Monthly Archives: September 2015

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper – Book Review

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This story and its characters made me feel a hundred different emotions.

It’s the story of an eleven year old girl named Melody who has cerebral palsy. She is unable to walk, talk, or hold anything in her hands. She is intelligent, has a photograhic memory, and loves country music.

I was completely moved by her struggles. Inside, Melody is like any other young girl. She wants to make friends and wear nice outfits and make plans outside of school. Her exterior, however, limits the things she can do and the people who will approach her and treat her as a “normal” person. It was infuriating at times to read about the prejudices of people, as well as upsetting to realize I have judged people as quickly as anyone else.

Melody shares stories from her early childhood, as well as her transition into elementary school. An inclusion program at her school allows her to integrate with other children, but there she faces even greater struggles trying to fit in. I absolutely loved the realistic aspects in this story. Draper does not hold back. Sometimes we tend to shy away from portraying our honest human nature, but the author does the opposite. She puts all of our issues as humans on the spotlight, reminding us that we are doing something wrong by judging from appearances.

Near the end, I was left gasping at the edge of my seat — something I was not expecting. It takes a lot for a story to have this big of a reaction on me, but this one really did it. I was not expecting most of what happened, so kudos to the author.

The writing was great, but I felt like some aspects of the story didn’t reach their full potential. Regardless, this is a book worth reading. And Melody is a character worth meeting.

Writing Playlist #9 – Death

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Naked As We Came – Iron & Wine

One of us will die inside these arms
Eyes wide open, naked as we came
One will spread our ashes round the yard

If I Die Young – The Band Perry

Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

Oh Death – Noah Gundersen

From dust and ashes I have called you
And dust you shall become
In the end

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Sold by Patricia McCormick – Book Review

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This was not an easy read. It deals with real-life occurrences about young girls from poor countries who get sold into prostitution. This is the story of a particular thirteen-year old girl, Lakshmi, from Nepal, who was taken to India and forced to sell herself to pay back the price she was sold for.

“Trying to remember, I have learned, is like trying to clutch a handful of fog. Trying to forget, like trying to hold back the monsoon.”

This book is written in poems, and it flows easily from page to page. Sometimes the shorter chapters left me gaping at the page, astounded. There was so much told with so little words. Lakshmi is a normal girl, with an endearing innocence and playfulness, and it is gut-wrenching to witness her essence being destroyed. It was a very powerful read.

The most tragic thing about this book is the reality of it all. Lakshmi’s story isn’t one of a kind, and it isn’t just fiction. Human trafficking is a serious issues, and it happens every day. It is just heartbreaking and horrible to image these poor lives being shattered so mercilessly.

I think this book is important. I think it’s important to be aware of these issues that exist in our world.

Writing Playlist #8-Growing Up

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Innocent by Taylor Swift

Wasn’t it easier in your lunchbox days?/Always a bigger bed to crawl into/Wasn’t it beautiful when you believed in everything?/And everybody believed in you?

Playground by Sia

I don’t  wanna grow old/Bring me all the toys you can find/You don’t wanna grow up/You can be my partner in crime

Landslide by Fleetwood Mac

But time makes you bolder/Even children get older/And I’m getting older too

Livin’ On a Prayer by Bon Jovi

Take my hand and we’ll make it/I swear/Whoa, livin’ on a prayer

Growing up (Sloane’s Song) by Macklemore and Ed Sheeran

Times are changing/I know/But who am I/I’m the person you become/If I’m still growing up, up, up, up

My Wish by Rascall Flatts

My wish for you is that this life becomes all that you want it to/Your dreams stay big/Your worries stay small/You never need to carry more than you can hold

Lonely World by Limp Bizkit

Life is just a big fat riddle/So figure it out/Always thinking that you know/But you don’t really know/You know?

Dammit by Blink 182

But everybody’s gone/And I’ve been here for too long/To face this on your own/Well I guess this is growing up

Wake Up by Arcade Fire

Someone told me not to cry/But now I’m older/My heart’s colder/And I can see that it’s a lie

All These Things That I’ve Done by The Killers

Another head aches/Another heart breaks/I am so much older than I can take

What’s My Age Again? by Blink 182

Nobody likes you when you’re 23/And are still more amused by TV shows/What the hell is ADD?/My friends say I should act my age/What’s my age again?

