Every Day

    “Every Day” by David Levithan was an interesting read. I did not know what to expect from the book. I happened to find A’s life quite an adventurous one. It is crazy to me how they are used to traveling from one body after another every day, no pun intended, and be fine with it. After doing that for 16 years, I guess I would become numb to the process, as well. I love how Levithan titled the chapters as days, such as Day 6019 or Day 5931. It is interesting because it leaves the reader room to figure out how many years it has been since A has been body-snatching, if the reader chooses to. I also inferred that A has no idea or intentions to keep up with the specific date; they only worry about the time. It is also interesting that A has no gender, and if they do, they do not take time to explain it, mostly because they do not think gender matters. That claim is seen through them falling in love with both a male(in the past) and now female, Rhiannon. And it is crazy to see how falling in love with Rhiannon causes A to start changing up his own rules and morality. They are willing to do anything to do anything to be close to Rhiannon, even if it means leaving someone stranded on the highway, like Nathan. They start becoming reckless with their actions, all because they are in love with Rhiannon; it is like the old saying “love will make you do crazy things”.

    I also knew about the book having a movie interpretation, but I never got to see it, so I one day just looked up a review over it just to get the summary of it. I will leave the link to it if you feel like watching; it is hilarious. Honestly, the movie is far different from the book. The book had Rhiannon feel uncomfortable when A was taking possession of a female, seeing how as if she cringed when A tried to hold her hand, not seeing that Rhiannon does not desire to be physical with just anyone like A can. However, in the movie, it seemed like Rhiannon was down for whatever, as long as it was A. Perhaps I would have to watch the movie myself, but from the summary, I can already tell that the book is much better. It is just more realistic, while the movie seems a little on the fairy tale side of things.

Link to Every Day Movie Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciX57_wwnJo

“Monster”

    “Monster” was worth the read, in my opinion. It is rare to witness someone who has had nothing to do with a crime come out with the verdict “Not Guilty”. However, situations as drastic as these, and the people around them during that time, can hinder a person’s opinion of themselves. I, personally, was immersed in this story. The way that Myers wrote this story made me feel like I was a part of the jury. That entire time, I was hoping that Steve would be seen as innocent. The way that the story was told was so personal, that I almost believed that it was indeed an autobiography. I loved that it was personal and that it was written in the form of a screenplay because, to me, it showed more of Steve’s character. The screenplay form did not confuse me whatsoever, as I am used to writing dialogue in screenplay. I stumbled on the extra details(camera directions and abbreviations such as CU for “Close Up”, but I managed to understand what was happening, nonetheless. Even though “Monster” is not an autobiography, I am sure that there is someone out there that can relate to the story because it has happened to them, as well. For me to mistake it for something that actually happened, that lets me know that this is, indeed, someone else’s story.

    The characters in “Monster” made me feel a whirl of emotions. I liked how Myers did not make Steve the type of character to have so much hope in being found innocent and be all positive and determined. Even though he knew himself that he was innocent, he understood that the other people in court saw him as something else, a “monster”, all because he was in the defendant’s seat. Though O’Brien showed that she had some doubts of winning the case, she still gave it her all to convince the jury that Steve had nothing to do with the crime. She would even motivate Steve to “keep his head up” and to not think that he is a monster, seeing how she crossed out the word “monster” after Steve wrote it on paper. Steve’s parents, though questioning the people Steve hangs around with, still stood by his side, like how parents are supposed to. While King and Bobo were not afraid of admitting what they had did wrong, admitting to every action they took and showing that they could care less about what the jury has to say about them, Cruz is that one criminal that tries to create distance from the crime, or at least try to paint himself as someone who “had no choice”. It is understandable why Cruz said what he said in court; like Steven, he is also only a child trying to get away from the situation. These characters were illustrated perfectly, and it was made easy to see their perfections and flaws. Overall, “Monster” depicts how the jury system works and the struggles that people have to go through within a trial, and I am so glad that I got the chance to read it.

Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones

When I went to the reading for “Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones”, I was expecting to hear Hicks read a part of his book and nothing more. Because this was my first time going to a reading, I was not thinking about anything else. It was great to not only listen to him read a part of his book, but it was also neat to listen to the makings of the book and the struggles that he had to go through to achieve his goal, regardless that I had to hear it the second time. The reading enhanced my understanding of the work because he focused on explaining the part he was reading. Every couple of sentences, he would stop himself, and he would clarify the event that was unfolding in the scene. He gave a little time to talk about the background information, and he explained the characters’ actions and thinking process in the scene. He even read it in a certain tone to set the theme of it. Hearing Hicks read his own work increases my understanding of the work, entirely, because I am listening to the book how the author himself wants the book to be read and interpreted.

