Category Archives: Independent Reading

Dragon’s Egg

In Dragon’s Egg, written by Sarah L. Thomson, we follow the life of a young dragon keeper named Mella, this character is a good representation of a brave and fearless young woman. One day Mella came across a cave. Within the cave, there was a small but bright fire that was created by a dragon. A dragon’s egg had been placed upon the fire, surrounded by coals. Mella had heard stories in the past, about huge fire-breathing dragons. However, the size of the egg could not compare to the eggs of the smaller dragons she took care of at her family’s restaurant.

“It was black and glossy, large enough that she had to cradle it in two hands, and so hot she could feel it even through the dragonhide. Was it just a rock worn smooth by the water in the stream? It must be. But even so, it was beutiful. Fascinated, Mella watched as colors seemed to shift and swim beneath the dark surface–pine green, molten red, the deep blue of a sky on a clear day when the last light is fading. She’d found a treasure in the cave after all.” (p. 25).

I find this quote significant because even though Mella was on her own she still went into the cave. Finding what looked like a dragon egg did not frighten her. It only made her more curious. I believe that with Mella finding the Dragon’s Egg, it helped show us the kind of character she was. A brave and strong young woman.   


IJRE Stormbreaker 21/3/2020

In chapter 11 “Dozmary Mine”  of Alex Rider Stormbreaker, written by Anthony Horowitz, Alex went to the Port Tallon libary. The librarian told him that his uncle wanted to read a book on computer viruses and a book on Cornwall history. When he studied the book he realized that  the diagram matched the map his uncle had left and that there was a mine under Sayle Enterprises. Alex went to the store and bought supplies and headed to the mine to explore it.

Alex, a professional spy can also do sometimes mistakes, because he is also only a human.

He came to a tangle of iron and wire: some sort of machine, long ago buried and forgotten. He climbed over it too quickly, cutting his leg on a piece of jagged metal. He stood still for a few seconds, forcing himself to slow down. He knew he musn’t panic. He forced himself to think. If you panic, you’ll get lost. (P.156)

I like this scene, because I see in that that also a professional spy can make mistakes and everybody is not doing always everything perfect.


IRJE: Ruin of Stars By: Linsey Miller

The main character lost her family due to five Erlend nobles. North Star, Deadfall, Riparian, Caldera, and Winter destroyed Nacea. The Queen named her Opal and trained her to become an assassin to help take out the Erlend nobles. Opal wanted to kill Caldera’s daughter first, then kill him, but decided against it because Caldera’s daughter was innocent. After that, she goes into Caldera’s room and talks to him, trying to get some information out of him. He tries to yell for help and escape but fails miserably. After getting the information she needed, she went ahead and stabbed a knife through his chest and ended his life.

I tucked the blanket back around Caldera’s daughter and left. I could comprehend killing his kid to get at him, but I wasn’t him. Caldera’s daughter was no more at fault for her father’s deeds than Elise was for hers, and only Caldera was dying tonight. -Pg 4

I think this quote is important because it shows how angry Opal feels after Caldera murdered her parents. Even though she is filled with hatred, she still kept her conscious and refrained from doing what he did. If someone hurts my family, I would probably not be able to stop myself from hurting that person’s loved ones too.


1st April: IJRE / Stormbreaker

In chapter 13 THE SCHOOL BULLY of Alex Rider Strombreaker the spy Alex was caught and interrogated by Mr Sayle. Alex told that he is from the MI6 and also all the other things that he already knew about Mr Sayle`s stormbreaker. He had to tell the truth about all, because he was threatened by Mr Grin with flying knives. When Alex asked for the reasons for his Stormbreaker attack Mr Sayle said:

… I was mocked and bullied. Because of my size. Because of my dark skin. Because I couldn’t speak English well. Because I wasn’t one of them. (p 183.)

But there was one who was worse than any of them. (p 184)

He grew up to be the bliddy prime minister! (p185)

These statements show how somebody can be angry aggressive and frustrated after he was mobbed in his childhood.

Therefore I think it is important to stop mobbing at all time!


IRJE-April 1st

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is a novel about two working men, George, who’s a sharp man in every way, and Lennie who’s a simple-minded man. They have just arrived at a ranch in central California, where they’ll be working for the next while. They are unpacking their stuff when Slim, walks into the bunkhouse; he’s the leader of the grain team the two will be working on. When getting to know the two new men, Slim asks if they travel around together and then says most of the other men choose to go about alone, but he doesn’t know why. He ponders the idea, saying…

Maybe ever’ body … is scared of each other. (p.36).

This quotation demonstrates the distinction between George and Lennie’s unique relationship and the lonely lives of the other ranch workers. Though George fronts as though he would rather be without Lennie and says he only helps him because he promised Lennie’s aunt Clara that he would protect him, you can still tell they have a deep, complicated friendship, and George enjoys the company when they travel from ranch to ranch looking for work. Slim considers fear of each other to be one reason the other ranch workers choose isolation over companionship. This situation of self-isolation applies to today’s individuals; we accept being lonely and not opening up to others over rejection. We are scared of being judged because of who we are, so, if we self-isolate and choose not to overshare, we can’t be outcasted, but this comes at the cost of friendship and trust.


February 15th IRJE: Divergent

Veronica Roth, suddenly someone screams, and when the lights are turned on, Edward, who was ranked first, has a butter knife sticking out of his eye.

“‘We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.'”

Tris was calm in the room when she heard a scream, she ran out and so Edward with a knife in his eye, sh suddenly calms him and they realized that Peter and Christian are missing. Tris and Four believe it was Peter but they think is better to tell anyone until tomorrow in the cafeteria. The next day 4 people left the dauntless to avoid them getting cut by them, since that’s what they are here for, they don’t let anyone win the first place. Tris recapitulates and she goes to confront Peter when someone opened the door.


March 1st IRJE: Divergent.

Veronica Roth, the game of capture the flag gives Tris a chance to show her true strengths. By climbing the Ferris wheel, she doesn’t just appear fearless: she also gains a real tactical advantage over the other team.

“Then I realize what it is. It’s him. Something about him makes me feel like I am about to fall. Or turn to liquid. Or burst into flames.”

Tris and Four are fighting for the team’s victory, they are both helping each other and they are starting to have a deeper connection between each other that leads into their minds. This ability helped them to gain the flag while coming back they encounter the best player in the Dauntless. They fastly developed other integrities that led them to the victory and made them go back to their base.



I have come to the conclusion that’s Holden is the most stubborn human being on earth. I have said it before but, all holden has been doing is complaining about others and how much he hates them. He does this while he is socializing with these same people and probably being more of a nuisance to them then they are to him.  I find this incredibly immature and ignorant. Why be an incredibly grumpy person with a rude attitude and then complain about others, it makes no sense. this quote from “page 44\45” shows this perfectly.

He said it again. “Holden. If I letcha, up willya keep your mouth shut?” Yes. He got up off me, I got up too. My chest urt like hell from his dirty knee’s, “your’re a stupid sonuvabitch moron”, I told him. That got him really mad. he shook his stupid big finger in my face. “Holden God damit I’m warning you now. for the last time. If your not gonna keep your yap shut I’m gonna-” “why should I?” I said- I was practically yelling. “That’s just the problem with all you morons. You never want to disguss anything. thats the way you can alway’s tell a moron. They never want to disguess anything intelling-” Then he really let one at me, and the next thing I knew, I was on the od damn floor again.

This quote shows perfectly how much of a bad fiend Holden is. I understand how feeling can get the best of you, and how you can end up doing some pretty ridiculous things. But all I see coming out of this quote is Holden being the definition of a hypocrite. people are allowed to be mad at others but when you’re doing the same thing they’re doing to you straight back even worse then they did, you can’t complain.  Holden keeps on teasing Straldlater even after he warns Holden to stop. All Holden is doing for himself is digging himself into a deeper and deeper hole constantly.



