good thing and everyone does it. Her way of coping with anger was what was unrelatable.
The second half of this book is still about the main characters batter with substance abuse and the struggle of raising her child. She keeps having the same struggles she had in the first half of the book. The temptation to do drugs overwhelms her and she goes to get some. She gets the drugs and begins doing them again. She uses the drugs as a way to cope with her life. Her drug abuse ends up getting her into a lot of trouble. She gets into trouble with the law and decides it’s for the best to let her mother take care of her son.

The second half of this book was pretty good. The author continues the story of the girl and 


adds a lot more to the story. The author added a lot more suspenseful and meaningful parts 

into this half of the book such as the police part and the part at the end where the main girl 

gives up her baby. It seemed like a lot more occurred in this half of the book because it 

contained the climax and the conclusion. I have read many books by this author and none of 

them have disappointed.

Nick Reetz, Book 3, Blog 2

Nick Reetz
Comp. 105

Ranger's Apprentice: The Sorcerer in the North
John Flanagan
295 pages
Random House Australia

“Face your fears, Halt had always taught him, and more often than not they fade like mist in the sunshine” (197). 

In the second half of The Sorcerer in the North by John Flanagan, will is on his way to Macindaw, a castle in a northern part of the country, for his first mission as a full fledged Ranger. As a Ranger, he is part of an elite group of some of the best archers, tacticians, and sneaks in the country. At Macindaw, Lord Syron, the leader there, has fallen ill, and many suspect ill doing by a sorcerer. Will is to go dressed as a jester, to blend in and not draw attention to himself as anything more than he is. Flanagan does a good job of keeping the mystery alive in regards to the sorcerer. The reader never knows who it is, but has suspicions, and Flanagan exploits that, keeping the book interesting. 

Will meets Orman, the temporary ruler of Macindaw while his father is sick. Will's and his contact Alyss, sent by Crowley and Halt, are suspicious of Orman. Alyss was sent because Will can immediately trust her, and she is capable of the tasks required. Will can trust her because they are long time friends. They are suspicious of Orman because it is likely that he wants the crown from his father. Flanagan does an excellent job of blending the political implications, mystery, investigation, and later fighting, all in one. I also like how Flanagan has Will refer back to advice he has gotten from his mentor Halt. It shows how much of an effect Halt has had on Will, and how a good mentor can make all the difference to a student. 

This is a great book that I would absolutely recommend to anyone who loves action and adventure books. Flanagan keep the book exciting and interesting, and blends in just the right amount of humor in the right places, and never forces anything. While it would be best to read all four books in order before this one, this book is a good point to jump in. 

Cody Wardell- Book Blog #6

Cody Wardell
Composition 105


Tim Tebow: Through My Eyes
by Tim Tebow with Nathan Whitaker
Copyright 2011 by Timothy R. Tebow
260  pages


“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. -Ephesians 4:32”(37)

This quote comes from Chapter 12. Every chapter begins with a quote from the Bible. The quotes show just how much Tim Tebows relationship with God means to him. I really liked this quote because forgiveness is a huge part of life these days. Treat people the way you want to be treated and always be forgiving is the meaning behind this quote.
The last half of this book is even more story telling from Tim Tebow. Tebow talks a lot about his best and worst games as a Florida Gator. It also talks about his career as a Denver Bronco. My favorite story he told was about his game as a Florida Gator in 2008 against the Georgia Bulldogs. He discussed how nervous he was for the game and how much the game meant to him. At the time, the Florida Gators were ranked #5 in the polls and the Georgia Bulldogs were #8. He mentioned how good the Georgia defense was that year and just how explosive they were and that this game would be one of the biggest games/battles of his life. Little did he know that he would have one of the best games of his life. Tim Tebow ended that game with about 200 yards rushing and passing and he scored 5 touchdowns to lead his team to a 49 to 10 victory. In the last half it also talked about how hard he worked in the off-season and his best off-season was when he graduated from college and was making the transition to the pros. He was drafted in 2010 by the Denver Broncos. In his 2011 season as a Bronco he got the start in his 6th game due to the Broncos benching their starting QB Orten. In his first start, he led the Broncos to a come-from-behind 18–15 overtime victory against the Miami Dolphins, after being down 15–0 with less than three minutes left in the game. Tebow led the team to six wins in their next eight games and into the playoffs. The Broncos beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the wild-card game of the playoffs before losing to the New England Patriots in the division championship game, ending Tebow’s first season as the Broncos starting quarterback. The book ends with Tebow saying that he doesn’t know what his future holds after this season.
After that 2011 season, Tebow was then traded to the Jets. After one season as a Jet, he was listed as a free agent and hasn’t played a game since. I found this book extremely motivating and inspiring. I liked it because even the greatest athletes have set backs and they find a way to overcome them. I reccomend this book to any sports fan or anyone who loves an inspirational story.

