Day Four: Speak: Fourth Marking Period

April 16, 2008 at 8:23 pm | Posted in Speak | 2 Comments

The end of the school year.

I liked the Alice in Wonderland references. That was fun.

Talking to Ivy. I’m glad she’s taking the opportunity to talk to someone, even if it’s not about IT.

Ten More Lies They Tell You In High School

1. You will use algebra in your adult lives.

2. Driving to school is a privilege that can be taken away

3. Students must stay on campus for lunch.

4. The new textbooks will arrive any day now.

5. Colleges care about more than your SAT scores.

6. We are enforcing the dress code.

7. We will figure out how to turn off the heat soon.

8. Our bus drivers are highly trained professionals.

9. There is nothing wrong with summer school.

10. We want to hear what you have to say.

Her internal conflict. To tell or not to tell? Rachel is dating Andy (IT). Does she try to tell her former best friend about the rape? What’s the right thing to do? She goes back and forth. But her imaginary conversations with Maya and Oprah, etc. convince her that she should do something.

I like her points about the yearbook.

Heather. Oh my. I’ve known a few Heathers. Have you? I’m glad Melinda didn’t give in and help her out. I mean it would have been *nice* of her. But Heather would have been only using her. And there’s something that is just icky about folks who only want to be “friends” when it’s convenient for them.

Her conversation with Rachel. It starts off good. Melinda is being vulnerable and honest. But Rachel isn’t quite ready to hear the truth. It’s too much, too soon. She hasn’t absorbed it. But as we see, she didn’t forget it or discard it.

The pruning of the tree. Symbolism time.

The confrontation. The big confrontation.

The resolution. “IT happened. There is no avoiding it, no forgetting. No running away, or flying, or burying, or hiding. Andy Evans raped me in August when I was drunk and too young to know what was happening. It wasn’t my fault. He hurt me. It wasn’t my fault. And I’m not going to let it kill me. I can grow.”

I loved the last line. “Let me tell you about it.”

So what did you think? Like it? Love it? Hate it? Bored with it?



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  1. Loved it – so much so that I couldn’t help but finish it last Friday. She definitely came through even in the last part with a scathingly realistic view of high school – the whole yearbook thing? I can’t believe I spent so many years thinking that was super important. And the new textbooks always arrive the year after you’ve had the class. The terror induced by that report the teacher is making you give orally (even under the best of conditions) – the idea of giving an oral report before a bunch of my most judgmental peers still frightens me! And those “friends” that seem to be a fact of high school life, the ones that only want to know you when you can do something for them – the ones you kick yourself for liking and wanting them to like you.

    I loved Melinda’s slow journey to being able to tell people about what happened to her. It was so convincing that I couldn’t help feeling relieved when she finally told Rachel, even though it didn’t turn out well right away. The final conflict definitely showed how much Melinda had grown and learned to respect herself and how that “tree pruning” had really begun to pay off. The final chapter was a perfect way to end it, and I really appreciated that last line, too.

    Definitely glad I didn’t miss this one! Thanks, Becky!

  2. i really loved this book! i’ve written some thoughts on my book blog here. i just picked up Catalyst at the library, so i’m hoping to read more Anderson soon!

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