Tag Archives: family

Child Abuse, Accepting Care, and A Little Life

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 read my review for more detail.

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

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Stop Reading This

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

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Facing Death, Choosing Strength

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

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Lessons From My Bipolar Mother

When I was little, I fantasized about my mother’s death. Continue reading

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One Little Piece of Living

“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

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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

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

Cover via Goodreads.

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

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Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

It’s Only Time

I am not who I used to be. When I was younger, people scared me. I latched onto my dad’s leg at any family social event; I always chose a corner to stay in when I was with kids my age. But as the years passed, I gradually grew more comfortable with people. It was like learning how to swim. At first I stuck to the strokes I knew best – the close friends and topics of conversation I could handle – then I went further and further into the deep end, experimenting and learning new techniques, even if it was awkward and scary. Now, with introversion still my constant companion, I don’t mind speaking to strangers or large crowds. I really enjoy it, sometimes.

I planned to make this post about my physical illness, but changed my mind at the last moment. Just know that I was so sick I went on a retail therapy binge and bought these two beauties - The Moon and More is signed!

I planned to make this post about my physical illness, but changed my mind at the last moment. Just know that I was so sick I went on a retail therapy binge and bought these two beauties – The Moon and More is signed!

But that’s not why I felt like I was fading away a few days ago. Do you know what it’s like to disappear? Continue reading

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The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer Smith

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

Cute. That’s the word I kept coming back to when I read this book. Not pulchritudinous. Not horrendous. Cute.

I guess I expected more from a title and a book jacket that promised an intense and zany romance.  Seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan meets British Yale student Oliver on a plane ride to attend her divorced father’s second wedding. She’s not happy about it, but something about Oliver makes her open up. Within 24 hours they form a close bond and Hadley comes to terms with the dysfunction of her family, as well as the boy who she’s known for less than a day – even when it’s felt like forever. Continue reading

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Filed under 3 stars, Book Reviews, Books

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

5/5 stars.

A lot of the literature I’ve read for school this year has disappointed me. It’s great that we got to read and watch The Glass Menagerie as part of my AP Lit class, because I reclaimed my title as extremely obsessive fanboy extraordinaire.

There’s just so much to love in this play. Continue reading

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Filed under 5 stars, Book Reviews, Books