Wellendorf Blog #6

Ben Wellendorf
Composition 105

The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Carrie Ryan
Delacorte Press
308 Pages

“Those days back there, in the house. That is my world. That is my truth," he says. "That is my ocean.”  (p. 227).


The quote was one of the quotes that really was a huge point in the book.  At the beginning of the book, Mary’s mom always told her about the ocean and how it was a majestic place without any zombies.  Mary was always trapped in the village, so she never believed that there was an ocean until she finally saw it, which wasn’t really what Mary had expected.  The arriving scene at the ocean was the climax, so I’m not going to spoil what happens!  This quote, though, helps show that their “ocean” is a place where everything is peaceful and calm.

The second half of the book is really creepy, but really interesting.  It was one of those books where you wonder why that would happen, but you’re also so excited that you keep on reading it more and more, and cannot put the book down.  Mary gets out of the village with a group of people, and Mary learns how to kill zombies and what not.  They had a scare that Mary got bit during one of the adventures, and her long-time love Travis got bit by zombies when he tried to save them by practically going on a suicide-mission.  Their place in the forest they were staying at started on fire, so they had to keep moving towards the ocean.  Her brother, Jed, also dies from falling off a cliff, so Mary isn’t having the greatest of luck trying to get to the ocean.  Without ruining the climax and the end, basically, she finds the ocean and realizes that it is not even close to what she expected.

After reading this book, I realized that the person who wrote this book has a weird sense in writing.  I thought that they would find the ocean perfectly fine with Travis, and no one or maybe a couple not big characters, but they liked to kill off a lot of the main people.  After putting Mary through all the suffering, she finally finds the ocean after her brother falls off a cliff and her love gets bit by a zombie, and it turns out the ocean is nothing compared to what she thinks it is.  Overall, this book definitely made me very interested throughout the whole story.  It was kind of hard to follow along, but I really was interested and didn’t want to put down the book whatsoever.  This book showed a lot of different themes of life, like fear, love, and sacrifice.  Fear, because they had to live in a world where zombies killed people.  Love, because Mary loved Travis and would do anything for him, which it showed throughout the whole story.  And sacrifice, because there was a lot of sacrifices made in this story.  For example, Travis sacrificed himself to make sure Mary and the gang would be safe.  He ran out in a zombie-infested world and got himself killed to sacrifice himself for Mary.  That shows how much he also loved Mary, to die for her so she’s happy and healthy.  This book is a must-read for anyone who loves zombies and mystery/exciting books.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Zach Riddle American Savior #2

Zach Riddle
Composition 105

American Savior
Roland Merullo
312 Pages
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill

“Your job,” he said, “ my journalist friend, is to bring the news into peoples lives, to write this down the way it happened . All of it. The good, the bad, the confusing. Do not paint yourself and the rest of your colleagues as something you are not. And do not change my words or my behavior by so much as a single comma. Will you do that?” Page 311