April 1st IRJE: Divergent.

Veronica Roth, When Four asks her name, she shortens it to “Tris.” The change reveals that despite her newfound independence, she’s still vulnerable to social pressure. Although she has joined Dauntless because it best represents her individual self, she chooses a name that conforms to the norms of her new faction.

“A new place, a new name. I can be remade here. ‘Tris,’ I say firmly.”

At this moment, not only does Tris adopt her new name, but she adopts a new her. By hating her plain Abnegation name, Tris shows her desire to make a change in her life and start back again. If she had not taken this decision she would have had trouble with the Dauntless. In order to fully prepare herself, she has to completely differentiate herself from the person she was once told to be and from the family that named her. This is yet another of her choices, a choice that changes her identity entirely.



The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

In The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, by Kate DiCamillo, Edward the china rabbit disregards the very idea of love, we can see he does this throughout the story. He lives amongst the Tulane family who loves him, they treated him as another member of the family, not just as a china doll.

“In the evening, Edward sat at the dining-room table with the other members of the Tulane family: Abilene; her mother and father; and Abilene’s grandmother, who was called Pellagrina. True, Edward’s ears barely cleared the tabletop, and true also, he spent the duration of the meal staring straight ahead at nothing but the bright and blinding white of the tablecloth. But he was there, a rabbit at the table.” . . .

“Abilene’s parents found it charming that Abilene considered Edward real, and that she sometimes requested that a phrase or story be repeated because Edward had not heard it.” . . .

“Abilene’s father would then turn in the direction of Edward’s ears and speak slowly, repeating what he had just said for the benefit of the china rabbit. Edward pretended, out of courtesy to Abilene, to listen. But, in truth, he was not very interested in what people had to say. And also he did not care for Abilene’s parents and their condescending manner toward him. All adults, in fact, condescended to him.” (pp. 6-7)

The quotes above show how much the Tulane family cared for Edward. They loved him and treated him with the utmost care. The person who loved him most was Abilene. She treated Edward like a king, dressing him up in fancy clothes and making sure he was always included. Nothing in the world was as important to her as Edward. But Edward Tulane never felt the same way with Abilene and her family. He appreciated Abilene for caring for him, but Edward did not love her or anyone else.

One night Abilene’s grandmother Pellegrina decided to tell Abilene and Edward a story. As Pellegrina spoke, she stared into Edward’s eyes and once the story had ended, it left Abilene in disbelief with Edward next to her.

“The end.” . . .

“But it can’t be.” . . .

“Why can’t it be?” . . .

“Because it ended too quickly. Because no one is living happily ever after, that’s why.” . . .

“Pellegrina nodded. She was quiet for a moment. But answer me this: how can a story end happily if there is no love?” (p. 33)

When Pelegrina said this last line she intended it towards Edward. Leaning ever closer to him as she spoke gently in his ear: “You disappoint me” (p. 33). I believe that the story was mostly a lesson for Edward, Pellegrina could, in some way, tell that Edward had no love in his china body, which is why she was disappointed in him. The moral of the story was that for you to be truly loved, you must be able to feel and to be able to feel, you must be able to accept the love that those around you share.


IRJE: Apr. 1 (The Hero of Ages)

In the Hero of Ages, book three of the Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson, there are two gods which rule over Scadrial, the world in which the series takes place. The first god, Preservation, seeks to create stability and eliminate chaos and change. Her counterpart, Ruin, strives for the opposite: complete destruction and disorder. For millennia, the two were locked in stalemate, with neither able to achieve their extreme goals.

On one hand, each knew that only by working together could they create. On the other hand, both knew that they would never have complete satisfaction in what they created. Preservation would not be able to keep things perfect and unchanging, and Ruin would not be able to destroy completely. (pp. 472-473).

