in a sentence or so: the human race survived a zombie war, but only just. one man interviews survivors to explain how this happened and to preserve th...morein a sentence or so: the human race survived a zombie war, but only just. one man interviews survivors to explain how this happened and to preserve the narrative for future generations.
recognizing the survival of the human race against the walking dead as something near miraculous, Brooks walks the reader through several phases of 'The Crisis'. starting with warnings, leading to blame, The Great Panic, the eventual turn of the tide and how the human race ultimately came out in the end. through a series of personal interviews, we learn more about how the world, and our civilized society, handled the dead coming back to life.
i've heard great things about this book, but outside of "it's good" and "it's about zombies", i wasn't sure what to expect. i was pleasantly surprised to find the interviews of different people as a way to explain motivations, details of events, and survival techniques during the war. this is a work of fiction that feels as if it's from a parallel universe, or the future. the authentic human responses and completely plausible societal challenges at a world-wide threat to existence were completely absorbing. there were events that were referenced by different interviewees that helped to connect all of their stories together and created a convincing fictional documentary.
somewhere between a documentary, a collective memoir, and a (fictional) historical document, this book perfectly balances human emotional response with creative plot and plenty of morally gray conundrums. i was seriously impressed with the writing from so many unique voices, and even more so when the plot kept propelling itself forward.
if you're looking for a book that's rich in human emotion, challenges the way you think about society, and takes the walking dead as a catalyst for complete chaos in our world, give this one a try. i have no doubt you'll appreciate what the author is doing with this book.
fave quote: "A lie? It's okay. You can say it. Yes, they were lies and sometimes that's not a bad thing. Lies are neither bad nor good. Like a fire they can either keep you warm or burn you to death, depending on how they're used." (166)
fix er up: this definitely took me longer to read than expected. there were times i wanted to skip ahead but forced myself to stick with the pace of the book. i'm glad i did. (less)
in a sentence or so: Sophie, the eldest of three girls, is transformed into an old lady by the Witch of the Waste. while out and about trying to figur...morein a sentence or so: Sophie, the eldest of three girls, is transformed into an old lady by the Witch of the Waste. while out and about trying to figure out what to do about this predicament, she comes upon the wizard Howl's castle. he has a reputation for eating the souls of young girls, which isn't a big deal to her now that she's an old biddy. after moving in to the castle, however, Sophie finds her fate is more intertwined with the wizard's than she could have possibly known.
Sophie Hatter is the stereotypical oldest child - responsible, expert at breaking up fights between her two sisters, and the natural choice as the apprentice for the family hat business when her dad dies and leaves the business to her stepmother. it turns out that Sophie has quite a knack for the hat business, and her responsibilities increase as the popularity of her unique hats increases.
Sophie has heard rumors of the Witch of the Waste roaming around her town, but wizards and witches aren't anything unusual for Sophie. her sister was sent as a magical apprentice, and who hasn't heard the stories of the wizard Howl and his devouring of girl's souls? this knowledge, however, was not enough to prevent Sophie from getting quite a nasty spell placed on her after she unknowingly offended the witch. Sophie, in addition to being an old lady now, has a touch of cabin fever from the excessive hours in the hat shop and decides to stretch her geriatric limbs. it is on this stroll she forces her way into Howl's moving castle.
Sophie meets Michael, the apprentice of Howl, and he reluctantly lets her stay and warm herself by the fire and rest a bit. no ordinary fire greets Sophie, but rather a fire demon by the name of Calcipher. Calcipher is in an agreement with Howl that he immediately asks Sophie's help breaking so he can gain his freedom. she's not so sure about all this magical business, and she's especially not sure of Howl - who turns out to be an even greater handful than she anticipated. she talks her way into staying in the castle by cleaning and helping with some mending of clothes here and there. Sophie soon finds her place in the castle, but also finds that her fate is tied into Howl and the Witch of the Waste.
this was just meh for me. the plot alternated between cleverly revealed and plopped in your lap. the mythology was obviously thought out, but the way it was translated to the reader was not consistent. Sophie alternated between empowered and thoughtful with immature and annoying. i liked the overall idea of the story, the world Jones created, and the idea of the characters...but it just fell flat for the most part. there were some twists or plot points that gave the read some significant bumps on the interest scale, but that definitely ebbed and flowed with clunky parts.
fave quote: "'Dead?' said Sophie. She had a silly impulse to add, But she was alive an hour ago! And she stopped herself, because death is like that; people are alive until they die." (pg 253)
fix er up: some consistency with Sophie's character and the plot would have made a HUGE difference. (less)
in a sentence: Princess Elizabeth, the beautiful bastard child of Henry VIII, struggles through her sister Mary's persecution and her romantic trials...morein a sentence: Princess Elizabeth, the beautiful bastard child of Henry VIII, struggles through her sister Mary's persecution and her romantic trials through - and eventual abandonment - of marriage. All of this while she is waiting to become Queen of England.