Russ is asked by Jesus to do this simple yet complicated task as he walks away at the end of the book. It would be so simple for Russ Thomas, the narrator of the story, to manipulate and change what happened while he is telling other people. When Jesus and Russ talked, they were always by themselves so he could say whatever he wanted now that Jesus is gone and out of the picture.
I think that this quote is very important, because it shows that Roland Merullo believes the media presents everything with a biased attitude. The media try to persuade people from the truth to get them to believe what the media wants them to believe. I think most of the message within in the book is directed toward the people within the media and how they need to act. Media people should tell the truth how it happened with no political biassed at all, but that is not how the media is today.
When Jesus says, “...do not change my words or my behavior by so much as a single comma,” I immediately thought of the bible. In one of the final chapters of Revelations, it talks about how nothing should be changed within the bible without great consequences. There should also be nothing added or taken away from the bible without great consequences. This makes me curious as to if Merullo did his research and pulled information from the bible, or if it is just a coincidence. There were other parts of the book that had small ties to the Bible, but none were as significantly similar as this exact quote was.
American Savior was one of the most entertaining books I have ever read and would suggest it to everyone. As a Christian, this book brings up some interesting questions as to how Jesus would handle some of the political situations on Earth today if he were to run for president like the death penalty and other controversial topics.

Emily Koenck Book blog

The Best of Me
Nicholas Sparks                                                                                                       Emily Koenck
Grand Central Publishing                                                                                              Comp 105

282 pages

"Amanda stepped out of the car, surprised by the black pants and crisp white shirt Dawson was wearing, but the combo definitely worked. With the jacket casually slung over his shoulder, he was almost too handsome for his own good, which only made what her mother had said eve more prescient. She drew a deep breath, wondering what she was going to do."
page 149

               Earlier in the book Dawson's father figure died so he had to fly back home to go to the funeral. While he was on the plane all he could think about was the memories. He kept thinking about Amanda and all of the memories they had together and how they had to stop seeing each other. Dawson knew it wasn't going to last between him and Amanda because of his last name and the reputation his family has. 
               
               Dawson's plan was to go to the funeral and fly back to his house the next day. Well it didn't work out that way and Dawson had to stay longer. He tried to avoid Amanda because he knew old feelings would reappear. When he did see Amanda and Amanda saw him for the first time in years they felt like they never stopped loving each other. Amanda was so shocked to see Dawson she didn't know what to say. It was twenty years since they have see each other. 

                 Later in book Amanda and Dawson went on a date and as Amanda saw Dawson all dressed up, like in the quote, she wanted to be with him even more. Dawson always wanted to marry Amanda and to have a family with her. They decided as the date went on to visit Tuck's cabin because his funeral was the reason for Dawson coming back. When they get there, there was a note on the table that was addressed to Dawson. In the letter Tuck wrote out his love story on how he met his wife. After reading the letter together, Dawson and Amanda decide to stay the night together at the cabin. They rekindled the love they had back in high school that night. The following day, Amanda made the hard decision to return to her family and Dawson was going to leave town. On his way to the air port he sees the strange man who saved him after the oil rig explosion, so he decides to follow him. He followed him to the town bar where Dawson sees a kid getting a beating by his cousins. Dawson saves the kid and shortly after Crazy Ted comes into the bar and shoots Dawson in the head. Dawson later dies and shortly after Amanda's son is in a car accident and needs a heart transplant. Later on when Amanda's son gets his heart she learned that it was Dawson's that her son had received. 

                 What would it be like to fine my high school love after twenty years? That was a good question to think about because the way it was for Dawson and Amanda was difficult. Especially at the beginning, I thought Dawson was being a prude by never wanting to leave his little shack he lived in. I thought he was going to avoid Amanda the whole time because he didn't want to see her. But, after seeing Amanda he got butterflies in his stomach and he said it felt like he saw her for the first time in high school. For Amanda, she was so stunned to see the Dawson came back for Tuck's funeral. She thought he was never coming back.
 
                   I love all of Nicholas Sparks books. The way he writes is so fascinating and always keep me curious to see what will happen next. I had a lot of emotions when reading this book, I would either be smiling or crying, there was no in between. I never wanted to put the book down. With every book that I had read of Nicholas Sparks I had the same experience. He is such and amazing writer. I loved how he wrote in two perspectives of what they both were thinking. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves to read or to anyone who doesn't like to read because this book will want to make you read.  

