Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Before I Fall

If you were to ask me which book every teen should read, I would tell you Before I Fall. The book came to me through the First Look program. I picked it up and couldn't stop reading. It was one of those books that you have to read just five more minutes when you know you should get to sleep because you are getting up really early for work. Like a hundred pages later, you look at the clock and totally cringe because it's 2:00 am and you have to be up at 4:00am. Not good for sleep, but wow, and excellent book.

Mean girls. Every high school has them, right? In this book, one of our mean girls goes to a party and ends up dying in an accident. When she wakes up, she starts to relive the last day of her life. She goes to bed again and wakes up to the same scenario. Again.  As I was reading, I kept waiting for her to just do some kind of Pollyanna moment where she feels bad for all the things she did, but that doesn't happen. She keeps making mean girl mistakes and stumbles through her days, slowly realizing that the smallest thing she does can have a ripple effect on the people around her.

The book is a little like the movie Groundhog Day, but a whole lot deeper. As our character goes through her days, she starts to get that her friends may not be the people she thought they were, and the girl who they had been bullying for years may have more worth than she ever knew.

The point I took away from this book is this: You never know how the smallest thing you do (or don't do) will effect someone. Events spiral out like a pebble on the surface of a pond, and everything and everyone is connected.

I think of this book as I watch the local news about bullying legislation and hope that changes can be made in the way bullying is handled in schools.

For my part, I will try to tell everyone about this book, and Jay Asher's 13 Reasons Why and hope my suggestion might be a pebble that ripples out to help someone else.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wearing purple to stop the bullying.

Following the invitation I recieved on Facebook, I wore purple to show my support for the kids who lost their lives as a result of bullying. The news in my area (Houston) is full of kids who have been bullied at school for one reason or another. Maybe they aren't cool enough, or maybe they just don't wear new clothes or have a different religious belief. The lists are really endless. As a kid, I wore funny hand me down clothes because that was what my family could afford. Add the tendency to be shy and you had a walking target. I still remember how that felt.

Let me say that at that time, it was hard to see beyond the kid who used to chase me home every day after school, or the kids who took delight in stealing my jacket in graphics class, or goosing me in the stairwell. I hated it. Misery was my middle name.

Getting through school and into your real life is the best success. That is the message I have for kids. It does get better. The people that are around you now that make your life hell, won't be there forever. The light at the end of the tunnel doesn't have to be a train. It can be focusing on your dreams and seeing past it. Success is the best revenge. Let me tell you. You won't even remember those kids names, and if you concentrate on you and what you want, you will find your way past it all.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


How many of you were bullied as kids? I know I was. It was horrible. Listening to the news and glancing over magazine covers makes me think about how hard it is to be a kid who maybe doesn't have the newest clothes, or for what ever reason doesn't fit in. I can still remember one girl that my classmates razzed even more than they did me, and I wonder what became of her. They called her horrible names because they said she smelled funny. As for myself, I recall not wearing the latest clothes and being shy. A complete target for kids who liked to pick on me. When I think back, it was a miracle I made it out of junior high school in one piece.

Were you bullied as a kid? How did you get through it? I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What are you reading today?

I have an incredible bookpile. Okay, more than one actually. This is just my nightstand.My nightstand.

Kim Derting comes to The Woodlands.

Have you tried The Body Finder yet? A definite must read from author Kim Derting.

Every dead thing has a signature. What if you could hear it? Sense it? Violet Ambrose can. She senses the echos they leave behind, and the imprints they leave on their killers. Soon Violet finds herself wrapped in a mystery, with a serial killer threatening all that she holds dear. Can she use her unique power to stop him, or will he find her first?

This was a great book! Loved it. It was original and kept me guessing every step of the way. Meeting the author last summer was a blast! I can't wait to see what her next book will be!