The historical fiction novel is told from the point of view of Elizabeth herself, which creates a memoir sort of feel for the reader. Elizabeth faces some tough stuff, such as having to fake giving up her faith, watching her brother suffer and die on the throne, and then finally face a seemingly never ending persecution from her older sister (whom she already dislikes a great deal, and vice versa) through forcing marriage proposals and moving her around the countryside to live in dank and dungey castles. Not exactly a sisterly love to be desired.
The book is very readable, as if you are looking into her personal diary. She is presented in such a real (and young adult) way that it's almost impossible not to feel sorry for her and secretly hate Mary along with Elizabeth's burning passion. The writing quality is solid, and the characters are well developed and relatable. While history may seem boring to some (okay most) young adults, the author presents this in a way that makes it both interesting, informative, and enjoyable. While there were some parts of the novel that seemed redunant, like Elizabeth moving from place to place, Mary's several unsuccesful pregnancies, etc. - the diary-like flow kept you wanting more. That and Elizabeth's wit and insight as well make this novel one that is worth reading and recommending to adults and young adults alike. (less)
The Steinbeck classic is by far one of the most utterly and realistically depressing novels ever. George...moren a sentence: Two men, one desperate journey.
The Steinbeck classic is by far one of the most utterly and realistically depressing novels ever. George and Lennie are living a less than desirable life as roving ranch hands in California during the Depression, and to make matters worse, Lennie is "simple minded". George and Lennie have been through many trials together, by force or by fate, and this novel takes us through their final trial together.
The tone of depression and fading hope is lightened by George and Lennie's friendship, but not to a sappy degree. I think young adult readers will find it refreshing that this tone is consistent throughout the novel, and the fellow ranch hand characters encountered are unique. No sugar coated beginning, middle, or conclusion to the novel - a realism that is appreciated by the young adult audience. I think where this novel fails to reach young adult readers will be with resonance and relevance. Sure there are morals to be learned, and it is an amazing story - "so what?" young adult readers might ask. I am not surprised this was a challenged title, because of the drab and bleak outlook with periods of violence and harsh language, but again this is the realism that young adults (especially teens) admire.
I rate "Of Mice and Men" a 4Q and 2P according to VOYA standards. While the conversation, tones, and overall writing is pretty good, I think it might be challenging to overcome as a young adult reader. The title, though well known, isn't the most popular with the teens - partly because it is a required reading with some schools which creates a stigma, and party because it just lacks the appeal for a general young adult audience.(less)
in a sentence or two: Vicky Bliss is hot on the trail of a gang of artistic forgeries in Rome. her sly detective work (insert sarcasm here) leads her...morein a sentence or two: Vicky Bliss is hot on the trail of a gang of artistic forgeries in Rome. her sly detective work (insert sarcasm here) leads her to be kidnapped, beat up, be whisked away to an Italian mansion, and attacked by garden statues while on the case of the remarkably accurate forgeries being sold to museums.
having read and loved the first Vicky Bliss mystery, Borrower of the Night, i knew i was in for a treat. Vicky is smart, witty, snarky, and all around awesome. while working for Herr Schmidt at Munich's National Museum, some suspicious activities take place. like an unidentified man carrying what seems to be a priceless and ancient gold pendant sewn into his jacket. always ready for an adventure, Vicky is off to Rome to try and discover what she can - based on a little scrap of paper found at the scene containing a quasi-clue.
due to school and other commitments (work, laundry, etc.), i didn't get a chance to read this as quickly as i would have liked. i feel like the Vicky Bliss mysteries are best read as uninterrupted as possible. that being said, i still really dug this. Vicky's discoveries are well balanced with the humor, sarcasm, and wit that sets these novels apart from other mysteries i've read. you don't know who to suspect, or why, and quite frankly - neither does Vicky. mainly it's a hodge podge of suspicions and clues leading up to the dramatic "ah-ha" moments. i don't mean that in a demeaning way at all - in fact, i absolutely love that method of suspense. plus, with a new love interest, John Smythe, i was totally sucked in.
