Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to review a YA contemporary book called ‘Lessons in Falling’ by Diana Gallagher, which was provided for review by Spencer Hill Press. This is a very interesting book about friendship, love race relations, & finding your own voice. Fair warning, this book does contain some racial slurs directed towards the Hispanic community as well as discussion about depression & attempted suicide, so if any of these subjects are triggering to you, this is your warning. So now let’s get to the review. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
‘Lessons in Falling’ is a young adult contemporary novel that revolves around the life of a young former gymnast named Savannah who has recently given up the sport due to an injury. Although Savannah can continue to compete in gymnastics, she spends most of the book running from the sport due to her overwhelming fear that she will fail. Also, throughout the book Savannah must deal with pressure from her family to continue her gymnastics career, pressure from her best friend Cassie to not continue, as well as fear that she will cause her family financial hardship by not receiving a gymnastics college scholarship like they always planned. Along with this, Savannah has to deal with some unwanted attention/consequences when she begins romance with a Hispanic classmate named Marcos, during a time when racial tensions are high in her school. Lastly, Savannah has to decide if Cassie (the person who she has always put all her faith in) truly has her best interests at heart, or if her best friend is actually stopping her from becoming the person she’s meant to be.
First of all I want to say that I really liked this book. It was an interesting story with characters that were well written, & a plot that kept you interested, & even surprised you from time to time. Savannah was a really good protagonist, because you never felt frustrated with her choices (even if you don’t agree with everything she does), & in the end you really feel yourself rooting for her. Marcos was a well written love interest who really complimented Savannah’s character, & who you also found yourself rooting for. The last character I wanted to discuss was Cassie. There are many points in the story that you’ll find yourself hating Cassie because of how she treats Savannah, but you also understand why she does what she does & in the end you find yourself hoping that Cassie can overcome her personal demons. There is so much more I’d like to talk about regarding this book, but I don’t want y’all you be stuck here all day. I would definitely give this book a rating of 5 smiley faces, & suggest that EVERYONE add it to their TBR.
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Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to discuss a toy that most of us grew up playing with, or at the very least heard about on the playground. Yes, we’re talking about Barbie. Over the years we’ve seen Barbie take on numerous professions, but this year Barbie is truly changing history. It was recently announced that Mattel will release an Abby Wambach in honor of the soccer star’s career. The doll is dressed in Wambach’s U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team uniform, and even has her signature sports shoes you can find at the local store. After the team’s impressive World Cup win in 2015 (which earned them the first ever Ticker Tape Parade for a women’s sports team), and their inclusion in the ‘EA Sports’ FIFA’ video game (which was the first time women were included in the game series), this has definitely been a BIG year for women’s soccer. So let’s jump into the blog post and discuss how this move by one of the world’s most loved toy companies is changing sports & pop culture as we know it. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
Needless to say Abby Wambach has had an amazing career that spanned more than a decade, during which she was able to help bring Women’s soccer to the forefront of the American public’s minds. Wambach has said that she will focus her post soccer career as an advocate for LGBTQ & women’s rights. The marriage of Mattel and Abby Wambach is a perfect match because through this decision Mattel is proving that they are committed to diversifying their products as our culture changes. This will also help the sport of soccer as a whole, because it is one of the sports that most people only think about during the Olympics or World Cup. This seems to be the year that the sport (more specifically women in soccer), get the opportunity to truly become a part of sports & pop culture and garner the attention that they deserve. Good job Mattel!
•All photos and information used in this blog belong to Abby Wambach, Barbie, Mattel, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, EA Sports FIFA, Ticker Tape Parade, Olympics, World Cup, Ruth Handler, Bild Lilli Doll, Max Weissbrodt, Q&M Hausser, Neustadt/Cobourg, Harold Matson,Elliot Handler, Ruth Handler, and all companies, individuals, corporations, managers, writers, producers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for anything mentioned in this blog post, and all original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to discuss an AMAZING young athlete who is not only talented, but is so inspiring and courageous that her story deserves to be told for years to come. I’m sure by now that you’ve all already heard of 19 year old Lauren Hill, the Mount St. Joseph (which is in Delhi Township, Ohio) college freshmen who found out 49 days after her 18 birthday that she has DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gilomas), which is a terminal brain cancer. This type of cancer has a 0% survival rate and mostly affects children. Lauren was given a maximum of 2 years to live, but her only question after receiving the news was whether or not she would be able to fulfill her dream of playing college basketball. She was told that she could continue playing but would have to do so while undergoing chemo therapy and various other treatments. Unfortunately, she found out earlier this year that her tumor had grown, and that she would most likely not live past December 2014. Mount St. Joseph’s first game was suppose to be an away (at the rival college) game on November 15th, 2014, but the college was given special permission to move the game up to November 2nd, 2014, and it will be at Mount St. Joseph.
When I heard this story I felt that I needed to write about it because honestly Lauren’s story truly touched me. Athletes that play at the college level have to endure years (usually from the time they can walk/hold a ball/etc.) of hard work, training, and sacrifice to have the chance of possibly playing at a college. Even if a person is able to do all this work, it is still difficult to land a spot on a college team. The fact that Lauren was able to do this is a HUGE achievement, so imagine how difficult it must be to have your dreams in your hands, and in a moment it feels like the thing you worked for your whole life is just taken away. I don’t want to continue talking about how much this really sucks for Lauren, because I think the most important part of this story, and how such a young girl can be so strong, passionate, and inspirational. I’m sure that most people in her position would want to hide away and cry all day, but instead Lauren decided to endure the pain of her disease and treatments, and continue pursuing her dream of playing college basketball. I think that Lauren’s pure passion for the game is breathtakingly inspiring, and something that is so rare and beautiful that THIS is what we should remember most about Lauren Hill. Whether or not Lauren’s team wins on November 2nd (I’m writing this post on November 1st), Lauren has already won by sharing her story and raising awareness that might save others in the future. Lauren has been able to get the attention of numerous sports superstars (within the WNBA and other sports), and doing so has produced donations from these stars to fund research to find a cure for DIPG, fundraisers from other colleges to raise money to donate, and a website where people can learn about Lauren’s story, and how they can help.
I think that Lauren’s courageous spirit is best summed up in a quote she gave in an interview with a local Cincinnati, IN news station “I’m not scared of leaving, because I won’t be here. But the people I worry about are the people that I’m leaving behind” (here’s the link for the interview One Last Game). I think that if we could all have be this level of unselfishness, courage, and strength then we would all be better people. Whether or not Lauren does pass away, I think that she was able to do something that many strive for but few accomplish, and that is to truly make a difference. She has taught us all to be strong, determined, passionate, to go after our dreams, and never take a day for granted. Thank you Lauren.
Here are is a website where you can go to learn more about Lauren’s story and donate to fund awareness for DIPG: