At the age of eight, I knew more about math than I did about my mom. I could add numbers together, but I could never figure out why she would scream and shout for no apparent reason. Subtraction came easily, but knowing how to navigate the turbulent waters of my mother’s constant mood swings – and all of the emotional turmoil that it entailed? Definitely harder than taking apart a simple sentence or memorizing my multiplication tables. Continue reading
Rating: 3/5 stars.
Robert Westfall has never had it worse – his father is terminally ill, his aunts are cruel and unsupportive, and the life he always envisioned for himself seems less and less appealing every day. Only in Calculus do his fears fade, and it’s mostly because of his kind teacher, Andrew McNelis. Mr. McNelis watches Robert flail from afar and with time offers a guiding hand. But what happens when Mr. McNelis’s role in Robert’s life changes from that of a confidante, to a friend, to something more…? Continue reading
A minor spat with the roommate, a lot of reading, not much time to relax, some forced socializing, a lost room key – all of that and more, in my first twelve days at college. Continue reading
Rating: 4.5/5 stars.
Going along with my idea of book reproduction in my review of Speechless, Proxy would be the child of Uglies by Scott Westerfeld and Legend by Marie Lu. It blends fast-paced action with a well-fleshed futuristic world, complete with characters that are rife with wit and passion.
Knox has never felt consequences before. Continue reading
Rating: 4/5 stars.
Here’s a question for vegetarians: if a pig were raised in a comfortable and humane slaughterhouse, would you eat it? What if that pig were also genetically modified to want to be eaten – if being eaten was indeed its life’s ambition? How about a genetically modified chicken that had lost its sense of self, environment, pain, pleasure etc.? It’d be like plucking a potato from the ground.
Another one, for everyone: let’s say you’re a doctor, and you have a patient who falls unconscious while on life-support. Beforehand she asked over and over again to be taken off the machine, but to your chagrin, an ethics committee forbids you from doing so. One day a random passerby – a janitor, perhaps – accidentally knocks out the plug and disconnects the patient from the machine. You let it go and the patient fades away: after all, you took no measure in shortening the her life, you just failed to prolong it. Are you justified? Continue reading
Rating: 4/5 stars.
If books could reproduce – don’t ask me for visuals – Speechless by Hannah Harrington would be the child of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. All three are YA, contemporary books I would love to just shove at my future students and force them to read.
Chelsea Knot can’t keep a secret. She’s one of those girls. If you’ve read any young-adult realistic fiction or if you’ve watched Mean Girls, you know the archetype I’m talking about. The totally selfish, totally conceited, totally all-I-care-about-is-my-popularity girl who gossips about everyone and cares about no one. In this case our protagonist Chelsea is second-in-command to her best friend and utter b-word Kristen. But when Chelsea blabs at a party and almost ends someone’s life, her sheltered existence comes crashing down. She decides to take a vow of silence – but even with that, can she bring herself to forgive, to face the truth, and finally, to somehow speak up for herself? Continue reading
With my move-in date for college in less than a week, I doubt I’d get to meet many older men – but if I could, would I? Several times when age-gap relationships come up, people automatically react with comments like “oh, that’s so gross” or “what a pedophile.” I don’t support relationships in which one person takes advantage of another, but in terms of mutually consensual relationships in which the partners have a considerable age difference, whose place is it to discriminate? Continue reading