i am wary to compare books to other books, because i feel like they are written to be judged on their own merit. however, if i had to, i'd say that i preferred Borrower of the Night to this one. only because that had a gothic/creepy ghost feel whereas this was more focused on the Italian mansion/secret gang of art thieves feel. both solid mysteries were kept exciting with suspense and the fantastic voice of Vicky.
fave quote: "I am by nature an optimistic person. But during those minutes in the mud and the dark, alone with a man who was quietly bleeding to death on my lap, with a mob of murderous brutes scouring the fields to find us...I was depressed." (271)
fix er up: i didn't want it to end. seriously. when i finally got the couple hours free i needed to sit and plow through this, i just couldn't get enough! good thing there are more mysteries for Vicky Bliss to solve... (less)
In a sentence or so: Percy tries to save Camp Half-Blood from being poisoned into oblivion and saving his best friend Grover from marrying a Cyclops....moreIn a sentence or so: Percy tries to save Camp Half-Blood from being poisoned into oblivion and saving his best friend Grover from marrying a Cyclops. He is a total badass while doing so.
Percy is at YET ANOTHER new school after all the drama that went down last summer. He's not the best at making friends, but he's totally honey badger about it because he has other things going on. Like being a son of Poseidon and such. He does manage to make a surprising connection with a charity case named Tyson that all the other kids pick on. Percy is more than a little surprised when Tyson defends him like a champ when monsters get all up in the school trying to take him out. Clearly, there's more to this kid than meets the eye.
Percy is soon reunited with Annabeth, daughter of Athena, and discovers that things at Camp Half-Blood are seriously amiss. Luke is still trying to destroy the camp because he's all bitter his dad Hermes ditched him. He's even going so far as to try to bring Kronus back together. Listen, if the olympians destroyed this titan because they were scared of what he would do - it is NOT a good idea to put humpty dumpty back together again. I wish Luke were reading this.
Percy has more amazing Greek mythology adventures in The Sea of Monsters. We get many nods to the Greek myths we know and love while seeing Percy grow and develop as a character. He is strong, smart, sensitive, caring, all wrapped up in a surprisingly snarky and badass package. I kind of love Percy Jackson a whole helluva lot. Annabeth, Tyson, Grover, and the rest are certainly fun to read about too and add depth and drama to the story.
Here's the deal. I am firmly Team Percy. I love middle grade books and I love Greek mythology and The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan marries them perfectly. He gives me a hero I can root for and a story I don't want to put down. I loved that this went a bit darker with the whole Doom Of The Whole World thing lurking on the horizon. I place my trust for survival into Percy's capable 13 year old hands.
Fave Quotes: "But you, Percy - you are part god, part human. You live in both worlds. You can be harmed by both, and you can affect both. That's what makes heroes so special." (252) - TEAM PERCY, YO.
"His sandy hair, which used to be so unruly, was now clipped short. He looked like an evil male model, showing off what the fasionalbe college-age villain was wearing to Harvard this year." (125) - YEAH SNARK.
"I could smell the thing - a sickening combination of wet sheep wool and rotten meat and that weird sour body odor that only monsters have, like a skunk that's been living off Mexican food." (3) - MIDDLE GRADE FOREVER.
Fix er up: There were quite a few deus ex machina moments in this, but really, I am so enamored I was willing to let just about anything slide.
Title: The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and The Olympians #2) Author: Rick Riordan Pub Info: Disney Hyperion, 2006 Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy(less)
A creative peek into that surface-surly Mr. Darcy's mind from Jane Austen's novel, Pride and Prejudice.
As a "P&P" fan, I loved this. I thought the...moreA creative peek into that surface-surly Mr. Darcy's mind from Jane Austen's novel, Pride and Prejudice.
As a "P&P" fan, I loved this. I thought the creativity that Grange used with what he was thinking during the tale was interesting and true to what was most likely in Jane Austen's mind while writing the novel. Without being mushy-gushy, there is definitely an undertone of a romantic in this man, and it comes through in his diary. You don't necessarily have need to read P&P to get the gist of the happenings...but it would help. We find out more about Georgiana his sister, that despicable Wickham, and that woman you love to hate - Caroline Bingley.
