Quite some time has passed since I read the first book in this series. I remember being eager to read the next one and find out what would happen to C...moreQuite some time has passed since I read the first book in this series. I remember being eager to read the next one and find out what would happen to Chloe and her friends. I have to say, though, I was a little disappointed. The Awakening didn't excite me and keep me in suspense like the first book. There were some developments in the next installement of the series that I found interesting, but I just felt like the story was lacking. The relationships between Chloe and her fellow supernaturals are changing and becoming more dynamic, and this book seemed to highlight the awkward transition between strangers and close friends. I'm hoping the third book in the series is more exciting than this one.(less)
Columbine has been sitting on my shelf for quite some time. After seeing rave reviews from my online book club, I decided it was time to read it. I wa...moreColumbine has been sitting on my shelf for quite some time. After seeing rave reviews from my online book club, I decided it was time to read it. I was in middle school when the tragedy at Columbine High took place. In fact, I remember watching footage on TV after coming home from school. I remember sitting in my living room with tears running down my face as I watched what was unfolding on TV.
Columbine was so many things. It was informative, eye-opening, well-written, and well-researched. I really like that it corrected the major misconceptions fueled by the media. There was so much that the public didn't know.
The author did a fantastic job of taking the reader back to that tragic day. I felt like he allowed me to get to know the victims and their families. Some parts were gut-wrenching, as I imagined how I would've felt in that moment.
I know the main question on everyone's mind when they think of Columbine is "Why?" Everyone wants to know why Eric and Dylan went on their killing spree. Everyone wants to know why the victims were targeted. I personally don't think we'll ever know the answer to this. The only people who can provide that answer are Eric and Dylan, and we clearly won't be hearing from them. We can speculate as to what caused them to take such drastic measures, but we'll never know for sure. I feel like the research and information provided in this book gives a solid, plausible explanation for Eric and Dylan's motives. I remember thinking that blaming the Columbine tragedy on bullying, violent movies and music, and terrible parenting was too easy. I wasn't surprised at all to find that these "causes" of the attack at Columbine were easily disputed.
I don't think it's appropriate to say that I enjoyed this book, but I did appreciate the information that I gained from it. (less)
Having heard a lot about this book, I started it with high expectations. I must say that I was not disappointed. I absolutely loved this book! One of...moreHaving heard a lot about this book, I started it with high expectations. I must say that I was not disappointed. I absolutely loved this book! One of the things I liked was how the book was laid out. Given the subject matter and what happened, I felt like stretching the story out throughout an entire school year was appropriate. I don't think Melinda's story would've been done justice if it had been condensed into a matter of days or weeks.
What really made me love this book was how accurate Melinda's character seemed. Not only was she dealing with the transition into high school, but she also had to contend with the loss of her best friends, poor relationships with her parents, and a sexual assault. I felt that Anderson did a fantastic job capturing just what a person can go through after an experience like that. As a sexual assault counselor, I've worked with many Melindas. As I was reading Speak, I could picture in my mind all of those girls sitting across from me struggling with one of the most difficult parts of overcoming sexual violence: talking about it.
Something I appreciated about the story is that Melinda didn't tell anyone right away about what happened to her. It's been my experience that many people assume a sexual assault victim runs to their parents, friends, or police right away to report what has happened to them. Wrong. Many of my clients waited days, weeks, months, and even years before telling a single soul. Many of them only told by accident. I think this was an important piece to Melinda's story. Talking about sexual assault is extremely difficult, especially considering the stigma that often surrounds it. Not only was Melinda frightened, but her perpetrator was a popular guy at high school and she had been drinking. Who would believe her? Unfortunately, it's way too common for a young girl to be sexually assaulted and then accused of just being "mad" or "jealous" after reporting what has happened or accused of consenting simply because she had been drinking. I really connected with Melinda and felt sad that she had to face this alone.