Somebody Up There Hates You

1. The title of this book is Somebody Up The Hates You., written by Hollis Seamon with 238 pages. I am currently on page 120.
5. “When I heard that mom was really sick,  at first I was scared. Funnily enough,  I was worried about her health”. This quote stood out to me because Richie,  the narrator,  has cancer, and it is humorous that he is now worrying about the sickness of his mom. Also,  it shows a softer side of Richie and introduces his mom into the book.
2. The protagonist is Richard Casey or Richie. His main conflict is his terminal Cancer and how to make the most of out of his last days. I think the possible endings could be that he and his friend Sylvie fall in love and the Sylvie dies and Richie’s Cancer goes away.
4. I would definitely recommend this book because it is a different look at terminal illnesses. The perspective shown through Richie is such a unique outlook and I think his personality makes this novel better than Fault in our Stars.
6. The cultural setting of Somebody Up There Hates You is present day, Caucasian family, but with a single mother and an Italian family.  Richie isn’t very religious because of his cancer often saying he has SUCH Syndrome (Somebody Up There Hates You) .

Little Bee

1. The title of the novel I’m reading is Little Bee, written by Chris Cleave,  with 266 pages.
5. A quote that stood out to me was “we must all see scars as beauty.  Ok?… A scar means I survived.” This stood out to me because it gave me a completely new perspective on how to view pain and suffering. It made me see how things that cause me pain can make me stronger.
4. I would definitely recommend Little bee to anyone,  because it was very eye opening to me. It changed my perspective on things like pain and gave me an insight to the affects of Europeans had in Africa.
6. The cultural setting in Little Bee is one of discrimination. Little Bee is a Nigerian refugee in England where the British don’t look too fondly on her kind.
10. I want the most satisfied with the ending because it left me hanging. Now I will forever be on the edge of my seat hoping that this fictional character was not killed. However,  I can see why Cleave choose to end the book like this, because if he gave us the answer and with it closure?, the novel would slip from your mind more easily because it is resolved. But now I will think about it often because I don’t know and I will endlessly try to deduce it in my mind.

An Open Letter to an Author

   Dear Chis Cleave,

Little Bee has changed my outlook on pain and suffering. With the detailed telling of the painful incidents of Little Bee’s (or Udo’s) life, you also let her resilience shine through.

  “We must all see scars as beauty … A scar means, I survived.” (p.9)

   That quote in just the ninth page of the novel captivated me; it rewired my entire thought process dealing with sorrow. Now pain is just something that will one day be a memory of everything that I have wroked through and everything that I have accomplished. Pain is no longer something for me to complain about, or use as an excuse to let things get in my way. Tears may come, because tears have the power of drowning the dull ache that pain can leave inside of you, but tears will no longer drown me also. This message was echoed throughout the book, and most notably in the last page when Little Bee, Sarah, and Charlie (Batman) are on the beach in Nigerian, the very setting of her sister’s death.

“I felt the hard hand of a soldier on my arm but I did not turn around.”(p. 266) Instead she watched Charlie, accepted by the children of Nigeria, as she watched them she “laughed and laughed and laughed until the sound of the sea was drowned.”(p.266)  

   Little Bee did not make a scene. She did not complain; she only appreciated the joy she was given, and looked to one last scene of such a feeling with Charlie and the Nigerian children on the beach. This scene says quite a lot about strength by showing Little Bee laugh in such a moment of despair and sorrow. As the reader I cannot know of Little Bee’s fate and can only hope for the best for this fictional character who is now entagled in my life and thoughts, but from prior scenes in the book, I know of the harsh reality of the policemen of Nigeria. That is why this last scene is so powerful, because it embodies Little Bee’s strength and belief that pain is beauty. 

“…a scar is never ugly. That is what scar makers want us to think,” (p.9)

This statement is why Little Bee laughs when facing her fate in p. 266, because she is standing up to the “scar makers”; she is defying them. And that is beautiful.

Entertainment Industry

 The industry of entertainment holds in its hands the young, impressionable minds of millions of children, and the power to influence them one way or the other. Young people, the base of society, are engrossed in the entertainment industry; always wanting to see the next new movie or TV show, or the latest hot mess that Lady Gaga has tried to pull off as an outfit. This involvement gives the entertainment industry full power to cause damage to our society.

Justin Bieber, who is loved to a point of hysteria by thousands of teenage girls, showed the power of the entertainment industry when he did drugs. His fans in response to seeing a picture of him smoking weed, began posting pictures of themselves cutting to get him to stop, using the hashtag #Cut4Bieber. The influence made on those girls by a popstar caused them to harm themselves and has left them with lifelong scars on their bodies. 

In the 1990s, a string of murders was set off by the horror movie Scream. The murderers felt encouraged by the movie, and decided to replicate the murders from the movie to honor it. Many other murderers feel encouraged by the abundance crime scene investigation shows, such as CSI, NCIS, Pysch, Law & Order, Criminal Minds, Elementary, and so on. The way murder and other harsh crimes are publicized in our society makes people who to be noticed feel more capable of commiting crimes. Many serial killers want the attention that comes with killing: being a household name, the news broadcasts, articles written about the interworkings of their minds.

The media and enertainment industry holds every possibility of ruining our society. Everyday negative influences are shown to thousands of youth through entertainment, and no producer could possibly know if their movie will be the one that inspires a killing spree by an abused kid in California. The entertainment industry is like a game of Russian Roulette, you just have to pull the trigger and hope for the best.

Reading Life

My reading life is like the imagination of a young child, full of endless possibilities, wanting to experience everything. Every book that I read the back cover of, I want to experience, to know the characters, and live through the plot.

Books I’ve read this semester:

  1. Sex Lives of Cannibals
  2. Headhunters on my Doorstep
  3. Mexican Whiteboy
  4. Ella Minnow Pea
  5. Room
  6. Let the Great World Spin
  7. Pride &Prejudice
  8. What the Dog Saw
  9. Better Off Friends
  10. Romiette and Julio
  11. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
  12. An Invisible Thread

 

 

Room was an amazing book, written from the point of view from a child who grew up in a small room because of his mother’s kidnapper seven years earlier. It showed a different side to abduction situations by writing from a child’s point of view and using simple language, as well as referring to nouns, such as room, as if they were people, like Room.

Mexican Whiteboy is another great book. It is about an amazing baseball player who feels like he can’t belong because of his skin color. His nerves get to him on the baseball mound, when he’s around whiteboys, and because of this he doesn’t make the team. The book takes you through his journey of living with his Mexican family for the summer, and learning how to control his nerves. This book helped me learn to not be nervous before volleyball games; it was very empowering.

Other books I enjoyed were: let the Great World Spin, Better Off Friends, and Sex Lives of Cannibals.

                                                     

At the beginning of the school year, I said that I would read 21 books. Right now I am a little over halfway there, so I believe I will make my year goal.

I Checked out a few books for reading over the break: Redeeming Love, P.S. I Love You, Of Mice and Men, One Day , and Nicholas Sparks’ At First Sight and True Believer (See the romance pattern?)

Passion Project

Passion Project

We are doing a Passion Project in English, about a topic that you feel strongly about. Having someone in the military, I was very interested in how I could help veterans with PTSD. However, as I went through my research, I began to find that places where you could volunteer to help those with PTSD were either: where civilians receive treatment also, or where all veterans are treated. I decided that I just wanted to help our veterans, and went from there. I have made a website to encourage people to donate and volunteer at the VA Hospitals in the North Texas Area. When the 2014 calendar comes out I plan on getting a group together to go to some events nearby. I hope that it is no where near over.