In the series, especially in book three, Ruin acts as the primary antagonist. Considering this, it might be easy to mistake Ruin for a god of evil. This, however, isn’t true, and that’s something I find very interesting. Despite being a cause of great distress for the world of Scadrial and the heroes in it, Ruin cannot be fully destroyed– he does not represent evil, but rather change. Without him, Preservation would just as easily destroy the world as it was. The only difference is that where Ruin would dissolve Scadrial into a state of chaos, Preservation would keep it captive in a state of everlasting perpetuity. Truly, neither extreme is a good option– the world needs a balance of change and stability. The Hero of Ages takes place at a time in which Ruin has gained more power than Preservation, and thus he is who the heroes must fight against, and as mutual enemies of Ruin, they naturally become allied with Preservation. It is important to recognize, though, that the circumstances have made one god into an ally and the other into an enemy. The roles could easily be reversed, with the heroes of Scadrial fighting to not be caught in a world where no change can be inflicted. Though it is still more interesting to have villains with more complexity than seeking an absolute, the concept of chaos and stability being the absolutes rather than evil and good is still at least somewhat more compelling.


IRJE: April 1st (Boy Erased)

In Garrad Conley’s memoir, Boy Erased, he recalls the night Chloe invites him to have sex to maintain their relationship. Conley ends up playing video games with Chloe’s brother Brandon for the entire night, whom he soon discovers to be gay too. Brandon is later caught in an affair with another boy and is harassed by many people. Conley destroys all his gaming equipment and volunteers to go to a treatment center in a nearby city.

“I had once heard someone call the city a trash dump, and I’d been offended at the time, but now I could see how they were right. It was the place where things came and went, home of the FedEx headquarters, the city with the most available overnight flights to other cities in the country, steel barges on the Mississippi floating right through the center of it–But the things that gathered and collected here, the things that stayed and took root, these were the things that gave the city its sense of abandonment. ” (p.80)

This passage is located near the beginning of a new chapter and immediately sets the mood for the readers. In the same chapter, Conley mentions that it has only been “Two full days at Love in Action, and the city had already lost its shine.”(p.79) It indicates that it isn’t necessarily the city that has lowered his mood, but rather it is the treatment program that appears to make him anxious. The first sentence of the passage above immediately tells us his change of opinion and gives us a contrast of Love in Action’s purpose and the reality it creates. By using words such as collected and abandonment, Conley gives us a chilly atmosphere that is unsettling and lonesome at the same time.


April 1st IR

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This year its the first time Prim Rose Everdeen (Katniss sister) is part of the selection since she just turned 12. Katniss is completely sure her little sister isn’t going to be selected for the Games since there’s just one paper with her name among thousands of them.

The day arrives and its time to know which tributes will represent each district in the arena. Effie Trinket is the escort of the District 12 tributes and she is in charge of taking one paper with the name of the tribute that will fight in the Games. Effie takes a paper for the females, opens it and said the name Prim Rose Everdeen. Prim is selected by the lottery system that decides which children become tributes and that’s the moment Katnisse’s life turned off for a minute until she reacted and makes a really brave action.

“I volunteer!” I gasp. “I volunteer as tribute!” (p.22)

The reason Katniss volunteers to save Prim is that she is just twelve years old. She is a sensitive, caring person who has difficulty with any kind of suffering or violence. She is almost certain to die in the Games. Katniss, meanwhile, is four years older and very protective of Prim. Without any hesitation, she volunteers to take her sister’s place. Moreover, she has years of experience hunting (therefore killing) and is far less sensitive than her sister. This makes her more likely to survive in the Games.

Peeta Mellark is the male that has been selected to fight in the Games. Meanwhile, both tributes are on the train on their way to the Capitol. Katniss relates her first encounter with Peeta once Peeta has been selected as District 12’s male tribute.

