Monthly Archives: August 2014

Eleanor and Park {Book Review}

This is the best YA book I’ve read in a while. I mean, I read a few others that were pretty good, and I’ll get to talking abut them, but this was just far and away one of the best ones. It’s not really the kind of book I would re-read, but it was one of those books that just really got it. What it’s like to be a teenager, I mean.

It’s terrible and frustrating, and you feel like people are always thinking about you badly, and sometimes you’re right, but most of the time, they’re just thinking abut themselves. I can’t say a lot about this book without giving away spoilers, but here are some things that are true:

The prose is excellent. Each character is distinct, and it feels like your best friend is confiding in you, the whole time. The crises are realistic; this is not a book about a town waiting with bated breath to hear of their prom queen. This book is about surviving and falling in love even when you don’t totally mean to. It’s about Darcy loving Lizzie before he even knew he liked her, and not knowing what to do about it. It’s about the fact that some adults can be trusted and some can’t, and you don’t always know who belongs in what camp.

This book has a ton of music references, comic books, and some sort of fighting that I have already forgotten the name of. But really, this book is not about fighting, or heroes, or even music – it’s about how all of these things bring two wildly different people together. It’s a book abut love, fear, and escape, and it is simply excellent.

I Hope You Are Finally Free

Yesterday, I grieved for my captain; my genie who made all my wishes come true. I mourned the passing of the influential figure I saw on the silver screen, and the loss of years of laughs yet to come. I grieved for the man who died, a hero of my youth.

Today, however, I feel sorrow only for the man who made a living making other laugh, while himself living without the happiness he brought to so many. I feel for the comedian whose final act was a tragedy, who lived in pain for years. Perhaps he sought freedom in death, perhaps happiness, perhaps peace – I mourn for the person who was unable to find those things in life.

I didn’t write about Robin Williams at first because I didn’t know what to say. Like many others, I did not realize how much he was suffering, and even if I had, it is unlikely I could have changed anything. The truth is Robin Williams was a stranger to me, and while I can feel sorrow and regret or a life lost, there is little I could have done to change the outcome.

But there are so many people in my life for whom I can and will offer support. Please, please, please, if you’re suffering, know that I am here, willing to lend a crying shoulder, a listening ear, a helping hand. Don’t suffer in silence, or smile because you feel like you have to; I can promise that I will accept you as you are, no pretending necessary.

R.I.P. Robin Williams. You have been well loved, and will be well missed.