High School Never Ends by Bowling for Soup

And then when you graduate/You take a look around and you say, “Hey, wait!”/This is the same as where I just came from/I thought it was over/Oh, that’s just great

Character Spotlight #8

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book

Name: Cassie Logan

Books: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Series) by Mildred D Taylor

Get to Know Her: Coming from a black family living in Mississippi at the height of the Depression, Cassie has a tough life, and she doesn’t completely understand why. She’s nine, the only girl out of the four children of the Logan family. She has a hot temper and a smart mouth, but she loves her family and is fiercely protective over them.

Why I Love Her: I first loved Cassie simply because of how perfect her sibling relationships were. While they annoyed and got into fights with each other, they were still protective of each other. But Cassie is smart and loyal and sassy and I really love not only her but her entire family.

Favorite Quote: What had happened to T.J. in the night I did not understand, I knew that it would not pass. And I cried for those things which had happened in the night and would not pass.

Why Is Cancer Romanticized?

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cancerribbons

Cancer is a terrible disease that can change a person’s life. We hear about it all the time. It’s true that there are treatments and medicine that can help, but the battle is often rough and there is no guarantee that the person will make it. It affects not only the person diagnosed, but their loved ones.

So, why are we romanticizing this terrible disease we read in books?

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Writing Playlist #7-Teenagers

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Dancing Queen-Abba

You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen

Edge of Seventeen-Stevie Nicks

I went forth with an old age/Desire to please/On the edge of seventeen

We are Young-FUN

Tonight, we are young/So let’s set the world on fire/We can burn brighter than the sun

Smells Like Teen Spirit-Nirvana

I’m worse at what I do best/And for this gift I feel blessed/Our little group has always been/And always will until the end

These Streets-Bastille

Oh we have stained these walls/With our mistakes and flaws/But even if we won’t admit it to ourselves/We’ll walk upon these streets and think of little else

Fifteen-Taylor Swift

When you’re fifteen and somebody tells you they love you/You’re gonna believe them/And when you’re fifteen feeling like there’s nothing to figure out/But count to ten/Take it in

Anna Sun-Walk the Moon

We got no money, but we got heart/We’re gonna rattle this ghost town/This house is falling apart

Kids-Mikky Ekko

Taking on the wind cause we never learn/Start a fire just to watch it burn/Over and over/Kids, Kids/Kids are gonna do what they want

Under Pressure-Queen

It’s the terror of knowing/What this world’s about/Watching some good friends/Screaming, “Let me out!”

I’m Just a Kid-Simple Plan

Everyone’s got somewhere to go/And they’re gonna leave here on my own/And here it goes/I’m just a kid/And life is a nightmare/I’m just a kid/I know that it’s not fair

Power Hungry Animals-The Apache Relay

Everyone’s tellin’ me what to do/And I, I can’t choose/And everybody wants control/To hang me up by their noose/But if they only knew/They’d laugh and dance like fools

Troublemaker-Weezer

I’m a troublemaker/Never been a faker/Doing things my own way/And never giving up

Teenagers-My Chemical Romance

The boys and the girls in the clique/The awful names that they stick/You’re never gonna fit in much, kid

Perfect-Simple Plan

And now I try hard to make it/I just wanna make you proud/I’m never gonna be good enough for you/I can’t pretend that I’m alright/And you can’t change me

Another Brick in the Wall-Pink Floyd

We don’t need no education/We don’t need no thought control/No dark sarcasm in the classroom/Teachers leave them kids alone

Adolescents-Incubus

I’m feeling overwhelmed, overwhelmed/It’s getting out of line, line, line/I know I’m not alone/Just adolescents, you and I/It doesn’t make me feel any better

The Anthem-Good Charlotte

Go to college, a university/Get a real job/That’s what they said to me/But I could never live the way they want