The Elite by Kiera Cass

Caution: This review contains spoilers from book one, The Selection.

One aspect of this book that I liked is that it follows the first book, The Selection, almost seamlessly. When reading a sequel, I usually find that it takes me several pages or chapters to “get back into” the story, and I appreciated that The Elite begins more or less where The Selection ends.

America Singer is left with a position as one of 6 remaining Selected girls (known as the Elite), and a choice between her dearest Aspen and the charming prince Maxon.

I found this book to be darker than The Selection, with an expansion on the situation with the rebel attacks on the castle, Illéa’s history, and the conflict created by the caste system. As tension rises within the dwindling group of Elite, as the danger of the rebels becomes far more apparent, and as America discovers more about the founding of Illéa, the Selection no longer seems like a frivolous game.

I was a bit disappointed in the shift in America and Maxon’s friendship, though it might have been expected given the need for conflict in the story. The understanding and casual words that passed between the two of them in The Selection morph into a complicated, less transparent relationship as America’s feelings for Maxon become more apparent.

Because of her growing desire for Maxon’s heart, America grows mistrustful of him and the other girls, and she begins to make decisions that seem less measured than those she made before. I liked how America was kind and helpful to the girls in the beginning of the Selection, but in this book, as her feelings for Maxon grow, she begins to see them more as opponents. Though she maintains her courageous and strong character, America allows herself to be pulled further in to the competition, meaning more uncertainty and distrust.

Additionally, I did feel like some of the conflict between Maxon and America might have been unrealistic; if they truly loved each other, wouldn’t they trust each other more and be able to express their thoughts to each other? Nevertheless, I realize that America and Maxon are both filled with doubt and worry about the decisions set before them (for instance, America debates between Maxon and Aspen: princess or Six?), and are no doubt unsure of many things–even each other.

What I admired about The Elite as well as The Selection was that Maxon did not appear like some two-dimensional character. Despite his privileged position, he is still influenced and pressured by his father, and he feels great responsibility in his choice for a princess–he feels he must not only consider his own happiness, but that of his future people and his father as well.

If you enjoyed The Selection and are eager to follow America’s story further, this is the perfect book! Additionally, it leaves off with 4 Elite … Maxon’s decision draws closer with the close of the second book.

– Mia T.

The Elite by Kiera Cass is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive

 

The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

This story discusses the oppressive nature of marriage, which I think is still very relevant even in today’s society. The United States alone has a divorce rate of 50 percent. The characters in this story think that marriage has stripped them of their individuality and independence. Personally, I don’t deny this argument, but I don’t completely agree with it either. Marriage is the bonding of two people together. Being married means that it is no longer simply a relationship that you are sharing with your spouse, but that there is heavy responsibility associated with that relationship. For a lot of families, women give their careers up to rear the children, which can be a huge sacrifice. I think this type of sacrifice eventually if not alleviated would lead to breakups and divorces.

On the other hand, this story also made me realize how the men in the family should take responsibility as well. The male character’s death not only did not traumatize his wife in the story but also made her feel a sense of relief. A lot of times the breadwinner of the house may feel exhausted after work, therefore demanding that his wife meets all of his needs voluntarily and mandatorily. Nevertheless, he is omitting all the house chores and child-caring the mother or females of the house have undertaken during the period when he’s gone to work. Hence, this story tells us that it is important for every family member to take a share of responsibilities and duties.

-Coreen C. 

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man and the Sea is a short novel by American author Ernest Hemingway. The novel is about a Cuban fisherman who manages to hook onto the largest fish he has ever seen, which he struggles to haul in alive.

The novel begins with the old fisherman who had not caught any fish for the past eighty-four days. As a result, he is considered unlucky, and a young boy who used to fish with him together is no longer allowed to by his parents. The old man and the boy are very close, with the young boy often bringing the old man news and food.

The next day, the old man leaves early on his tiny boat, and he manages to hook onto the largest fish he has ever seen, an eighteen feet long marlin. Despite the fish’s massive size and strength, the old man is determined to catch the fish to end his unlucky period. The old man shows his determination after continuing to hold onto the fish for three days straight without sleep as it pulls his boat. With his determination, he eventually catches the massive fish after three days.

However, unfortunately for the old man, swarms of sharks attack his boat, eating the fish in the process, even though he desperately defends against them with everything he has.