   

Gunner C
DMACC comp
MS GACH
12-1-14
Blog 6
Screw Ball
“ I don’t know, I guess that baseball has always been a release for me. When I go into a dark mood all I want to do is play the game. It’s more than a game to me though. Baseball is a way of life.” -249
I will not reveal who the killer is in this book because it was really good! If a person wants to figure out who it was they will have to read it themselves. Murder stories are really fun to read because it is something that unfortunately takes place everyday.
Also the baseball in this book makes me feel younger again. I know I’m not old but however when I read about baseball for some reason I feel about ten years old again. The feeling is a good young because I loved baseball.
What Ron Kane has gone through is astonishing. He is a pretty strong player and person for a rookie on a baseball team because he is the reason the team has gotten out of their deep rut. This book is kind of unique. It is unique for the fact that in a cross between a mystery, a murder story, a sports book, and an inspirational story.
It is a little confusing when a person really gets into the story. However, it is a good confusing because it keeps you on your toes. This is what makes a book good in my opinion.

Austin Stoelk Book Blog #6

Austin Stoelk
Composition 117
The Assassination of John F. Kennedy
James L. Swanson
Copyright 2013 by James L. Swanson
162 Pages

“He was not attending the lunch planned for more than two thousand people in Dallas. Nor was he a political opponent of John Kennedy’s who planned to protest his policies with a homemade, hand-lettered cardboard sign. No, this man who awaited John Kennedy in Texas had something else in mind. He wanted to kill the president.”