While the style of writing wasn't necessarily the same as Austen's, it was ok. This was a fun read, and an interesting take on the events in P&P. The diary format is fun, and makes it a quick read as well. A borderline romance and historical fiction make for a quaint and worthwhile read - nothing outstanding here, but enjoyable none the less.
Favorite Quote: (when Elizabeth prompts for how Mr. Darcy fell in love with her) "I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew I had begun." (290) sighhh
Fix 'Er Up: if this had been written in a more "Austenian" style. (less)
in a sentence: the freshman year of high school sucks when you have no friends, a weird thing with chewing your lips, and a horrible secret that rende...morein a sentence: the freshman year of high school sucks when you have no friends, a weird thing with chewing your lips, and a horrible secret that renders you silent.
melinda enters her freshman year of high school having ruined the end of summer party for everyone - she had called the cops. the real reason for the call surfaces mid-novel, though is pretty predictable early on. even though i've been out of high school for 5 years, i can feel her awkwardness and share her frustrations with the dynamics of high school through the vivid self dialogue.
as the adult reader, i hurt for her. i want her to get better, to share, to do SOMETHING. but the novel is so real, leaving melinda to react as i expect an actual girl in her situation might.
i listened to this on audio book, so i think how i heard and experienced things might have varied verses if i had read it. through the audio book, i was connected, concerned, laughed out loud, and was completely immersed in the emotional roller coaster that was this novel. it rocked!
favorite quote: again, since i don't have the book on me, i'm going on memory here. i did love when she said the "top ten lies about high school". those were so clever, funny, and true.
fix er up: the use of art and gardening for her to "find her voice" seemed a bit cliche to me...not that it isn't a venue for those who are having a hard time finding what they want to express.(less)
in a sentence or so: Kate and Emily Winslow move to Hallow Hill after the death of their father to live with their two great-aunts and one very unhapp...morein a sentence or so: Kate and Emily Winslow move to Hallow Hill after the death of their father to live with their two great-aunts and one very unhappy (and shady) guardian, Hugh Roberts. within days Kate has attracted the notice of the goblin king Marak, who wants Kate as his bride. and goblin kings always get their bride.
our nineteenth century sisters Kate and Emily aren't crazy about moving out to the remote Hallow Hill, but they do find the woods ripe for exploration and the stars beautiful at nighttime. on one of their first excursions, the girls become lost and stumble upon what they believe to be a band of gypsies late at night in the woods. Emily, the younger of the two sisters, is excited and totally into the mysteriousness of the gypsies. Kate, the beautiful and brainy sister, is instantly wary of these people and feels that something is not quite right. of course, her instincts are spot on. she soon learns of the goblin king Marak's intention to take her away to the kingdom under the hill and make her his bride. Kate does everything she can to stop this from happening...but will it be enough?
the book is broken into 3 parts - starlight, lamplight, and darkness. i can't really review the last two parts without giving away spoilers, but it made sense for them to be separated into parts. while there is clearly a cohesive story, i think this was the author's way of putting a separate focus for each segment and allowing for emphasis on certain characters and motives.
i started off like Kate: appalled, grossed out, and angry at Marak for trying to steal her to take her away to the creepy underworld of goblins and ick. but, much to my own surprise, about halfway through i felt myself warming up to Marak. maybe even starting to root for him! crazy, i know, but true. the author does a wonderful job of creating a complex and sympathetic character in Marak, while still maintaining his freakishness. i loved it. i think what really won me over is that i bought that he genuinely cared for Kate, more than just a "you're pretty, i'll take you away now" care. i didn't expect that turn by the author, but i was pleasantly surprised when it came. this wasn't exactly a romance, but the mystery of what exactly was going on intrigued me greatly.