He eventually returns home with nothing except the skeleton of the fish, collapsing onto his bed from exhaustion. The next day, the skeleton of the fish, still attached to his boat, draws crowds of people, fishermen and tourists alike, who are amazed by its size. Through all of this, the old man simply sleeps calmly, while the boy returns to take care of him, deciding he will fish with the old man despite his parents forbidding him to.

Ultimately, despite that The Old Man and the Sea is a classic, I would not recommend it due to its boring plot. The novel does contain some symbols, and the old fisherman represents Hemingway’s view on life, described as Hemingway’s “code hero.”

-Josh N. 

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Written in a time where topics such as mental illness were considered taboo, J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye was a revolutionary novel. Catcher in the Rye tells the story of a teenage boy named Holden Caulfield who struggles to find his purpose and place in society while grieving the death of his younger brother Allie. Allie had died when Holden was only 13 years old, and 3 years later, this traumatic event still greatly affects Holden’s cynical view of society and life itself. Holden’s experiences in an upper-class family and in the boarding schools he has spent most of his adolescence in have shaped his view of adulthood and the “phoniness” of society in general. He views childhood as something precious, and adulthood as a dark world of phoniness and monotony. Spending time in all-male prep schools has also caused Holden to question the meaning of masculinity and what it means to be a man.

After being expelled from his third school, Holden decides to go to New York City alone and encounters characters he deems as “phony,” such as Sally Hayes, Bernice, Sunny, and Ernie. Holden resents these characters for their lack of authenticity and superficial interests. His search for someone who is innocent and genuine leads him to his younger sister, Phoebe. It is then revealed that Holden wants to be “the catcher in the rye,” or someone who is there to catch children playing in a field from falling over the metaphorical cliff to adulthood. Holden’s obsession with the preservation of innocence stems from the loss of his younger brother, Allie, and can be seen in his reluctance to see old friends and the museum he used to love as a child. Holden is scared of change, and of seeing those he once adored older, more mature, and, in Holden’s mind, “phony.” These experiences bring Holden to a point of emotional exhaustion and distress, which climaxes at the end of the novel when he watches Phoebe and other young children on a carousel at the New York Zoo. This display of pure innocence and joy brings Holden to tears, yet he feels truly happy for the first time in the story. The entire story is told from Holden’s perspective a year later, as he is talking to a therapist in a mental hospital. The reader never truly gains closure on Holden’s future but is left to finish the story in their own minds.

Thousands of readers have resonated with Holden’s character, and are grateful for the genuine voice of J.D. Salinger and the connection they feel with Holden. Many speculate that Holden is a reflection of Salinger himself, influenced by the traumatic events that plagued Salinger’s own life. This novel has forced readers to question societal influence and what is truly important in life. Salinger has given a voice to the cynical internal monologue many shares with Holden and brought to light countless issues that were never truly discussed or recognized in the time during which Catcher in the Rye was written.

-Katie A. 

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Lizard Music by Daniel Pinkwater

Lizard Music is another hilarious book by Daniel Pinkwater.  This one is about a boy named Victor from a town called McDonaldsville.  Victor’s parents are away on vacation and his older sister is out camping even though she is supposed to be looking after him.  Since his parents are away, he can watch television late at night.  One night, something strange happens.  The television begins to show lizards performing jazz music.  This is mysterious because nothing about lizards appears in the television guide.

Victor later finds a man known as “The Chicken Man,” with a trained chicken named Claudia who helps Victor discover where the lizards come from.  They set off for a place called Invisible Island.  This is where the lizards broadcast their own television channel.  Their island has been drifting toward Victor’s hometown, and the weather is just right for Victor’s television to pick up their signal.

I enjoy reading about Victor’s wacky tour through the island.  For example, he is introduced to the House of Plants.  The house has a tree called the Truth Tree, which shakes its leaves and emits a loud noise whenever someone is telling a lie nearby.  Victor also enters the House of Memory.  In this house, whatever Victor thinks about appears in the room.

This book is a favorite of mine because of its quirky and random humor.  Daniel Pinkwater is a very unique author but I think his books can appeal to a wide audience, as long as you are not looking for a serious read.

-Oliver H. 

Lizard Music by Daniel Pinkwater is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

The Selection by Kiera Cass

When you open the pages of this book, you enter the country of Illéa, a post-World War IV America. It’s led by a king, not a president; formed of provinces, not states; and populated by eight castes, each number related to different trade and status (one being the most privileged). The story begins at a prominent time in Illéa–a Selection in which 35 girls from any caste are given the opportunity to be the princess of Illéa (which would raise them to the status of a One) and the wife of the young Prince Maxon.