Tuesday, November 19, 1963, to Friday, November 22, 1963, were interesting days in American history that involve a man who wanted to kill the president. This quotation is true in so many ways throughout part two of this book, but in many ways the quotation is confusing as well. Lee Harvey Oswald actually wakes up on Tuesday, the 19th of November, not having a plan to kill the president. This interests me because in the quotation above, it states that Oswald wants to kill the president. In the second have of The Assassination of John F. Kennedy, James L. Swanson uses many clues and builds up suspense with major details that leads to the shooting of President Kennedy. He also explains facts that explain why the president was killed and what events trigger Oswald to carry through with the assassination, which I feel is a brave process to carry out.
Lee Harvey Oswald is an interesting man for many reasons. As a boy, he drops out of school and becomes a U.S. Marine after being a troublemaker in school. As a marine, Oswald does many procedures that people do not like, such as trying to pick a fight with a superior marine member just to prove he is right about an issue. Times like this make me realize that Oswald is a crazy man, as well as times when he is just temperamental, wants attention, and complains about almost everything. When young, Oswald has unfortunate times, such as his father’s death before he is born. His mother then appears to be unstable, so does this lead to his unwanted creativeness? I believe that even times as bad as what he grew up in should not drive him to shoot innocent people such as John F. Kennedy.
The assassinator has no friends to call his own and when married, his wife doesn't appear a friend for long either. Oswald has a wife and two kids that leave him after he tells them his first crazy story: He attempted assassinating General Edwin Walker. I feel attempting to assassinate a military general would be almost as risky as killing the president. This attempt of assassination interests me because I would then contradict the quotation because he wanted to shoot any important figure, not just the president. The attempt of the assassination of General Walker fails when Oswald attempts shooting the general through his window! This is a courageous act that does not pan out, so Oswald leaves right away so he doesn't get caught.
Oswald realizes after this assassination attempt that if he does this again, he will need much more planning, which leads into going after JFK. Oswald works at the Texas School Book Depository during this time, which is right in Dallas. Oswald reads the paper from other people he works with and finds out that President Kennedy will be going through on the 22nd, and Oswald finds the exact route. At this point, I realize that Oswald is definitely not trying to eat lunch or be a political opponent to the president, as stated in the quotation. Oswald feels he needs to do something that will be remembered throughout history, and as a very self-centered man who doesn't care about other people’s feelings, he begins to develop the second part of the quotation with a detailed plan: an attempt to assassinate the president.
With assassination on his mind, ideas start to generate, and not in a good way.  Suspiciously, Wednesday night and into Thursday Oswald plans out what he will do on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. He notices many boxes stacked on this floor, and Oswald takes advantage. He scans the whole south side, where fourteen windows appear from one end to the other. Oswald chooses the window furthest to the southeast, and here he starts setting up boxes. The boxes get stacked nearly to the top so many people cannot look in when the shooting occurs. Although very cruel, I’m surprised by this action and feel that Oswald is obviously very crafty in not showing that he just is not just a “political opponent” or just “attending the lunch” of Mr. Kennedy. Attending lunch or having a political view on the President are only two of the many reasons that citizens gathered in Dallas, but Oswald has other ideas in mind.
With planning beginning on the sixth floor, Oswald goes to visit his kids. He normally visits them every weekend, but this time, he visits them on a Thursday night. Oswald is able to sneak into the garage of where his wife lives during this time and puts his gun with a site, that he receives when he’s a little boy, into a brown bag. I find an interesting section to this part missing: Wouldn't his wife be extremely confused on why he came on a Thursday night? The next day, when his friend picks him up to go to work, Oswald is asked what is in the brown bag. Oswald answers with saying “curtain rods” are in the bag, which makes me understand that he is a liar to the extreme in many cases. Oswald arrives at work, and I’m beginning to get more convinced that the quotation will become true: The man is actually going to carry through with his attempt to assassinate John F. Kennedy.
With his rifle successfully getting to his work, Oswald thinks about his plan from the time he arrives, eight o’clock, to the time the president should drive by in his limousine with his wife, around 11:30. Ironically, President Kennedy makes this statement to his wife before leaving the Hotel Texas to fly to Dallas: “You know, last night would have been a hell of a night to assassinate a president. There was the rain, and the night, and we were all getting jostled. Suppose a man had a pistol in a briefcase and melted away into the crowd?” This quotation makes me feel the President is tying in his own safety with the quotation involving his lunch with the public and the protests. Kennedy talks to the press and many people, then goes with his wife on the limousine on a parade through the heart of Dallas.
With the parade beginning, Oswald is getting ready as well. He was trained by the marines to shoot at many distances, and he has a clear shot at the back of the president’s head. Whether he is standing or kneeling, or uses boxes for support or doesn't, is unknown because evidence can not show enough. The president then drives by, and Oswald misses on his first shot and many feel something minor occurred, such as a motorcycle backfire. Then, the second shot occurred, and this one hit the president in the back, then hit the governor of Texas. Oswald had still not killed the president. By this time, I figured Oswald would stop and reconsider killing the president of America. Oswald though, was stuck on killing the president and ruining his “lunch planned with two thousand people”, as well as his life. Oswald shot a third bullet, and this time, he hit right in the back of Kennedy’s skull, making the entire right side of his head burst open. This is a gruesome scene to picture, and the quotation unfortunately becomes true: Lee Harvey Oswald kills the president. I am extremely shocked that Oswald had the heart to continue, even on to the second bullet. This proves that the man had a mission that will definitely be remembered as he wanted, but in a bad way.
After killing the president, Oswald kills a police officer and goes into the movie theater. Witnesses spot this, and police then find him in a movie theater. Oswald is arrested for two murders that will forever be remembered in American history. Relating back to the quotation, Oswald ends up reaching his “goal” of proving he did not want lunch with the president, or to protest: he just wanted to kill the man. I am shocked that Oswald does this. Yes, his childhood is rough, but can his past experiences really drive him to murder the president? I feel people in today’s world should know of the incident, but this is what Oswald would want: to be talked about by millions of Americans. Furthermore, I feel this unfortunate because the issue needs to be known by Americans, but the publicity for Oswald increased. Whether good or bad talk from the public, Oswald is discussed by many. With this assassination, I believe our country should stay having top security on presidents. A caring man such as Kennedy should never be assassinated, and those who have extreme issues to kill for no reason, such as Oswald, should do the following: look at the bright side of life and do what is right for public recognition, NOT what is wrong.

Nathan Nelson Book #3 Blog #2

Nathan Nelson
Composition 105

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
Stephen King
Simon & Schuster
224 pages

"Slowly, both with terror and with a strange sort of calm inevitability, Trisha turned to face the God of the Lost."

