Long Way Down

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Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds is a story of revenge and the consequence of revenge. At least that’s what you think it’s about. Reynolds main character Will lives by three simple rules: no crying, no snitching, and always revenge. The premise of this novel is based on a true event from Reynolds life. At 19, he had considered taking revenge himself for the murder of his best friend at the time. What he did instead was to write a book about gun violence that just might break the mold and actually change some minds. Reynolds says that he tried to write this book in a three dimensional way in order to really hit home with people. He is not trying to teach the reader a lesson. He is simply trying to make reality jump off the page. However, this is not the most surprising thing about this book. This novel is not like most novels because it’s written as poetry. Reynolds said that he knows that many communities and people struggle with literary challenges, therefore he wanted to write a book that someone could sit down and read in 45 minutes and walk away understanding the message.

 

Sara Horton is a founding editor of The Olive Press.

Quiet and Stillness Needed

As December begins, I feel the rush toward the end of the year pick up. It is an inner frenzy–all those things I had hoped to complete this year, my need for plans in hand, the lurking pressure of the holidays.

This sense of pressure makes me appreciate those mornings when I don’t need to worry about an alarm, when it is enough to let the sun break through the blinds, allowing the increasing brightness to shake me into the world.

Today, while browsing and reading online, I came across a poem by David Whyte titled “What to Remember When Waking.” It concludes with these lines:

“Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window
toward the mountain presence of everything that can be
what urgency calls you to your one love?
What shape waits in the seed of you
to grow and spread its branches
against a future sky?

Is it waiting in the fertile sea?
In the trees beyond the house?
In the life you can imagine for yourself?
In the open and lovely white page on the writing desk?”

So here is my hope, that we all find the quiet and still mornings that allow us to look outward and inward, both and find what is calling us into the world this day.

Jill Gerard

Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas

As college students, we don’t often get the opportunities to read for pleasure. But lucky for us, we get this lovely thing called Fall Break where we get to relax for about four days. Lucky for me, I stumbled across some free books in the hallway on my way out of the building. So naturally like any English major, I scooped them up and made my home to read them for fun. One of the books I found was titled Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson. Now this was a shocker, I thought he only wrote mystery/thriller books. As a hopeless romantic, I love to see relationships blossom within the story, and I also have the slight habit of becoming attached to the characters—which means, DON’T KILL OFF MY FAVORITE CHARACTERS. So with that thought in mind, I took a deep breath and mentally prepared myself for what lay ahead. To avoid spoiler alerts: I enjoyed the book. James Patterson did not disappoint. Upon turning to the first page, you might be slightly confused and might dislike the male protagonist of the story but keep reading. I promise things will make sense after a few chapters. I enjoyed the multiple perspectives; James Patterson handles this very well. I was also surprised(in a good way) by his interpretation of what goes through the female mind. There is a definite plot twist, and you should definitely without a doubt check this book out. Take some time out of your busy day and read this book.

This book review is brought to you by Sequilla Arita

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