Two nights ago I wrote a review of A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, an epic book about four friends growing up together in New York City. One of the four, Jude St. Francis, suffered extreme sexual, physical, and emotional abuse throughout his childhood. As an adult, Jude works as an ambitious and renowned litigator. In addition to his handsomeness and his intellect, he forges several deep and tender friendships. However, Jude’s trauma continues to haunt him. He cuts himself in egregious ways to numb his psychological pain. He views himself as someone who only inspires disgust. He refuses to open up about his past. I write this post because Jude’s struggle reminded me a lot of the emotional abuse I suffered as a child and my personal battle with the scars it has left behind. I write this post to prove that hope exists for people like us, for people who experienced what no child should have to.
I slept with this book after I read it. I kid you not. You can check out my review for more detail.
A lot of the conflict in A Little Life stems from Jude’s inability to accept care from those around him. Continue reading
And if you know someone who’s grieving, do not say: “Call me if you need anything.”
In my most recent short story, the main character, an adolescent male named Luca, jumps off the roof of his high school after hearing about his best friend’s death. He feels responsible for her passing, which contributes to his suicide attempt. Luca has a lot of emotional problems; he wrecks havoc amongst his peers to satisfy his twisted sense of morality. Continue reading
My grandfather has stopped eating, and I feel nothing.
I grew up with my grandparents; I shared the basement of my house with them. I remember sleeping with my grandmother as a toddler, the way I would hold her hand and rub the skin between her fingers as I closed my eyes. Continue reading
When I was little, I fantasized about my mother’s death. Continue reading
“Forgive her,” the man says.
A mask hides his face and a grey cloak covers his body. He holds a sleek whip, its length running along his arm. I cannot move, trapped by invisible bonds that tie me to the floor. His fingers caress the whip and I shake my head. Continue reading
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
Cover via Goodreads.
Rating: 4/5 stars.
Queen Dessen, Empress Dessen, and Rock Star of YA Realistic Fiction Dessen – all titles I whispered while reading this book, usually after the words “bow down to…” After ten previously published novels, Sarah Dessen still has that signature prose style of hers – just enough telling and showing to suck you in while establishing back story, a setting that sits in the back of your mind when you close your eyes, and characters that you can believe in. Continue reading