Little Things

I rolled out of bed last Wednesday morning, my legs kicking back sheets and the sun bathing my belongings in pale yellow. Shuffling around in my dorm room, my sandals smooth across the linoleum floor, I brushed back photos of Britin and little letters from friends on the surface of my desk and opened my laptop. The usual rotation: Goodreads, WordPress, Yahoo, Facebook, and finally, Gmail.

Dear Thomas,

Thank you for your application. We have drawn up a shortlist of candidates to be interviewed. I very much regret that it was not possible to include your name on the list.

I read the email twice, just to test myself, to ensure my eyes could see my defeat. Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under Personal

Panic by Lauren Oliver

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 2.5/5 stars.

Panic: a game played by graduating seniors in the dead-end town of Carp, where all contestants must face their worst fears – and each other. Heather never thought she would participate in Panic, but when her broken heart finds a new cause to fight for, she readies herself for the ride of her life. Dodge, on the other hand, does not feel scared of Panic; he wants revenge, and that thirst will drive him throughout the game. Amidst the near-death experiences thrust upon them by the judges of Panic, both Heather and Dodge will discover new things about themselves, each other, and those around them. Even though Panic entails a cash prize, every contestant, including Heather and Dodge, wants something more.

Panic possesses a compelling concept and an enticing book jacket, but I found the content lacking. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under 2.5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

At this point I’ve learned that George R.R. Martin writes in waves. Even though this probably isn’t how real science works, I visualize his plot structure as a giant tsunami: he adds little oscillatory currents that contribute to a huge tidal wave, which eventually crashes down and drowns us all in the most beautiful and devastating way. Though this might sound like how all books function – with a rising action leading up to a climax – Martin spends so much time developing and honing the rising action of his story that the inevitable climax calls for a great deal of praise.

Like A Clash of Kings, A Feast for Crows serves as the buildup of the tsunami. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

How to Live With a Roommate, Seduce Men, Make Friends, and More

“You’re a liar,” she says.

“Nope,” I say. “I’m an introvert. Just like Jane Eyre.”

“You talk so much though,” she says, eyes wide with shock. “You get along with everyone. You have so many friends!”

Now you’re the liar, I think, I don’t have friends. What are those? Also, you ignored my allusion to the best book ever. Our friendship is over. I cough a little bit into my hand to cover my disdain, and I lean back into the hard wood of my dorm room door.

“Have you met my roommate?” I ask. “Now, he’s an extrovert…” Continue reading

12 Comments

Filed under Personal, Society

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

Bird by Bird is my new bible. Not just for writing, but for life – it is my favorite work of nonfiction so far. Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

One More Person

Back in junior year of high school, my AP US History teacher scared the heck out of everyone. I think he liked me well enough, but I recall how every time he would ask a question – what was the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo? why did Andrew Jackson shut down the National Bank? – all my classmates and I would look down at our notes, afraid of making eye contact. One day, he asked a different type of question.

“How much good do I have to do?” he asked. “I work hard to teach you guys, I do my best to be a good husband to my wife and a good father to my kids. But how much more am I responsible for?”

As a freshman in college, that question still gets to me. Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under Personal

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars.

Is it every gay guy’s duty to get out of the closet? Rafe doesn’t want to deceive people, but he hates being “that one gay kid” back in his hometown. When he moves from Boulder, Colorado to an all-boys’ boarding school in New England, he keeps his homosexuality a secret and pretends to like girls – soon enough, he’s part of the jock pack, and he really likes it. But being openly straight isn’t as easy as Rafe thinks, and he feels the pressure when he develops feelings for his teammate Ben, who might be the only guy who really understands him. Continue reading

13 Comments

Filed under 4.5 stars, Book Reviews, Books