We Are the Stories We Tell: Patrick Ness’ [More Than This]

(Major spoilers ahead. You've been warned!) "People see stories everywhere," Regine says. "That's what my father used to say. We take random events and we put them together in a pattern so we can comfort ourselves with a story, no matter how much it obviously isn't true." She glances back at Seth. "We have to … Continue reading We Are the Stories We Tell: Patrick Ness’ [More Than This]

Unrealistic Expectations: (Meta)Narrative in Andrew Smith’s [Winger]

Warning: The following post contains major spoilers for Andrew Smith's Winger.  After reading Andrew Smith's Grasshopper Jungle, I immediately knew that I had to read other works written by this author--and Winger seemed like the obvious choice. I finished reading Winger a couple of weeks ago. Typically, I write analyses and reviews of books soon after I read them, but for this novel, … Continue reading Unrealistic Expectations: (Meta)Narrative in Andrew Smith’s [Winger]

Escaping the Labyrinth: Suffering in YA Fiction and the Case of John Green’s [Looking for Alaska]

  How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering? --A.Y. - John Green, Looking for Alaska (p. 158) What is the role of suffering in young adult literature? I've been obsessed with answering this question since one of my dissertation committee members asked me it a couple of weeks ago. My desire to answer this … Continue reading Escaping the Labyrinth: Suffering in YA Fiction and the Case of John Green’s [Looking for Alaska]

What is Gay Literature? The Case of Colm Tóibín’s [The Blackwater Lightship]

Jeanette Winterson, author of the celebrated novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, takes a rather defensive stance when asked if she considers Oranges to be a lesbian novel. She explicitly addresses this question in her personal website by answering it in the negative: No. [Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is] for anyone interested in what happens … Continue reading What is Gay Literature? The Case of Colm Tóibín’s [The Blackwater Lightship]

Connection Failed: An Analysis of Christopher Isherwood’s [A Single Man]

Failure is found at the heart of many great works of fiction. It is a common motif used to spark an emotional connection, sympathy, and at times, anger. Failure is not only the heart of Christopher Isherwood's A Single Man--is also the blood, the flesh, and the soul of this novel. Centered on a single day … Continue reading Connection Failed: An Analysis of Christopher Isherwood’s [A Single Man]

Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History

We supposedly live in a time where it is "okay to be gay." This growing sentiment can partially be accredited to the nationalization of gay media and representations in our society. When I was a child, finding gay representations in television and movies was a challenge--it was only in my teen years that gayness became … Continue reading Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History

A Brilliantly Transgressive YA Novel: Kelley York’s “Hushed” (A Review)

Murder. Love. Torment. Loss. Redemption. What more can you ask for in a book? When first approaching Kelley York's Hushed, it would be easy to classify the novel as a young adult adaptation of Showtime's notorious show Dexter (a television program that one of my friends calls "every English major's favorite show"). And while the novel's main character has strong … Continue reading A Brilliantly Transgressive YA Novel: Kelley York’s “Hushed” (A Review)

Jacinto's Well (Pozo de Jacinto) in Isabela, Puerto Rico

Finding Meaning in a “Nihilistic” Ocean: A Brief Reflection on Thoreau’s “Cape Cod”

There is something about Thoreau that always pushes me to reflect deeply on my own set of experiences and memories. Reading Walden last semester was one of the highlights of my year, not only because his thoughts and opinions greatly resonate within my being, but also because this encounter with his work greatly highlighted the … Continue reading Finding Meaning in a “Nihilistic” Ocean: A Brief Reflection on Thoreau’s “Cape Cod”