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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter




When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school, bullies taunt and shove her. She can't go a day without fighting with her mother. And no matter how hard she tries, she can't make her best friend, Matt, fall in love with her. But Ashley also has something no one else does: a literal glimpse into the future. When Ashley looks into the mirror, she can see her twenty-three-year-old self.
Her older self has been through it all already--she endured the bullying, survived the heartbreak, and heard every ugly word her classmates threw at her. But her older self is also keeping a dark secret: Something terrible is about to happen to Ashley. Something that will change her life forever. Something even her older self is powerless to stop.

Wow....so I finished this book a few weeks ago. And I'm still having trouble putting my thoughts into words. I'd like to start off by saying that I think if I had read this book BEFORE I became a mother, I might have had a different perspective. It breaks my heart to think of ANY child going through what the main character goes through. Since I was not a victim of bullying in school, I'm not sure how I would have related to the characters in this book.  I was one of the "middle" kids in school. I wasn't one of the "cool" kids....but I didn't get picked on either. I had plenty of friends but also still felt left out at times.
I think I had a pretty normal high school experience.
But that's not the case for every kid.
And that's not the case for our main character Ashley.

I had a hard time getting into this book. In fact, I read the first chapter, put the book down, and didn't pick it back up for a month. But once I got into the meat of the story...I found that I couldn't put it down. I had to see what happened. There was a bit of a supernatural twist towards the end, I'm still not sure if I liked that or not. I would recommend this book but it's not a "light" read at all. What I do think this book accomplishes more than anything....is putting yourself in someone else's shoes.  I am going to make it a point to re-read this book when my children are teenagers.  

Final thought.  This book was heavy and it had my heart racing and I wanted to yell at the character to get her out of bad situations. I don't think I can articulate how this book truly made me feel but I definitely recommend reading it at least once. I plan on reading it multiple times.

A paperback version is being published in June and is available through your favorite bookseller.
The e-reader version is currently only available in Kindle and if you have Amazon prime I believe you can read it for free.  Add it to your summer reading list....I'm still processing it.  Even a few weeks later.
I am looking forward to more books by this author.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Prom Proposal: Romance is NOT Dead!


I find it interesting that my last post was about Valentine's Day...and here I find myself writing once again about romance.

Today I got to witness something pretty cool.  It put a smile on my face for the remainder of the day.
I got to witness.....a Prom Proposal.

Have you heard of these?  They are basically elaborate events planned by someone to ask another person to go to the prom. Pictures and videos are being posted on social media all over the place, do a quick google search and you will find a few stories.

BUT....witnessing one in person was a lot of fun.

I was helping out at one of our high schools to prep for an exam that is coming up. It's a lot of time hanging around in hallways waiting for someone to need some tech support.  It was while waiting in a hallway that I noticed a group of teenage boys in one hallway.
Usually...this would mean mischief.

But in this case, they had balloons...and flowers...and a banner.
The banner said "PROM?".

It was a Prom Proposal.  I started chatting with these guys to find out the story. This was not the first time this particular guy had done something like this.  For Homecoming he had carved pumpkins that spelled out "Homecoming?" and then lit the jack-o-lanterns for his would-be date.  The plan this time was that she would be surprised going to her class. She always took the same route to get to her next class, and they took up half the hallway to surprise her.  There were 112 balloons. One balloon for every day they had been dating.  And he was holding a bouquet of pink roses. He had five friends helping him out. They planned on singing a song as she approached.

As these guys waited in the hallway for this girl....there were many comments:
"How are you ever going to top this?"
"If this is how you ask a girl to prom, how would you ask one to marry you?"
"How much money did you spend on the balloons and that banner? You know you will need to spend more on the prom right?"
"This is dumb, why would you do this?"

All of those comments were from ADULTS.  Every single teenager who came by had something positive to say.  I wanted to smack all the negative-nilly adults.  Why would you discourage this?

I told these guys to always continue doing things like this, never stop. And I also told them that they don't have to "top" this or do one better.  As long as they keep doing it, their girlfriend or wife or whoever they end up with, will ALWAYS feel special. They could do the same things over and over, as long as they are still done. Don't stop being romantic and doing nice things for others.
Two of the guys practicing...

As predicted, she was very surprised, she said yes and there was a lot of yelling and cheering.  As kids headed to their classes the guys passed out the balloons to all the kids walking by.

What I liked most about this event.
1. The guys' friends helping him out. Not all teenage guys would help their friend do something so sweet and romantic.  And they were super excited about it too, very into it. In fact when an extra friend showed up, he asked "what can I do? I want to help!".

2. And the most?  This girl....was already dating this guy.  She was a sure thing, he KNEW she was going to say yes. He could have just asked her with a text and she probably would have said yes. He could have just assumed they were going together.  Instead...he took that extra step and made it memorable and romantic.  Even though he had already "won her over".....he took the time for some romance.

That girl must be floating down the hallways today.  She must feel special.  She must feel cherished.
I really hope that guy (and his friends) NEVER lose that romantic spirit.

Romance is still alive!  And I have a little more hope for the next generation...

I apologize for the blurry pictures, I was in a rush to capture the event before the bell rang. What a great bunch of kids.  And whatever happened to just getting a note passed to you in class with a check the box for yes or no?

Happy Friday everyone!