Reminiscent of The Hunger Games, full of romance and humor and extravagance, and populated by a set of dynamic characters, Kiera Cass’ The Selection is an entertaining and satisfying read.

Although lacking the violence and seriousness of The Hunger Games, The Selection parallels Suzanne Collins’ book in some ways. In both novels the citizens are separated into classes, the highest class wealthy and lavish and seemingly frivolous; and there is a “lottery” to select people for a nationwide, televised event. Because of these similarities, if you enjoyed The Hunger Games this may be a book to consider; however, the books differ in significant ways as well–one way being the more romantic focus of The Selection.

I liked how the romance in this novel did not seem forced; the characters were strong and independent, which made any romance believable. The main character, America Singer, lives in a family of Fives, and she does her best to support her family. What I liked about her character was that she does not place as much importance on the caste system, and she has little desire to elevate her caste as long as she and those around her are content. She loves people for their personality and values rather than their image or caste. Her determination to remain herself no matter who is watching is also an admirable trait.

Most of the characters seemed well-rounded and believable, especially because of the rich backstories readers are either informed of or tantalized with. I did feel like some of the 35 Selected characters were not expanded upon, but in retrospect 35 characters would take a while to develop, and I understand how the introduction of the formation of all the characters could have shifted the focus of the story and its readers.

Along with romance and dynamic characters is the theme of judgment. The caste system in itself causes judgment among the characters–each caste is expected to work in a certain field, such as art, acting, or physical labor. The Selection addresses the inequality across Illéa as well as the barrier judgment causes, whether the judgment is towards a One or an Eight. It’s interesting to see the lives of those in the palace–the Ones–and though they live with abundance and frivolity, they have the onerous job of running a country. Furthermore, Prince Maxon presents himself quite differently than the stuck-up, spoiled prince America initially imagines him to be. On the other hand, Prince Maxon starts to understand the hardships of the lower classes–hardships he had previously been oblivious to.

If you haven’t read the book yet or are now planning on it, I want to mention that The Selection is the first of a series of five. While I was reading, I was expecting the answers to “who wins the Selection?” “What is the mysterious backstory of Illéa?” and “why is the palace in danger of rebel attack?” to be answered by the end of the story, but they weren’t. However, I didn’t find the ending of the story very disappointing; it set up the next book as an intriguing and exciting continuation to the story of America, the Selection, and Illéa.

– Mia T.

The Selection by Kiera Cass is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It is also available as a free download from Overdrive

Sadie by Courtney Summers

This book is not for the faint of heart. It contains very graphic and mature scenes and themes, but nonetheless, it’s a beautiful book. 

Sadie tells the heart-wrenching story of a girl trying to get revenge for her sister’s death. It’s told through her own narration, and through a podcast following her trace. 

As a non-avid reader of mysteries/thrillers, this book was nothing like what I had expected. Although it could be a bit slow at times, what is lacked is made up of impact. This book hits so hard, and it’s important to recognize these types of actions as something that sadly is a part of society today. 

As you learn more about Sadie and what she’s been through, and the stories of the people she meets, you find everything that happens is the absolute worst things imaginable. Society is a gruesome and horrible place, and reading this book gave me biggest reality check I ever could’ve gotten.

The most horrible thing is, that these predicaments are what some people live in, it’s all they know, and that thought repulses me. The idea that people can relate to this piece of work is truly a reflection of the worst parts of society today. 

But all that aside, I highly recommend reading this book. Again, it gave me every sort of feeling imaginable and left me wondering about each and every one of the characters we had the honor of meeting. The podcast format for some chapters is such an ingenious idea and executed so well, I regret that I read the physical copy and not the audiobook. 

Our main character is the strongest and most resilient person I’ve ever read about. She has been through so much in her life, and as the book goes on and on, the situation gets worse and worse. Sadie is such a broken and mistreated character that everything she does, and everything she goes through is remarkable to me.

In short, if you want an impactful read, this is it.

If you’re struggling with anything that Sadie encounters or is going through in this book please reach out for help. You are not alone. 

    National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673 

    National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

    National Helpline: 1-800-662-4357

-Asli B. 