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is a fictional thriller by one of the greatest horror writers of all time, Stephen King. While he is known for his terrifying stories, this one is not even close to the same. King takes a different approach by using no real horror. However, it is a very interesting read. In the first half, Trisha got separated from her mom and brother in the woods. The second half is still Trisha trying to find her way to civilization. She ate the rest of her sandwich, so the food supply is now empty. While finding some nuts on a bush, this still isn't enough. She uses the hood of her sweatshirt to trap a swimming trout in the stream. With nothing to cook or cut with, she eats it, bone and all. Due to her starvation, it wasn't nearly as gross for her as it sounds. At times, a hallucination of Tom Gordon comes to visit her. While it isn't really him, she gets the idea that it is. He tells her to stay strong and to keep going. With the police searching for a sex offender, and with Trisha constantly on the move, will she ever be found? Or will she never be able to escape the forest?
This book is very intriguing. For a nine year old girl, she certainly knows a lot about how to stay alive. A lot of the moves she makes are not the smartest, for example, she ditches her idea of following the stream. Had she kept following the stream, she would have found some cottages. In the beginning, had she just stayed on the trail, she would have been found. I thought it would require a lot more struggle. Sure, she did run into a wasps nest, but other than that, she just kept walking. Knowing Stephen King, I figured there would be a little scarier, however it was very mild compared to his past work.
This book has a lot of life lessons. It is critical that everyone knows how to survive in the wild. Anything can happen, and so many people are just used to having it easy. Then, they are unprepared to survive. Trisha knew how to catch a fish with a sweatshirt, and she also knew how to find food. This book teaches that anything can happen and an individual must be prepared for worst case scenario. Also, Trisha had a lot of determination to keep walking. Many would just stop where they were at in hopes that someone would find them. However, she had a plan and she stuck to it. Even though she was tired, she fought her way through it. For being a kid, she displayed attributes of an adult by making her way through the forest. 




Jessica Cheney
Composition 3
Looking For Alaska             
John Green
Speak, 2005
221 pages

“I found myself thinking about President William McKinley, the third American president to be assassinated. He lived for several days after he was shot, and towards the end, his wife started crying and screaming, ‘I want to go too! I want to go too!’ And with his last measure of strength, McKinley turned to her and spoke his last words: ‘We are all going.’”  (p. 120)

Looking For Alaska is a fiction book written by John Green. The last half of the book includes all of the part called “after”. The first half of the book is about how the main character Miles Halter forms relationship’s with people at his new school, Culver Creek. He gets to be very good friends with the Colonel, Takumi, Lara, and Alaska. The dividing point between the two parts of the book is the death of Alaska. She got really drunk late at night with Miles and the Colonel, then she suddenly wanted to go somewhere. The Colonel and Miles distracted the dorm monitor so she could leave. That night, she ran straight into a police car that was blocking off an accident on the road. The rest of the book Miles and the Colonel try to find out why she wanted to leave that night, mainly because they blame themselves for letting her leave that night. Alaska considered the most important question human beings must answer to be “How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering?”. This is a reference to the last words of Simón Bolívar.
I love the themes that John Green tries to communicate in this book. He uses last words to communicate the themes he is trying to express. He also uses the last words to express what each character feels is most important. For example, Miles refers to the last words of Francois Rabelais that refer to seeking the Great Perhaps. This is the main motivation for Miles throughout the book, to try and seek the Great Perhaps with his friends. Alaska’s favorite last words also says a great deal about her character and motivation. She is believes that Bolivar’s labyrinth is life itself and the suffering that comes with life. She makes a note in her book that the only way out of the labyrinth is “straight and fast”. That is why she drove head on into a police car without even swerving. Alaska’s last words shows how much she reflects on the suffering she has had on her life and running to try and escape it. Miles favorite last words shows the importance he places on knowing the unknown. This is also why he put so much effort in investigating Alaska’s death.
There are several questions that this book asks of the readers such as, “What is the importance of forgiveness,” or, “Is it possible for the living to forgive the dead, or even vice versa?” By the end of the book, Miles realizes that forgiveness is necessary for humans to survive the labyrinth. Miles has to forgive his friend Takumi for not telling him one of the important facts about the night Alaska died. He also has to forgive Alaska for killing herself, even after telling Miles she would see him tomorrow. Miles also feels like Alaska needs to forgive him for allowing her to leave that night. Probably the most important question is the one Miles must answer for his religion final. In honor of Alaska, the assignment was to answer how he personally, would escape the labyrinth of suffering. Miles answers this question by discussing how humans can have a hope of escaping the labyrinth because it is a scientific fact that our energy cannot be destroyed.