Kate and Emily's adventure is full of suspicious characters, danger, using their wit, and staying true to who they are. Dunkle creates quite a plethora of creatures and gives each of them due attention by giving them a personal name and detailed portrayal. her elaborate description of the Goblin kingdom compliments her detailed characters and creates a rich fantasy world which i was able to completely immerse. the happy, quirky ending left me wanting more. which is quite something, since there was no cliffhanger. i want to read the next two books in the series out of pure desire in the kingdom and characters Dunkle created, not by a flustered need to quench my curiosity.
fave quote: "There on the roof crouched the squirrel. It sat up, chattering, and waved its tail at her. Kate had a vision of herself chasing it headlong down the gravel track, yelling like a banshee. No, perhaps she'd better not." (53)
fix er up: as this is a children's book, i shouldn't be too harsh on the over-the-top PG feel of the romantic interactions. Dunkle does a solid job of creating "awww" moments without being racy, but the YA lover in me would have appreciated a little kissing scene or something. meh well. (less)
in a sentence or two: it's 1793 in Philadelphia, and a mysterious fever is said to be killing people without mercy. the murmurings of yellow fever com...morein a sentence or two: it's 1793 in Philadelphia, and a mysterious fever is said to be killing people without mercy. the murmurings of yellow fever come to fruition when 15 year old Mattie's mom is struck ill with a fever that drives her crazy and gives her eyes a horrid yellow tinge.
Mattie, her mom, their cook Eliza and Mattie's grandpa run a coffeehouse in Philadelphia. grandpa served under the great General Washington and likes to fill her days sharing stories, sneaking her candy, and being overall supportive and encouraging. her dad died from a fall off a ladder which left her mom understandably saddened and bitter, very much unlike the soft and comforting woman she used to be. their life at the coffeehouse provides a good deal of gossip off the street about the fever, however, their first awareness is when their beloved scullery maid and friend of Mattie dies suddenly in her home.
the book is the journey of Mattie and her family in their attempts to avoid the yellow fever. the fear that people felt from not knowing how to prevent the spreading of the disease or what to do when it struck is strongly delivered by Anderson. the differing opinions of doctors, the despair, and the struggle to keep going when everything seems hopeless flood this book with rich emotions.
i was impressed with Mattie's voice as the narrator. as a 15 year old, she's in that awkward phase somewhere between being a girl to being a woman, which adds a blend of insecurity and determination that fits perfectly with the surrounding circumstances of the rest of the story. i didn't think i was getting too sucked in to the emotions until i was bawling in the middle when someone died...then i realized how captivating this book was.
something i really appreciated was at the end of the book when Anderson answers some questions like "did the epidemic really happen" and "where are they buried" as well as the real life counterparts of the names she uses in the book. as a piece of historical fiction, i thought this complimented the read well. while Mattie and fam aren't necessarily real characters, they certainly represent one of the situations that many people faced during that time.
if you're looking for a solid hist-fic read with a wide range of developed emotions (including a little romance), great plot, a compassionate voice, with more-than-a-dash of historical accuracy in the form of events and language, this is for you.
fave quote: "They told of a small child huddled around the body of her dead mother. As volunteers placed the mother in a coffin, the child had cried out, 'Why are you putting Mamma in that box?' They had to turn the child over to a neighbor and take the mother away for burial. They told of the dying man who pulled himself to the window of his bedchamber and begged people to bring him a drink of water. Many passed by, hurrying away from the sound of his voice, until a brave soul entered the house to help him. They told of thieves who crept in and stole jewelry off the dead and dying. They told of good people who refused to take any money for helping strangers, even though they themselves were poor and near destitute...They told of terror: patients who had tried to jump out of windows when the fever robbed their reason, screams that pierced the night, people who were buried alive, parents praying to die after burying their children." (105-106)
fix er up: i would have liked more development with Mattie's love interest, Nathaniel. though the lack of it didn't hurt the book at all, and in fact now that i think about it, keeping it on the back burner of the plot makes sense. i'm just nitpicking.(less)
in a sentence or two: the funny journey of Earl the vampire, Duke the werewolf, Loretta the overweight waitress, and Cathy the ghost in their quest to...morein a sentence or two: the funny journey of Earl the vampire, Duke the werewolf, Loretta the overweight waitress, and Cathy the ghost in their quest to rid the diner of zombies. and as if that isn't enough, a foxy teenager is trying to open the gates to hell right underneath their immortal noses.