Sadie by Courtney Summers is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

The reason why I began reading this novel was because of school requirements. Contrary to what I imagined as a typical romance genre, Jane Eyre incorporates elements of horror, fantasy, and even gothic. Jane Eyre actually has a similar background as Cinderella. Her parents died. Their marriage was not supported by her mother’s family because her father’s social status did not match her mother’s. However, even after being disowned by her family and friends, Jane Eyre’s mother did not give up on her family. Jane Eyre was actually raised by her aunt along with her cousins. But because everybody except for a governess treated her so horribly, Jane Eyre decided to leave for a boarding school built just for orphaned girls.

After years of learning and eventually becoming a teacher there, Jane Eyre was bored with her repeating life. Hence, after much effort, she received a recruitment letter from an old mistress at a mansion to be the governess of Adele, an 8-year-old French girl who barely speaks English. And it was from here that Jane Eyre met Mr. Rochester, a very serious and reticent man. Nonetheless, they fell in love shortly and were at the point to be married when Jane Eyre found that Mr. Rochester was married to a crazy woman. She ran away from him and eventually was taken in by a preacher’s family in a faraway village. Jane Eyre was eventually able to unite with Mr. Rochester even after he has gone blind due to a fire. She not only denied the pastor’s wish to marry her and make her a missionary’s wife in India, but she gave birth to a boy with Mr. Rochester.

Although this book has a happy ending, the plot and characters are fickle and unpredictable. I recommend this book to readers who like romance but are tired of the traditional plot and setting.

-Coreen C. 

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliet

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliet is a unique and eccentric book about fitting in and standing out.

The whole world is in turmoil. A mysterious art scholar-turned thief is questioning whether some 37 paintings attributed to famous artist Johannes Vermeer were truly created by him. The thief has stolen Vermeer’s most famous painting, A Lady Writing, and says he will only return it when the shroud of mystery surrounding this painter’s life was eradicated. Meanwhile, Calder Pillay and Petra Andalee are regular New York sixth graders starting a new year with an eccentric teacher, Ms. Isabel Hussey, who has strange and revolutionary ideas. Soon, Calder and Petra are swept up in the rising tide of unrest and uncertainty, and they must shoulder the task of finding the missing painting and revealing the thief. Along the way, they encounter coincidence, a coincidence that may not be a coincidence, and patterns of complex kinds.

The setting of Chasing Vermeer really helped set the mood for the story. For example, the exciting and complex atmosphere of Hyde Park and New York City help set the mood for some later detective work and spying. The gloomy and oppressive, yet tense aura of Delia Dell Hall makes it a perfect location for the climax of the story.

On a scale of 1-10, I would rate this story a 9. The plot was slightly confusing, but it helped me see the world with new eyes, and understand other people better. It was also an eccentric book with a unique plot, the likes of which I have never read before.

-Vaidehi B. 

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliet is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

Son by Lois Lowry

When an author can mirror the magnificence of their initial novel with a sequel of equal caliber, it is nothing short of magic. But to do it multiple times over is something that only the likes of Lois Lowry could do. After a sequel and third installment, Lowry does it again with her story, Son. (Please note that I will be building off of concepts already discussed in past reviews. If you are not familiar with the previous stories in The Giver quartet, please read the corresponding reviews)

Back in the good old community, there is a girl called Claire. As a birth mother, she has been artificially inseminated and will have a child, one of the three who she is fated to bear during her few short years before she is subjected to a lifetime of physical labor jobs. Much as the citizens of the community lack knowledge of numerous aspects of life, the birth mothers are oblivious to their pregnancy, and that they will have a child. It’s not like they woke up on e day and where all “What the heck? What’s this bump on my stomach?”. The understand pregnancy but don’t realize that it means they will have a child. They are told that they must carry a “product”, they are blindfolded during the birth, then it happens twice more. Despite being blindfolded, Claire can tell that something is going wrong with her delivery. It is due to this that Claire is given an early leave from her role as birthmother and condemned to work at the fish hatchery. However, she starts to gain knowledge of her child and eventually begins to volunteer at the child care center where she meets him, Gabe. Mind blown! Lowry does it again! Anyway, Claire deepens her and Gabe’s bond while she learns that he is being taken care of by Jonas’s family unit who has a deep affinity for him. BANG! Then, one night the community is all up and out of bed. All of the people are like “What could have disturbed me from my dreamless sleep in my grey Minecraft bed?” (I don’t know, that’s just what I always envisioned). Voices proclaim that Jonas has fled the community with a baby. Claire puts two and two together and goes “Oh shoot”. She runs onto a nearby shipping ship which sets out for the sea and becomes a sunken shipping ship (say that five times fast!).