I liked this book a lot because of the very good themes that are discussed in it. This book made me realize that I will not be able to survive the labyrinth of the past suffering in my life if I am not able to forgive myself and others. I still had a few problems with the amount of smoking and alcohol that is in this book, but the book also showed the dangers of alcohol because it was one of the reasons for Alaska’s death. Green uses smoking and alcohol as symbols in this book. My pastor said last week at church that alcohol abuse is usually the result of people running from something. This is certainly the case for Alaska and this book made me realize the importance of never drinking and driving. Except for those small problems I thought this was a very good book. I would recommend this book to any young adults because it discusses very important themes in our lives. I will leave with the last words of this book, “I was born into Bolivar’s labyrinth, and so I must believe in the hopes of Rabelais’ Great Perhaps.”

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Camille Mumm Book Blog #6

will grayson, will grayson     Camille Mumm
John Green and David Levithan Comp. 105
Dutton Books
p. 155-310

“but there is the word, this word that phil wrayson taught me once: weltzschermz. it’s the depression you feel when the world does not line up with the world you think it should be.” p. 302

The second half of this book starts off is whirlwind of emotions. Will from Naperville seems to be feeling most of it. He’s falling in love with Tiny, he’s angry that Maura betrayed him, and there’s his curiosity to meet the other Will Grayson. As these all progress the story picks up speed and the reader gets dragged along trying to keep up with the storm of different feelings.
The reader gets so lost that it’s hard to tell where the problems begin, there is no real turning point. All of a sudden everything just crashed down, Will from Evanston's friendship with Tiny as well as Will from Naperville's relationship with Tiny. The Wills begin to separate, each dealing with different problems revolving around Tiny. The strangest part about the story is that while both of the boys are constantly thinking about their problems with Tiny, as well as outside ones like Evanston Will getting a girlfriend; Tiny gets lost in the shuffle.
That's where the problem becomes clear, each of the boys is so wrapped up in their own problems that they both forget to care about a boy they each love. This section is hard on the readers feeling because the hurt that Tiny was feeling was almost tangible. Tiny too is transfixed on something outside of the Wills as well: his play. He has casting, set building and rehearsal to deal with so friendships and relationships are put on hold.
Eventually, though quicker than the reader expects, things get better between Tiny and Evanston Will. They get their friendship back together in enough time to have this Will help with getting the musical ready. The other Will on the other hand is waiting until the opening night to make his amends with Tiny, and when he does it is a hilarious yet heartwarming reunion.
Like I said in my first blog about this book, though the main characters have the same name it is impossible to get lost on whose chapter it is. Thanks to the author’s lack of use of capitalization and quotation marks Will from Naperville is easily set apart. What I didn’t mention in the first blog about the differences between the chapters is the author. This book is written by John Green and David Levithan and while it never says it outright anywhere in the book, I wonder if each of the authors wrote a different boy’s point of view. Other than the formatting differences, I didn’t immediately pick up on any drastically different writing style between the chapters.
I like to think that they did each write one Will’s story, it makes the story that much deeper and richer because no matter how much collaboration Levithan and Green had, each had their own take on the story. Maybe one author didn’t really clarify on one detail and left it up to the other for interpretation, that would make the communication more like reality where the interpretation is left up to the listener or reader.
No matter how it was written, this was a great story and my opinion of John Green keeps getting better. Each book provides an equal amount of humor and hurt that takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride. I haven’t read any of Levithan’s other books yet but after this one I might have to look into some.