Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Mother

I have a friend. She likes to write, so much that she actually published two books. This friend also likes clothes and accessories. She likes to get my advice on what to wear, and sometimes we spend long hours together just talking about whatever we fancy. 

Yes, this friend is my mother. 

My mother is my friend. I fight with her occasionally, and she smiles and calls me a viperlette. (My older sister is a full-grown viper) She asks for my help on which minimal changes to make to her website, and I sigh and make the choice with her. She is quite......well, the only way to describe her would be astounding. Her personality is one that jumps out at you. She is outgoing, and loves to rant about different problems in this world. She has no difficulty calling people to tell them what she thinks of them -- for example, she once called up my elementary school principal to tell her opinion on the school's rigid disciplinary program. She gets frazzled about what she is going to wear to "galas" where she thinks she is the most insignificant person there, or what she is going to talk about on an interview with the feared "Jamaica Kincaid." She talks about her friend Mary the Tailor, to whom she takes her clothes to to be mended and then sits for an hour chatting with. She is a person I am influenced by and I look up to. Most might pair the name Ru Freeman with an elegant lady on the back of a book jacket. However, what comes to mind to me is more like a small person in a Bread Loaf sweatshirt, sitting at her desk in front of her laptop, forever my mother. Forever my friend. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Wow. That's all I can say about Divergent (Katherine Tegen Books, 2012). It was action-packed, romantic, mysterious, and just..wow. To start, many books have a main character that is completely pure and good, and then an antagonist that is bad right to the very tips of his or her fingernails. Part of what struck me about the main character, Tris, is that she isn't all good or all bad. In one part of the book, one of her very good friends joins in on an attempt to kill her because he is jealous of her. She survives, and when he asks her to forgive him, she thinks to herself about how she knows that there is a girl inside her that would forgive and forget, but if she saw her, she wouldn't recognize her. Furthermore, The romance between Four/Tobias and Tris is perfectly written. Veronica Roth describes all the elements of being in love with someone in a way that many young adult readers can relate to. She doesn't add in a love triangle, which many authors do. Instead, she focuses on the ups and downs of a normal relationship. I feel that this is better than a love triangle because a)I'm pretty sure love triangles don't happen as much as many authors say, and b) Most readers have not experienced something like it, so it is not something that readers can relate to. I think that writing in a way that your readers can connect with is one of the secrets to success. Veronica Roth does this extremely well. She also balances action with different moments in the book that aren't all fast-paced. True, the whole book has a quiet hum of action in even the quietest moments, but it doesn't overtake the calmness of them. The author writes with skill and intelligence. I would definitely check out this 11 out of 10 book!