Posts Tagged ‘ya literature’

Random Things or “Love”ing-ly Ever After?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

I never know when I’m going to fall in love. Especially when it comes to falling in love with new experiences, hobbies, or things. It always starts off innocently enough—there’s a little bit of curiosity, an itch to try something new. Most of the time, that’s where it stays—maybe I’ll take a class or check out a book from the library on “hobby du jour.” But when I fall for something, I fall hard, and I go from curious to “welcome to a new hobby/sport/language obsession” in a heartbeat. Like romantic love, it’s random, unexpected, wonderful, and brings out the best parts of me.

For this “random things you might not know about me” post, I’ve decided to list random things in my life that I love*. Because what we love, after all, helps to define a big part of who we are:

  1. I love being a Mechanical Engineer. I love how I was trained to be a problem solver, whether I’m developing medical devices or plotting out manuscripts. I get to use art, physics, and math to make really cool things to improve people’s health and quality of life, and it’s an epic feeling seeing something I made in action, whether in a surgery, recovery, or a post-op x-ray.
  2. I love languages. I’m multilingual—bilingual in English and Portuguese and conversational in French and Spanish. I love how language is culture and history all wrapped in the evolution of words and phrases. Writers are word alchemists—we turn words into bookish gold, and it’s fun to have a playground full of possibilities pouring out of multiple dictionaries.
  3. I love to dance. Ballet and contemporary were an important part of my life until I ruptured my Achilles tendon. I started figure skating as a sort of physical therapy and fell in love with it, too. Skating went from therapy to a new way to spin, dance, and fly (and I get to pick my skating outfits, which beats recital dress roulette by a mile).
  4. Phoebe’s love of archery in Bookishly Ever After was based on teen me’s dream of becoming Susan Pevenzie from the Narnia books. When I started researching archery for Bookishly, I ended up falling in love with the sport and have now been taking lessons in Olympic recurve archery since 2014. I love digging my feet into the grass of the outdoor archery range and I love the feeling when I clump my arrows together so closely, I can hear one arrow skim the others on its way into the target.
  5. I love to draw. When I was in high school, I had thought of becoming an English or Art teacher, but when I decided to study engineering, I had falsely believed I had given up all chances of ever doing anything with art or writing. I was certainly wrong with the writing, but I think drawing will remain something just for me and just for fun, like skating and dance and archery.
  6. I loved fencing, and fenced foil and epee on my college’s men’s team (we didn’t have enough women to form our own team). It made me feel strong and graceful, and I still feel a little thrill when I see my old gear.
  7. And, lucky 7, I love to write, but you’ve probably figured that out already.

What about you? What are the things that sneakily found their ways into your heart? What are the random things you love?

*Blogger’s Note: Omitted are the living beings I love: family, friends, cats… you get the idea, because this post would get way too long. WAAAAY too long. Ditto bigger things, like the world, snow, glitter, and old records playing on hot summer evenings… and… and…

Engaging with Magnetic Shift

Friday, June 10th, 2016

Over Memorial Day Weekend, I got the chance to sit down and read Magnetic Shift, a Spencer Hill Press YA book by Lucy D. Briand about teenagers and NASCAR. I, personally, am not a fan of cars driving around in circles as fast as they can as a sport, but it was interesting to get an inside look at all the things that go into a race, as well as getting a storyline about some teenagers involved in the business. Teenagers working with a racing team? Is that heard of? Dean Grant specializes in finding talent in 18-year-olds and bringing them onto his team. Cue Colton Taylor, teenage heartthrob and super fast driver.

But that’s not who this story is about–just the love interest. The book is written from the point of view of Lexi Adams, a 17-year-old who works in her abusive stepfather’s junkyard and has supernatural abilities to move metal with her mind. Her stepfather sends her to work for Dean Grant in exchange for advertisement. She has no say and no desire to be in a position to reveal her gift to anyone.

I think the most interesting character development in this book is in Lexi’s struggle to figure out how to handle what she calls her curse. She only discovered her abilities Freshman year of high school and has no idea how to stop things from flying around when she feels different emotions. How is she supposed to be a normal teenager with a normal life and a normal crush on a hot guy who seems to like her back? The most impressive thing is that she fought to gain control no matter what. Even if that meant giving up things she really wanted in order to protect others–an act I didn’t support solely because I was so connected and thought she was being irrational.

This book sucked me in and I almost yelled at Lexi a couple times–like how can you not see that you lose control when you’re sad and angry, not when you’re happy? Are you actually not seeing what’s happening around you? And why is it so hard for you to believe that someone likes you? Come on, girl. Get your act together. Though I had many near outbursts as I engaged with the characters, I genuinely cheered them on and willed them the succeed. As if it would actually change the story. For not being all that interested in NASCAR, I sure couldn’t put this book down.

–Rebecca, Intern