Breathe, end of part one!

Claire is struggling and half hallucinating in the water because due to the emotional strain and, ‘cause she has like never swam before (reason number #2,567, 898 why the community sucks). She ends up on the shore of a rural town where she is adopted (‘cause like guys, she is still a minor at this point) by a woman called Alys. Alys is like the co-chief of the village and also the nurse and midwife. Under Alys’s guidance, Claire basically goes through preschool (she learns about colors, feelings, trigonometry, rocket science, you know, basic things that they did not have in the community). She also grapples with an immense feeling of loss and she can not understand why. It’s like that feeling when you go to school and your all “I feel like I’m forgetting something” then you sort of forget, but it resurfaces “What was it?”. Then class starts and the teacher’s like “Okay, I’ll collect all your homework” and you just go “Oh shoot”. That’s exactly how Claire felt when she had the consciousness to remember her son.

Then she starts going really mad. Before the news got out to the town, Claire was pretty hot stuff. There was this guy named Andres who was totally into Claire but after the news spreads, he’s like “Nah” ‘cause Andres is a sucky dud like that. Basically, in this little seaside village, premarital sex is a big no no and once you are no longer a virgin you sort of depreciate in value. This town is super traditional like that. Also, ‘cause they are like simple farm people living off of the Earth, they don’t get the concept of artificial insemination and that Claire did not technically hook up with anyone. All the ladies stay at home, silent in the kitchen and all the dudes do stuff like fishing or farming, stuff like that. The whole town is basically a bunch of Baby Boomers if you catch my drift. So, she is reduced to the laughing stalk of the village. The only ones to stick by her are Alys and Einar, a sheep herder.

Einar is such a sweetheart. He is so genuine and kindhearted with everyone, and the sheep which he has memorized all the names of. He is not a “macho man” like all of the other village men. He also has a depressing past. Einar’s mom died in childbirth. Therefore, his “macho man” father who was super upset about losing his wife who was like the best part of his dull “macho man” fisherman life, blamed it on his son and therefor made life sucky for Einar. This dude was a jerk, on steroids. On top of verbal and physical abuse, his father emotionally abused him in a way. Due to a, uh, lack of a female presence, Einar was subjected to fill his mother’s role in a few different ways, i’ll let you fill in the blanks. One day Einar got so fed up with his sucky life that he decided that he was going to scale the massive cliff that loomed behind the village. No one had ever gotten to the top before, some people tried but turned back, others died. Einar did it. But he might as well not have.

One day Claire tells him her story and how she needs to set out to find her son. She does not want to go back to the sea (don’t blame her) so she asks Einar to help her get over the cliff. If you have had visions of scaling Mt. Everest and their is a full camera crew waiting for you at the top and like a ton of money and food and a mansion or something (I don’t know what is in your fantasy!), I don’t think that a creepy dude was part of it. Like, I bet that you wanted anything but a creepy dude. Especially when that creepy dude wants to steal your soul. Putting two and two together, it’s Trademaster, (sarcastic yay!). So when Einar got to the top and was really for the cameras, Trademaster’s all “Hey dude, was there ever anything that you wanted real bad but you just could’nt get it?” and then Einar goes, “Nah brah, I’m good, I’m on top of the world right now, literally”. Then, Trademaster’s like “For realzies?” and Einar’s like “Yah dude, can I get you anything? Like a water or something?” After that Trademaster is like “Skrew you and your niceness!” and attacks Einar’s leg like a big fat jerk face. Then Einar’s like “Uh, I gotta bounce” and shimmy’s back down the cliff.

