“It’s all frivolous, meaningless. The only things that matter are already gone or almost gone. Already put aside in my safe, tidy compartment of lost things.”- Lena from ‘Who We Are Instead’
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to review a new book called ‘Who We Are Instead’ by Kyla Stone, which was provided by for review by ‘Paper Moon Press’. This is a very interesting book that touches on themes of loss, love, family, & finding your purpose in life. Fair warning this book does discuss mental illness, child abuse/neglect, drug/alcohol use, undetermined rape self-harm, & suicide, so if these issues are triggering to you, please don’t read this book, or proceed with caution. Now let’s get to the review. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
‘Who We Are Instead’ follows the dual perspectives of sisters Lena & Lux McKenna as they are forced to confront their individual personal demons when their father has a heart attack & is given a very small window of time to live. Lena must return home from her arts college where she is studying photography, & take on her role as “the responsible one”, while trying to resolve her issues with 18 year old “wild child” Lux. As we learn more about Lena, we see that issues from her childhood have cause her to become a more guarded & introverted person. Contrary to Lena, Lux has no desire to succeed in school, likes to party, smoke, do drugs, & drink a lot, & also leaves home for weeks at a time, which could possibly be for a drug detox program, without informing anyone as to where she’s going.
So now we’ve reached the big question, is this book worth your time? Honestly the answer is a very loud yes! In this book we not only get to experience both girls perspectives, but also get a very strong sense of who they are as people, what has shaped them, & what’s important to them. We also get romance plots for both girls, & get introduced to Lux’s AMAZING childhood friends. I also really like that all of the characters we meet are flawed in some way of another, & the author does not attempt to redeem each of them which unfortunately does often mirror our own world very closely. With Lena & Lux’s stories we see how similar past experiences can cause different reactions in each person. We see that some people fight the past they are given to create the future they desire, while others run from their past in order to numb the pain & protect themselves. ‘Who We Are Instead’ gives us a very realistic & gripping tale of what can happen when a fractured family finally shatters, while also leaving the ending as ambiguous & open to promise as Lena & Lux themselves are. Definitely a 5 star read that’s will give you all the feels, but as also make you think about these very important issues.
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Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’, we are going to discuss the novel ‘If I Stay’ (which will be released in theaters in 2014). Ready, ok let’s start! ‘If I Stay’ was written by Gayle Forman, and published in 2009. The novel centers around 17 year old Mia Hall, a quiet, reserved girl who is a gifted cellist. Mia is very close to her family due to their mutual love of music, although her family loves rock music (her dad used to be in a band and her mother was a groupie) and Mia loves classical music (she’s the only one who feels this way). She is also very close to her boyfriend Adam (who is in a rock band) and her best friend Kim.
The story begins on an icy, winter morning. Because school is cancelled that day, Mia’s parents decide to take her and her brother, Teddy, who works at this company, to visit old family friends as well as Mia’s and Teddy’s grandparents. While the family is traveling, they are involved in an accident and Mia finds her father and mother dead. She searches for her brother and is unable to find him, and thus doesn’t know if he is ok or not. The ambulance arrives and Mia follows them to the hospital where she is still desperately searching for her brother however, she finds her own body in the ICU. From this point on, the story transitions between what is occurring in the present, and what has already happen in the past. Through these flashbacks, the audience sees how Mia’s love for music developed, as well as how she and Adam fell in love despite how different they are. Mia’s grandparent’s and Kim soon arrive, and they all learn that the doctor’s are struggling to resuscitate her. Mia finally realizes that the choice about whether she lives or dies, is in her hands.
Mia is faced with many difficult choices at this point. If she lives, she will have to do so without her family, as well as suffer any consequences that arise from the accident. If she dies, then she will have to give up her grandparents, Kim, Adam, and the possibly of attending her dream school Julliard (which she auditioned for earlier in the book). Mia realizes that no matter what she chooses, her life will be changed forever. I’m not going to tell you how the book ends because I don’t want to ruin it for you, but I will tell you she takes a long time to decide. Personally I don’t know what I would do if I had to make this choice. What would you do? Please comment below with your answer!
In early 2013, Chloé Grace Mortez was cast as Mia in the film adaptation of ‘If I Stay’. Chloé is well known for her various film projects, which most recently include the remake of the horror story ‘Carrie’. Personally I am really excited to see Chloé take on this role, I feel that she will be able to handle the role, and will be able to bring the complex character of Mia to life. I definitely suggest that everyone read this book and see the movie when it is released.