Beautiful Creatures

Summary and My Thoughts

Summary: This book was all about a new girl, Lena Duchannes, coming into a small town where nothing new ever happens and everyone is the same. Lena changed this for one boy, Ethan Wate. He finds out she is a Caster, and they cannot be together because of a curse on her. They do everything they can to change this because they fall in love (sick). Finally, they find something called The Book of Moons, and it reverses the curse. They could finally be together.

My thoughts: I did not like this book. I thought it was cheap. It was so cliche, so unoriginal. The idea of calling the characters "Casters," made me want to throw up. It seemed like a very bad knock-off of the Twilight Saga, and that was already bad enough itself.

BQ: How does one recover after a traumatic experience?

How the book answers the big question: In this book, during the time Lena is trying to rid herself of the curse, her uncle dies. She struggles with it at first, but finds that confiding in people she loves, namely Ethan, helps her. She also has to get through the main struggle of finding a way to be with Ethan, and again she confides in him. Lena says, "In one moment I was feeling everything and I was feeling nothing," meaning that even though she felt grief about everything going on, she found comfort in Ethan. They both try to help each other overcome the curse so they can stay together. For Lena, confiding in someone helps her recover after a traumatic experience.

Matched (Book One)

Summary and My Thoughts

Summary: This book was about Cassia Reyes, a young girl who lives in a sort of Utopian society. It starts off during her 17th birthday. Every time someone turns 17, they are Matched with a boy or girl whom they will start a family with and spend the rest of their lives with. They do not get to choose or switch who they are Matched with. Cassia gets matched with her best friend, Xander, but she starts to fall in love with another boy, Ky Markham. This is highly against the Society's rule. What's even worse, is Ky is an abberation. She hides her love affair from everyone, but eventually gets discovered. The book ends with Ky getting removed from the Society and sent to the Outer Provinces, where he will basically serve as a soldier. Cassia must find a way back to him.

My thoughts: I loved this book. It was like a mix of The Giver and The Hunger games. It's definitely one of my favorite books.

BQ: How does one recover from a traumatic experience?

How the book answers the big question: In this book, Cassia has an unusual way of recovering from a traumatic experience. For her, the traumatic experience comes from the fact that her lover has been removed out of Society, and she thinks it is her fault for falling in love with him. To find herself, and her inner peace, she decides to find the Rising, or rebellion. The Rising is a group of people lashing out against the Society's almost communist ways. If Cassia finds the Rising and finds Ky after they take him away, they will finally be able to be together without any restrictions. When Cassia says, "Every minute you spend with someone gives them a part of your life and takes part of theirs," she is expressing to Ky how important it is to find the Rising so they can be together. She wants him in her life every second of the day. She wants to find the Rising so she doesn't have to pretend like he doesn't exist anymore. Staying in the Society will not do that for her. For Cassia, finding the Rising is her comfort to recover from the traumatic event of Ky being ripped out of her life.

Crossed (Book Two)

Summary and My Thoughts

Summary: Book two is all about Cassia on her adventure to find Ky in the Outer Provinces, and after that, she must find the Rising so they can be together. Eventually, Cassia meets Indie, a girl with the same dream of finding the Rising. Indie agrees to help Cassia find Ky first. They journey to the Outer Provinces to where they find him finally. He has been forced to battle an enemy who is trying to destroy the Rising. Ky, a couple of his friends, Cassia, and Indie run off together. The book ends with Cassia being separated from Ky once again to go back to the Society because she must work there in order to find out more about the Rising. She also goes back because she discovers her original Match, Xander, might have something to do with the Rising.

My thoughts: This book was almost just as good as the first one. The only reason I didn't like it as much is because there was a lot of studying, reading, and waiting to find out about the Rising. I wished there were more action, but I know all of this will lead to an explosive last book in the series.

BQ: How does one recover after a traumatic experience?