Now, Einar is crippled for life. When Einar tells Claire this, she agrees that she is willing to under go something of a similar category for the chance of seeing her son again. Einar agree’s to help her train to climb the cliff. After a few years Claire builds up enough endurance and strength to reach the top. Then, before she goes she and Einar kiss, ‘cause like why not and Claire gets to the top. When she gets there, she goes to sleep. You probably think that your alarm clock is a crappy thing to wake up to, waking up to Trademaster is worse. Trademaster’s all, “OMG, your hair is like totally adorbs, what conditioner are you using?”. Then Claire’s like “Oh thanks-wait a sec”. Then Trademaster’s like “What brings you to my neck of the woods?” and Claire goes, “Oh, ya know, stuff” and then Trademaster’s like “I know about the kid from all of the stalking that I’ve done of you on the intedwebs” and Claire’s all “Oh shoot”. Then Trademaster’s like, “Give me your hair, your beauty, your youth and I’ll tell you where he is”. Einar has told Claire that she should make the trade, whatever it was just to get it over with. So, she did it. He told her to go straight through the woods to which she said “It was that simple?” and she turned into an old lady. As she approached a town, she saw a group of boys and felt a connection with one of them, Gabe. She longed to see her sweet child but she realized what a fool she would look like, an old woman emerging from the wood claiming to be his mother. It was then that the full evil of Trademaster’s deal struck her.

Water break, part two!

Now that her plans of reunion with Gabe have been foiled, Claire moves into a quaint little place on the outskirts of the town. This town however, is the town in which Jonas and Gabe ended up at at the end of The Giver and the town in which Seer lived after he was blinded and the town which almost had a complete wall built around it due to the corrupt Trademaster. After Matty died in Messenger, all of Trademaster’s wrongdoing in the town where undone and he fled to the forest. That should be the end of the story, at least many of the citizens of the town thought so… duh, duh, duh. Anywho, Claire sort of stalks Gabe for a little while and begins to assimilate into the town. She starts getting sick and dying because she is now an older woman. She confides in the town leader her story and of her and Gabe’s connection. The town leader is Jonas who also plays somewhat of a father figure roll in Gabe’s life. Don’t get any ideas about him and Claire though because Jonas and Kira are married with two kids name Mathew and Annabelle. At first when Claire tells Jonas her story, he is like “Whatever old lady” but then he realizes, “Oh, shoot. Trademaster must really still be out there!”.

So, because this is the super logical thing to do, Jonas decides, “Yah know what, let’s send Gabe, a little kid, out into the forest to fight this dude”. Also, as Jonas is loosing his abilities to see beyond, Gabe is only discovering his ability of feeling what other people feel, basically sympathy. All the while, Gabe has been working on building a boat. He researched boats in books which he borrows from Jonas’s extensive library. He gets all pumped up about the boat, actually. He gets all his friends to carve their names in the oar that he will use to paddle and everything. But, the boat fails. When he goes into the forest to fight Trademaster though, he brings the oar with him. He finds Trademaster who challenges him to a duel, offering him an assortment of weapons to choose from but Gabe’s all “Nah, I’m good”. Trademaster insults Gabe telling him how he has traded with people far more worth while and how insignificant he is. Gabe refuses to fight Trademaster so, he tries to make a trade with Gabe, who turns it down. Gabe uses his ability to feel on Trademaster. He gets a bunch of hungry vibes back. Gabe then realizes that Trademaster is starving. But not starving like “Bruh, I could eat this whole pizza I’m so hungry” but starving for his victims sadness. He feeds off of their misery. Then Gabe’s all, “Hey, remember Mentor?” and Trademasters like, “Yah, I ruined his life” and then Gabe’s like “No way Jose, he is happy now. He is living every day like a boss”. That was like the equivelent of Gabe punching Trademaster in the stomach. He lurches and is like “Dang, that hurt”.

Then Gabes all “Remember Einar, the one who turned you down?” and Trademaster’s all, “Uh yah, I made him miserable” and Gabe’s like “Nah man, he’s doing great. Plus, this supper hot girl is totally into him”. That was another punch. With each punch Trademaster got more hungry for some kind of crappy ending. Then Gabe was like “And you remember that girl to, that babe in the story was my mom, Claire! She was looking for her son who, by the way, is just as hot! And she found me. You took her youthfulness away but we found each other so it didn’t even matter. You will never love anyone, and I feel bad, but also, screw you, I hope you starve!”. With that, Trademaster turned into a pile of sloppy gush because he was never really human, he was evil. Gabe buried the oar to commemorate the place where evil died and went back to the town where Claire was revived as a young woman and everyone lived happily ever after (for real this time)!

-Ainsley H.

P.S. The book never says anything about this but I am totally curious about it and I think that other people are to: I just really want to assume that this happened and for the sake of putting it out there, in the Ainslican version of the text, Claire and Einar live together in the village where Jonas and Gabe and all them live. That makes the happy ending happier!

Son by Lois Lowry is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive