Help Me Home (College Post #4)

“Your first free write is to describe a setting,” my Creative Writing professor says. “Any setting. Go.”

My classmates’ pens hit paper like divers launching into a swimming pool – a blur of movement, and they’re off, splashes of syllables and sentences trailing in their wake. Meanwhile, I clutch the edge of the desk, my pencil forgotten in the kiddie pool.

“I cannot believe you would date him,” I say. “He’s clearly an idiot. Like 2% milk, just replace ‘milk’ with ‘brain cells.’”

Wait, I think, that’s dialogue, not setting. By the time I finish one sentence about a sprawling suburbia filled with shallow parents longing for their kids to do something other than each other, my professor calls time. I glance at my friend across from me, and I take a small breath of relief when I see she’s only written a couple of sentences.

Until she flips the page of her notebook, revealing several fleshed-out paragraphs. Go figure. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

Here’s a secret: when I was 13, I wrote Naruto fanfiction. Even though it was pretty bad – and mildly inappropriate – one of my stories garnered over 600 reviews and hundreds of thousands of hits. Reading Fangirl flew me to my past life as an avid fanfic writer while reminding me of my present position as a college student.

Cath writes, reads, and breathes Simon Snow. Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Feel Your Feelings

On Wednesday, I felt unwanted.

Today, it took me an hour to write the first sentence – that sentence, about Wednesday – of an emotional, super personal, and rather melodramatic blog post. Continue reading

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The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

As someone who wrote an entire research paper on the importance of YA fiction and the genius of Laurie Halse Anderson, I own up to my bias. The Impossible Knife of Memory captures so much of what I love about young-adult contemporary and realistic fiction. It possesses a witty and cynical narrator, it delves into a real and painful issue, and it offers a nuanced yet meaningful message of hope.

Hayley Kincaid divides the human race into two types of people: the freaks and the zombies. Continue reading

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Filed under 5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Why Do We Have Friends?

As someone who possesses a natural suspicion toward human beings, I tend to befriend only a few. With my college years coming to a close – well, with three and a half years left, but – and my already non-existent social life fading away, I’ve caught myself contemplating this question: why do I have friends? Why do I hang out with the people I hang out with? Is friendship intrinsically selfish? Why would others even consider associating with me when I make weird animal noises and overuse the words “pulchritudinous” and “twerk”? Continue reading

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Filed under Personal, Society

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Cover via goodreads.com.

Cover via goodreads.com.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

I literally gave myself a pep talk to prepare for this book. I looked at myself in the mirror and and whispered “Okay, Thomas. As someone who gets extremely and unnecessarily attached to fictional characters, all you have to do is turn off your empathy. Everyone knows that everyone dies in this series. Just force yourself not to care.” This dialogue took place after a shower, so I even wrote “no more caring” on the fogged-up glass.

And, yes, I still shed a tear at the end. Continue reading

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Filed under 5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Find Time to Read? No, Make Time

Some statements addressed to me by friends, family, and other folk:

“Wow Thomas, I see you with a book all the time! How do you even find time to read?”

“Thomas, as a busy college student, you must really have no friends or no life to read as much as you do.”

“Why am I writing this blog post when I could be reading Game of Thrones? Why do I do anything when I could be reading Game of Thrones?”

Okay, the last one belongs to me – but I do have a sincere reason. Continue reading

34 Comments

Filed under Books, Personal