Coming Out

When it is time to “come out”, it can be a very scary, interesting, or exciting moment. For many years, society has stuck to the belief that a man should be with a woman and a woman should be with a man; how will the family member or friend react once you tell them that you are actually gay, bi, lesbian, or pan-sexual? Coming out should not have to be such a hassle, but the society has shaped itself to where anyone or anything that is not heterosexual, or does not yell out “We support heterosexuality!”, is a disgrace or not normal. It is because of this mind set, coming out is probably the last thing that some people want to do. Yes, it seems like there are more accepting people out there, nowadays, but the issue is still present. Too many people who have came out turned out to either be kicked out of the house, kicked out of the family entirely, or worse, and heaven forbid, not able to see the light of day again. Such actions should not even be thought of. How does someone keep a straight face and say “You are not my child, anymore” all because their child revealed to be gay? Sexuality should not be taken so seriously to where a person’s life or relationship with people is on the line. If someone likes something that you are not really interested in, so what? Are they hurting you? Are they affecting your life somehow? It shouldn’t affect you to where you shun that person, forever. Coming out should be celebrated; that person should be accepted for who they are. People of the LGBT community come out because they are proud of who they are and they want the world to know that they are here, and all they are asking for is to be seen as everyone else.

“Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” did an excellent job using “Coming Out” as a main plot. It presented the tornado of emotions that occurs when coming out to someone. It is beautiful to see that the person is accepted and to see someone else is willing to come out, as well, bringing in the comfort and excitement.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

 “The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender” is a piece of magical realism that I was not ready for. However, I am glad that I got the chance to read it. Even though the magic and reality are both understood and important in this story, I still could not help but to find some symbolism in the story. I am not saying that magical realism cannot have symbolism in it; I am saying that finding symbolism was the first thing I did before and after realising that what was being told was actually happening in the story and not being used solely as figurative language. I compared some of what happens to what happens in a person’s life and the struggles they go through.

    Ava, being the only person to have wings and therefore making her feel like she is the “odd” one from the rest of the family, made me think about families in society. There are people who differ from the rest of their family, whether it be their physical appearance or the way they think. Because of these differences, that person will feel left out and feel like their differences are flaws or burdens. Ava changes her behavior as someone outside her family, Nathaniel Sorrows, begins to see her wings as an attraction, as something beautiful. Nowadays, in social media, a lot of people rely their worth on likes, views, and comments. There is just something about getting so many compliments, so many views, and so many likes from people who are not a part of the person’s family that makes them feel worthy and wanted. The feathers that Ava leaves behind for Nathaniel to find are like the many posts people upload for their followers to see and shower them with more compliments.

    One gripping scene that had me thinking for a long time was when Ava was attacked by Nathaniel and having her wings chopped off, right after. Everyday, there is someone getting hurt or are hurting, whether it be physical, emotional, or both. That heavy feeling of pain and despair can equate to someone’s wings being taken away from them. After someone gets harmed, a piece of them is shattered and taken away, and they would most likely feel helpless. However, after taking the time to heal and surrounding themselves with the ones who love and care for them, they begin to feel that one piece of them regenerating and then feeling like they can get back on their feet, doing what they love most, just like Ava growing back her wings and finally able to fly.

Getting to Know Your Past

    At one point in our lives, we all question our history. We crave to know more about our ancestors and how they lived their lives. This type of curiosity creeps on us, occasionally, and sometimes what we find may either bring us happiness or sorrow; either way, we feel more connected to our ancestors, and ourselves.

    A Girl Called Echo visualizes what this experience is like. Echo just lives her simple life, and all it takes is for her teacher to discuss the event, the Pemmican Wars, that involved her ancestors, the Metis, for her to become intrigued. She begins to doing her own research, reading books to learn more about the Metis, their society, their culture, and the events they were involved in. Nowadays, it seems that not many of us become interested in their history. We just listen to what a history teacher or read what a Facebook post has to say about a certain part of history that involves a group of people(that group of people that may be our ancestors), and we just simply take their word for it, without even looking into it ourselves if that information is even true.

    It is quick and easy to just simply believe in what we hear; however, there’s a possibility that the information could be false or altered to fit the person’s bias. That is why it is important to do our own research, to confirm that information or to correct it. There are too many times that someone simply manipulates a piece of history to their own liking, share that information, and for thousands of people to actually believe them without giving it a second thought.

    Yes, it is good to see that someone is at least interested in what someone has to say about their history, willing to hear whatever the messenger has to tell them, but it’s best to not just take their word for it. Think about it, what if they could be lying? Or what if the information is false, and perhaps even they don’t realize it? The internet pertains a lot of information, but most of it is just a secondary source. Books are the best, primary sources to go to, for books was here much before the internet. That’s why Echo was reading a lot more books. She knew that the books would have a lot more information than what a scholar has to say about it, and it is more confidential.

    So is it okay to take someone’s word on a certain topic? When should we question if the information we are being told is accurate? I personally think that it is fine to hear what someone has to say; anyone and everyone has the freedom to express what they have learned and what they think. At the same, I also think that we should always question we are being told, especially if we do not know it, ourselves, prior to hearing it come from someone else’s mouth. The more we do our own research, the more connected we feel to our ancestors, the more we know about ourselves. The past forever echoes to us; it is our choice to either hear it for ourselves or simply ignore it.