Tag Archives: coming of age

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Cover via amazon.com.

Cover via amazon.com.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn revolves around Francie Nolan, a young girl growing up in a poor neighborhood in New York. The plot of this novel does not drift from event to event, at least not in a way that fits standard plot summary – rather, it flows like fine water, split into five sections that match the stages of Francie’s coming of age. With warm prose Betty Smith addresses themes such as poverty, loss of innocence, and gender roles in a book she claims to have written without any intended message for society.

I loved two aspects of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, one of which was experiencing Francie mature from a tiny girl to a mature woman. Continue reading

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Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Teaching Kids to Cry

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

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Filed under Society

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars.

I felt like I found the fountain of youth with Eleanor & Park, but at the same time, it made me feel so darn old. Here’s a monologue of my thoughts while reading pages 70-71 (which can be shifted around just a little bit to apply to the rest of the book): Continue reading

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Filed under 4.5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

18 and Flailing

One week ago I turned 18. Since then I’ve been dealing with bouts of depression by drugging myself on Queer as Folk. In a perfect world I would write “hey, guess what guys, I’m not a teenager anymore, so no more angst on this blog!” But this is not a perfect world, and I am not a perfect person. Adult angst exists. I just need to conquer it. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal

High Heels, Blond Highlights, and Eighteenth Birthdays

By the time I was ten, I wanted to dye my hair blond. At 12, I wrote in a journal that I was going to run away. Around the age of 14 I fought for people – but most importantly, myself – to accept me irrespective of my sexuality. 16 marks the period in which I discovered my purpose, to make a change. In one way or another I’ve done all of these things, through various proxies like bleach on a best friend’s toothbrush or a personal blog I’ve come to call home. Now the question remains: what is 18? Continue reading

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Filed under Personal

Here Comes the Rainbow

There once was a boy named Thomas, who had to run from the rain.

All his life, Thomas lived in a box. It was a nice box, full of food, clothes, and toys. When he was little, he wrote on the walls of the box. He slept in the box, he played games in the box, he read stories in the box. He had everything anyone could ever want in this little box, all of the things he needed to live.

But the box came with one bad part: it always rained. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal

In Defense of Young-Adult Books

Some of my favorite books, that so happen to be young-adult.

Some of my favorite books, that so happen to be young-adult.

Usually, I’m scared of my mom reading my posts. But not this time. With this post, I’m scared of my AP Literature teacher stumbling upon it, my elitist literature-loving friends finding it, or, even worse – my future college professors in the English department reading it. Because this post is dedicated to one argument: young-adult books are just as valuable as what many people refer to as “literature,” and on some occasions more valuable than such classics. Continue reading

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Filed under Books

The Fight Song of the Tiger Son

My handy dandy suitcase.

My handy dandy suitcase.

Floss, Latin textbook, ratty T-shirt, notebook. As I threw these things into my suitcase, I wondered whether I would survive that day.

I ran out of my house. Wearing shorts and a thin jacket, the cold cut at me even though the sun still shone. Shouldering my backpack and holding my suitcase in both arms, I felt like a fictional character, running away from home. Except this time everything was real.

I made it a few blocks down until I saw her car approach me. Contemplating whether or not to make a run for it, I knew I wouldn’t escape – no mile time was fast enough to outpace an angry mother. Her beige car pulled up alongside the road, and she lowered her window to yell at me.

“Get back in the house, now!” my mother screamed.

Minutes before, she had threatened to kill me. Inside my house, she had started one of her angry outbursts, but it felt more dangerous than all of the other ones. In that moment, standing on the sidewalk of the road, heart racing, I defied my mother for the first time. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

3 STEPS TO BECOME ME, THOMAS:

1. Obtain a copy of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.

2. Read the book.

3. Fall in love. Fall in love with the writing, the characters, everything. Read past midnight, read in school, read everywhere and all the time. Slam the book shut and whisper-scream oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh. At the end of the book, allow a single tear to run down your right cheek and say a silent prayer of thanks for the fact that you are able to read at all.

Perhaps I’m making this book seem more dramatic than it actually is. Continue reading

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Filed under 5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

Even though she’s a lesbian, I probably wouldn’t have wanted to be friends with Cameron Post in real life. Not like I give friendship preference to homosexuals, but seriously – she does weed and she shoplifts. Keep in mind that the thought of getting a tattoo scares me.

I sympathized with her quickly, though. When her parents die in a car accident, Cameron’s first thought isn’t horror, or denial, or anger. It’s relief. Relief that they would never know she had just kissed a girl a few hours earlier. As a result of the accident Cam moves in with her conservative, super religious Aunt Ruth along with her grandmother. Life floats by smoothly enough in her small Southern town until Cam meets Coley Taylor, a fierce, beautiful, and supposedly straight cowgirl. Cam’s friendship with Coley develops into something intense and unexpected, something that could leave room for more. But when Aunt Ruth finds out about Cam and her “homosexual tendencies”, she sends her away and forces her to find out who she really is – and to confront the demons of her past and her future.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post is unlike any book I’ve read before. Continue reading

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Filed under 5 stars, Book Reviews, Books