In this novel, Cassia recovers from her traumatic experience of seeing death and war by putting all her effort into finding the Rising and confiding in Ky and her new friends: Indie, Eli, and Hunter. This is much like the first book except Cassia is more passionate towards finding the Rising. She must go back to the Society, which she absolutely despises to find out more information and exactly how to get there. When learning how to cope with her feelings, she says, "In the end you can't always choose what to keep. You can only choose how you let it go,"  meaning she does not want to dwell on what she lost in the past, she only wants to look toward the future. For Cassia in book two, she recovers from her traumatic experience almost the same way as in book one. This time, though, she has new friends with the same dreams and goals as her that she can confide in, and this brings her more comfort.

The Kennedy Curse

Summary and My Thoughts

Summary: This biography addresses the tragic events that have taken place in the Kennedy family for the past 150 years. It goes through the family's history and how they were brought about into the public eye, and how the curse ties into all of it. The book even includes a timeline of the specific tragedies that have struck the family. The author, Edward Klein, leans toward the idea that the curse started because of how the male offspring of the Kennedy family treated others and abused their power. Klein blames it on the womanizing, alcohol and drugs, and demanding personality that caused a curse to be sprung upon them.

My thoughts: Some chapters of this book were very interesting, while some were also very boring. I liked the chapters that are about the more modern Kennedys. I didn't like the beginning because it started off with the first Kennedy to come to America, and it was rather long and boring. My favorite part was the chapter specifically talking about John Kennedy and his womanizing. Overall, it was an okay book. It's very informative for someone that's interested.

BQ: How does one recover after a traumatic experience?

This book talks specifically about the tragedies that have brought Americans to their knees. Within this book, there are also small stories that reveal some dark secrets of the Kennedy family that were never meant for the public. Each Kennedy had their own personal traumatic experience in life that led to their erratic behavior. Usually, the Kennedys looked to boozing, womanizing, and taking illegal drugs to ignore their problems. While this may not be the positive recovery techniques used in the other novels I presented, it is completely true. Almost each male in the Kennedy family can be traced back to drug or alcohol use. The womanizing mainly tracks back to brothers John and Bobby Kennedy. President Kennedy was also known to bully some people to get what he wanted. The author claims that "those who fell short of this Kennedy ideal felt the wrath of the President, who could be a bully with the members of his inner circle," so what he is trying to say is that the Kennedys lashed out selfishly to ignore their harsh realities, and that is how they coped.

My Answer to the BQ

How does one recover from a traumatic experience? Well, I don't confide in people, I don't try to rebel against society, and I certainly don't drink and do drugs to take care of my issues. For me, thinking about the future and all the positive things to come help. I just try to ignore the bad things.

How the BQ Connects to Students' World Today

There are many ways that students find to cope with their problems. Sadly, alcohol and drugs play a big part in this, even in our school. It seems that more and more teenagers are falling to this. Suicide is also becoming more popular among high school students. It used to be almost unheard of, but these days I hear more stories about it than I ever have. Overall, the students' solution to recovering from trauma usually involve negativity, but there are some who find optimistic answers. SOME people who deal with troubles at home, like being GROUNDED all the time (hint hint) come to school happy every single day and try to forget about all of their personal issues. Hopefully, this becomes the solution for more students in the future.

Nonfiction Connection to My Life

Well, The Kennedy Curse is a hard one to connect to my life. I don't exactly relate to any of the Kennedys. One thing I can connect to, though, is losing loved ones. I haven't exactly had a "curse" on my family and I definitely haven't lost as many family members as the Kennedy family has, but I can relate in some way. I have lost people in my life that I have expected and some that I haven't. Klein states that the death of Jackie Kennedy's son "would have killed her," and this also connects to me. I'm definitely not a mother, but I think that if I ever lost a son or daughter I would feel the same way. Losing a loved one is not an easy subject.

Sales Pitch

The book I have chosen for this sales pitch is Matched. This book was awesome. If someone doesn't believe me, then think of The Hunger Games. Everyone likes The Hunger Games, and this book is similar to it in that there are some who are going against the government. It is also a little like The Giver, relating to its Utopian, perfect society. This book also has a great action and love mix. For someone who hates too much love as much as I do, this book is great. It's not ALL about love, but it does have some and it is perfectly evened out by the action. Read this book, or die never knowing the awesomeness within.

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