10 Posts I Wish Had More Views

When I started this blog in October of 2013, I was hesitant to make it public. I wasn’t really sure if I had anything to say, and I was nervous about people reading and perhaps even *gasp* commenting on what I wrote. What I soon found out though, was that the blogging community is pretty friendly and supportive. While my best viewership has occurred during NaBloPoMo the last two years, here are a few posts I’ve written that I wish had made more of an impression.

 

  • ALL OF MY CHAOS WALKING POSTS:
    • Casting Chaos Walking 
    • The Next Must Read Series
    • One of the Best (or Worst?) Literary VillainsPatrick Ness’s Chaos Walking series, which includes The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, and Monsters of Men, is simply incredible. I went into the books knowing nothing about the series and ravenously read through the three books (and three short ebooks). I was blown away by the concept, the characters (including a conniving, manipulative villain), the action, and the message. I’m not sure why this 2008 – 2010 series hasn’t gotten more hype. However, that may change soon now that there is a 2019 film version in the works.     

 

  • Finding Inspiration in the Finger Perhaps my title didn’t draw people in, but I think the novel Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles deserves some more attention. Has anyone ever “flipped you the bird?” How did it make you feel? Knowles explores how different characters react to “the finger.” Could a single gesture have an impact on the rest of their day? How about their whole outlook?

 

  • Entry #22 – Favorite Book Well, of course I want more people to check out this post! It’s all about my most favorite book. I was hoping to hear that someone else in the blogoshpere was a fan of this book too.

 

  • Voldemort Likes My HairCome on, that’s a funny title! This blog post details a strange dream I had while re-reading the Harry Potter series. I originally read the books back when they were published and had never re-read them. It was amazing to see how much I had forgotten about the books. Sure, the movies are great, but boy, does J.K. Rowling know how to write.

 

  • A Second Look at Allegiant I was one of the many readers who was disappointed with the third book in Veronica Roth’s Divergent series. After re-reading this book (after quite some time had passed), I didn’t dislike it quite so much… Maybe it will inspire other fans to take a second look at the book as well.

 

  • A Love Story for the Ages perhaps the title of this post turned some readers off, but Paullina Simon’s three book series following Alexander and Tatiana is epic and should be read. While everyone else was reading 50 Shades of Gray, I was reading The Bronze Horseman – a love story that starts at the beginning of WWII during the siege of Leningrad – which doesn’t sound sexy, but guess what? The book is definitely swoon-worthy.  

 

  • John Green? No thanks.For someone who really enjoys reading Young Adult literature, I should be a John Green fan. While I enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars (not super-fan status, but it was a solid four-star read), after reading three other of his books, I’m left wondering what all the fuss is about. The pretentious, unlikable characters means I have no need to read any more of his books.

 

  • Current Read: I’ll Give You the SunI’m hoping that the reason why this post didn’t get many reads was because everyone already read I’ll Give You the Sun and knew that it was fantastic!

 

Fellow bloggers: Do you have any posts that you wish had gotten more views? Feel free to post a link in the comment section.

Finding Inspiration in the Finger

fingerI was driving in my very own neighborhood about a year ago when a car with two teenage boys drove past and instead of giving me the friendly neighbor wave, I got the finger. Yes, the middle finger.

I was shocked!

Why would someone stick up their middle finger like that at me? Was I driving poorly? Did they think I was someone else? A buddy, perhaps, who drives a Chevy Impala, too? Did they regret it afterwards? Or were they just mean, jerky boys?

As you can see, this moment stuck around long after the seconds it took for the boy to hold up the offending finger at me. And clearly, I’m not the only person who’s had a moment like this. In Jo Knowles novel, Read Between the Lines, she includes a dedication to “the man driving the station wagon who gave my family the finger in 2003 even though we didn’t deserve it.” Each chapter in the novel is voiced by a different character who encounters the finger during the course of a single day in a single town. Their reactions to the finger differ: one girl is shamed by it, a boy is emboldened by it, a father is at first stunned and then angered. Some find it liberating and others find it hurtful.

Knowles’s writing style is just right for this story – honest and heartfelt – young adults will be drawn to this, especially those who like books by Siobhan Vivian, Jenny Han, Carolyn Mackler, and David Levithan. I found the characters to be realistic and believable. They each seem to feel that there is something more to life than what they’ve been stuck with, but they don’t really know how to make their lives any better. A pretty cheerleader searches for meaningful conversations and friends who aren’t so shallow. A kid who is bullied – both by kids at school and his own father – searches for respect. A 19 year old man strives for a better job than the “temporary” one he has now at a fast food restaurant. A teenage boy wishes his friends would grow up and quit their mean pranks, yet also wishes they were still just kids again, enjoying summers in their tree house. Each character, who was briefly mentioned in a previous chapter, becomes more than what others see when they look at them. The only thing I disliked about this book was that the chapters never went back to the other characters to see how their lives turned out. Instead, we as readers have to imagine what will happen. Maybe getting “the finger” will inspire a change in their lives, or maybe it will simply fade from their memories as time passes.

While most of the characters are teenagers, the final chapter is narrated by a young, female teacher. I could definitely relate to many of her struggles and worries. She has taken the place of another teacher and hasn’t figured out how to gain her students’ trust. Teaching is just not what she thought it would be. She’s considering giving up, but in the final lines of the book, she states, “That just like there is more to her than what they see, there is more inside each one of them. What’s your story? she will wonder as she scans the room from face to face. And this time, when she pleads with them to read between the lines, she will try to do the same.” This is exactly what I tried to do with my students, and what we really need to do with each other: stop and consider what issues other people may be dealing with and be kind to one another. Read Between the Lines hasn’t received as much attention as other YA books, but it’s quietly compelling and worth the read.