There was one thing I did not like about this book and that was the character Pudge. Throughout the whole novel, all Pudge talks and thinks about is Alaska, and *spoiler* when she dies, the only person he feels that should be affected by it is himself. I actually started reading the book because I thought she might get kidnapped or something just by reading the cover, but the more I read the more I realized that probably wouldn’t happen. I read the book anyway and it turned out to be pretty good. My thoughts changed a lot while reading this book. At first I thought it was boring because it was just talking about three teenagers at a private school just living their lives, but then after a while things started to get interesting. Probably about a third through the book, chip, Alaska, and Pudge all get drunk and blow things up and try to start trouble with the older kids that went to their school. They even went as far as putting permanent blue hair dye in the jocks shampoo for being mean to Alaska, and throwing Pudge into the lake all tied up on his first night at the school. My favorite character in this book was Alaska, only because I couldn’t figure her out. She was so smart in school, and knew how to get herself out of trouble, but there were some points in the book where she would just freak out and get crazy drunk. I just didn’t understand her until the end. She had a boyfriend at the time so whenever she would go crazy Chip and Pudge just assumed it was because of him, but after a while they became suspicious. They would all go into the woods by a lake and find their stash of wine and just drink until they were unbelievably drunk. One night, it was too much and Alaska had drank the most out of everyone. She realized what day it was after a whole night of drinking, and started crying hysterically. All she kept saying was “I have to leave”, over and over until she finally did. The next morning, hungover Chip and Pudge, wake up to the head principle at their door informing them that last night, Alaska had died from a collision on the interstate. Chip and Pudge felt responsible for her death because they were the ones that let her get into the car and drive away, but they weren’t sure if it was suicide or an accident. Her blood alcohol level had been so high, they decided to test on themselves if she should’ve been able to successfully stay in her lane or not. After stealing the Breathalyzer from the General’s house, they tested how drunk she had to be and it could have went either way. Accident, or suicide. In the end they figure out from talking to her boyfriend that it was her mom’s birthday, and Alaska being the kind person she was thought her mother would think she forgot about her since she didn’t come sooner. That is why in the car accident they found white flowers in the back of the car. She took the flowers her boyfriend had given her, and took them to put on her mother’s grave, but unfortunately they never made it. Looking back at this book, it made me depressed to think about because Alaska, already drunk out of her mind, died thinking her mom wouldn’t forgive her for forgetting her birthday. Everyone copes with greif differently, but this is when i got annoyed with Pudge because he felt that Alaska was his and he was the only one allowed to mourn her death. I personally would have preferred his character to have a different view on the death because its already sad to begin with and then on top of that, you have to deal with someone selfish like Pudge.
After reading this book, The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold, I cried. The beginning was so terribly frightening for anyone that sees themselves with children in the future, but somehow Sebold was able to make it warm through the little girls perspective. Susie, the little girl that had been raped and then murdered only a couple miles from her house watches her family struggle and cope with the loss of their child and reading that part of the book was extremely hard for me because I can’t even imagine how the family was feeling. Especially because the only thing they found was an arm. But eventually after you get past the first couple of chapters the book really starts to focus on Susie, and how she pictures heaven and it makes the whole reading experience great for me because how she pictures heaven is so beautiful and meaningful. She doesn’t want to leave her family, but she finds others that have been raped and killed up in her heaven by the same man and wants to go with them, but parts with herself to stay in the “middle” so she can keep watching her family. While watching, she saw her dad, Jack, start to go crazy because the police had no new leads, which led to driving him and his wife apart. Abigail, Susie’s mother, starts an affair and moves to California which takes a toll on the whole family. Susie being selfless thinks this is all her fault and feels terrible about it. This only continues when for months Jack had convinced himself that their old neighbor, Mr.Harvey, was the one who killed his little Susie, and he was. One night Jack thought he saw Harvey in the cornfield, where the murder took place and ran out to see. Unfortunately for Jack, they were two teenagers that beat him literally half to death. The sad thing about this book is that through Susie’s perspective, she shows you how beautiful her heaven is, but it hurts her to watch what is happening down on earth to her family. She continues to battle back and fourth with beautiful and evil and it is just heart breaking to read about a 14 year old having to go through this, dead or alive. Even in her heaven, she is suffering just to see her family. I started reading the book because I knew it was a movie, but I also knew I had the book at home, so I thought I would read the book, and then watch the movie. Surprisingly, the book and the movie are very similar. In fact almost the whole first page of the book was put into the movie. My thoughts changed from depression to somewhat uplifting by the end of the book because it was still extremely sad, but Susie finally allowed herself to let go and finally travel one hundred percent into heaven. It also makes me feel really happy because in the end, Harvey got what was coming for him. After raping, and then cutting up that poor girls body and repeating that with girls prior, he was hit with an icicle and rolled down an embankment to his death. Just thinking about that man makes me want to be sick. My favorite part of this whole book was when Susie had gotten a camera and the whole happy family was playing outside with not one single problem on their minds. In one of the pictures, Harvey was in it. He was clipping his roses, and just to think he was watching her that whole time makes me hope that everyone in the world like Harvey gets their karma. Susie was a beautiful girl, and it showed through how she pictured her heaven. I empathize for Susie, and my interpretation on this book might have been a little different than others. The fact that Susie stuck around to watch her family struggle without her, led me to believe that even pain can make its way into heaven, if you care about them that much. Pain or not, you want them in your life dead or alive. I hope my heaven is just a little like Susie’s. It was beautiful.
The difference between my first initial concept and my concept now is that I think I want the ending to be about the dad. At first I had the daughter Jo say, “with bloody hands, I say goodbye,” but now while I am revising it, I think it would make the story better if the husband says it because he is the reason the wife dies in the first place. I’m not really sure how this is going to work though because I have Jo being the person of interest for most of my story, but then at the end it switches over to the dad being the main character for the last little part of the story. I think it will be okay though because it makes the story better and it makes more sense to do it this was for the overall sense of the story. I am actually excited about how my short story turned out because it is interesting, and after revising, I think my grade will at least be a 90 which is good enough for me since I didn’t want to use the six word short story anyways. But as far as the AR, I am only about to finish my first book which is sad for my life because I wanted to start reading Harry Potter, and those books are so thick I don’t think I could read 2 of them per quarter. I have more to life than sitting at home and reading. But I hope I can make an agreement with Mcgarry about only having to read one Potter book per quarter since they are so thick, because if not then I won’t be able to enjoy reading it. I can definitely see myself just skimming to get it done and I would much rather enjoy it instead.