Duke and Earl stumble upon the little diner in rockwood county (read: middle of nowhere). within minutes, they are defending the diner from zombies. the good news is, zombies aren't really that bad - just an undead nuisance really. the bad news for them (and good news for us) is, this is just the beginning of a bizarre and hilarious journey with the undead and other creepy creatures. ultimately, the foxy teenager - Tammy by day, Mistress Lilith when sorceress-ing - is trying to bring back the 'old gods' and suck the world as we know it into eternal darkness and suffering. it's up to the undead A-squad (and Loretta) to find out what's going on with the zombies, ghouls, ghosts, and even some zombie cows, so they can save the world. which is just as hard as it sounds.
i haven't read a humor novel in a long time, and so i wasn't quite sure what to expect. my fear is that they will try too hard to be funny and then lose the ability to weave a good story. well, Martinez put my fears to rest by the end of the first chapter. this book uses the supernatural elements with a tongue-in-cheek-ness that kept it light and funny while balancing the whole 'end of the world forever' aspect. there was also a good bit of sexual tension between the teenage witch and all the male characters, between the werewolf and the pleasantly plump waitress, and between the ghost and the vampire. who knew that was possible?
this was funny, wacky, unpredictable, clever, and i couldn't put it down. it won the Alex Award in 2006, and now that i've finished the hilarious journey through the book, i totally understand why. while not written explicitly for a teenage audience in mind, Martinez is able to cross genre barriers and has crafted a bizarrely awesome story that is well worth the read.
fave quotes: "Once, Make Out Barn had been a haven of teenage activity. Wholly living up to its name, the worn out building played host to regular sessions of heavy petting and awkward groping. There were even one or two acts of genuine sex on the premises, though not nearly as many as locker room boasts might lead one to believe. The barn was a place for certain people, namely those of surging hormones and acne-induced angst, preferably in groups of two, to get away from the endless hell that teenagers perceive their life to be until they grow up and realize that real hell generally strikes around middle age, when one discovers that life is either far too short or far too long." (105) "Tammy raised her hands over her head and giggled the malign giggle of a schoolgirl consorting with the legions of darkness and having a hell of a time doing it." (109)
fix er up: not a thing. i loved the story, characters, and the ending. solid read!(less)
in a sentence or so: James is an 18 year old who hates people his own age, doesn't want to go to college in the fall, and finds communicating with any...morein a sentence or so: James is an 18 year old who hates people his own age, doesn't want to go to college in the fall, and finds communicating with anyone an absolute frustrating and revolting challenge.
we enter the story as James's mom's most recent marriage doesn't last through the honeymoon. James is spending the summer after high school working in his mom's art gallery in NYC, but he wasn't exactly the most loyal employee while she was away. however, he finds working with John, his older and well educated coworker, to be a tolerable person to interact with and so mildly enjoys his time there.
James has been thinking more and more lately that he just doesn't want to go to college. he doesn't want to spend the next four years of his life bombarded with people he hates and doesn't care to associate with in the least. feeling like he can just reach himself all he wants to learn through books, James begins to foster the idea of buying a house with his college money and living his life that way. needless to say, his parents are none to keen to the idea, and his sister is doing her best to set him straight.
it's hard to say what the plot is, exactly. essentially we're along for the ride of James last summer between high school and college beginning in the fall, should he decide to go. we see what his relationship with his mom is like, what his relationship with his dad is like, sit with James through therapy sessions, are right beside him in an awkward attempt to prove his worth with his co-worker John, and his nurturing relationship with his grandma (called Nanette). James is pretentious, snooty, and broken. it feels as if he is on the autism spectrum (never mentioned in the book) with how he relies on and focuses on controlling speech - his own internal monologue, conversation with others, and even the words and phrases of others. James also prefers a very solitary lifestyle, finding even prolonged interactions with his family leaving him feeling restless for alone time and often zoning out for half hour segments, withdrawn in his head.
this read was very sterile, and fits the character perfectly. James feels like an adult voice reflecting on his past, not a young adult living through his present. the ending was totally abrupt and unsatisfying. James processes things in such a way that made this book a challenge for me. and i realize that it wasn't me who couldn't relate to James, but James who can't relate to me. so ultimately i felt like i was reading about issues, about broken relationships, about trying to discover who you are...all without a main character. a creative literary device, but personally an enjoyment challenge.
fave quote: "The main problem was I don't like people in general and people my age in particular, and people my age are the ones who go to college...I'm not a sociopath or a freak (although I don't suppose people who are sociopaths or freaks self-identify as such); I just don't enjoy being with people." (39)
fix er up: this was sterile and unsatisfying when it was all said and done. but i can't stop thinking about it...so it's not all bad.(less)