“The boy took one look back to the bakery as if checking that the coast was clear, then, his attention back on the pig, he threw a loaf of bread in my direction. The second quickly followed, and he sloshed back to the bakery, closing the kitchen door tightly behind him.” (P. 26 – 27)

Katniss credits Peeta’s actions with essentially saving her life at the time and helping her realize that she would have to act as the provider for her family. When Peeta gave Katniss the bread, Katniss and her family were basically starving.


IRJE – April 1 – A Separate Peace

In A Separate Peace by John Knowles, Finny’s death comes as quite a shock. Throughout the novel, Gene has been struggling with the guilt of knowing that he caused Finny’s accident. However, I am certain this feeling has intensified. Near the beginning of this novel, Gene reminisces about a time where he shook the tree Finny was in, which caused him to fall and shatter his leg. As an athlete, Finny was devastated, but he never once held Gene accountable. After Finny healed for a few months, he returned to the Devon School for boys, and other than his inability to play sports, everything seemed back to normal. Unfortunately, one night, Finny fell down the stairs while discussing his injury with his friends, and broke his leg again. The doctor assured Gene that this was a cleaner break, and that he would only have to set the leg back into place. Despite the reassurance, this did not go as planned, and Finny ended up loosing his life in the process.

I did not cry then or ever about Finny. I did not cry even when I stood watching him being lowered into his family’s strait-laced burial ground outside of Boston. I could not escape a feeling that this was my own funeral, and you do not cry in that case. (p. 214)

When I read that Finny had died, I thought I was hallucinating. There seemed to be no hint that it was coming. One moment, the doctor was telling Gene what a simple procedure this was, and the next, he was telling Gene that Finny was dead. I couldn’t help thinking to myself, did I miss something? Did my brain not comprehend the novel I was reading at 11:45pm? How could the author do such a thing to two friends, who have been through so much already. As I read, and reread these pages, I thought back to the last conversation between Gene and Finny. What would they have said to one another if they knew it would be the last? The passage that I chose exemplifies the relationship between the two boys. Gene is expressing that Finny wasn’t simply his friend, he was an extension of himself. This bond is not like any other, because your pain becomes their pain, their pain becomes yours. Loosing that would be agonizing. And loosing that with no warning, indirectly due to an accident that he caused, would be unbearable.


IJRE 2/14/20

In Chapter 10 „ the death in the long grass“ of the Alex Rider Stormbreaker,  Mr Grin tried to kill Alex.  Alex had to go on a walk and when he was leaving he saw Mr. Gin just making a call. He followed the footpath  and came to a place with very long gras. Suddenly he heard a sound of quads. Two quads tried to kill him, but he was much cleverer than the driver, so that they were killed by Alex.

„ He was angry with himself because he knew he‘d made too many mistakes. He should have been dead now, he knew“ p.144

I like this statement because Alex is really self-critical. To be self-critical is a very good behavior of a person. Only with thus  characteristic It is possible for Alex to live a life as a spy. This helps him not to be killed in such dangerous situations.


IRJE: Mar. 15 (The Hero of Ages)

In the Hero of Ages, book three of the Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson, the protagonists must fight the god of chaos and destruction, Ruin, to keep their world, Scadrial, from being completely annihilated. Ruin’s counterpart, Preservation, is the god of stability and perpetuity.

Ruin was not always the antagonist of the series though. In the first two books, Mistborn and the Well of Ascension, the heroes fight to overthrow the Lord Ruler, an oppressive leader who, centuries ago, took the power at the Well of Ascension. This action gave him godlike abilities, and ensured that Ruin would stay locked away until the power returned to the Well, as Ruin was trapped there, and could only be released if the power was as well.

The Lord Ruler created many new species with his abilities when he first gained them. One of these species was the kandra, who bound themselves by contracts, and took pride in never breaking those contracts.

“What do you think we are?” TenSoon asked. “Humans, with their rebellions and upheavals? We are kandra. We are of Preservation. We follow order.” (p. 178).

Throughout the entire first two books, the Lord Ruler is thought to be a being of pure evil. He was an oppressive dictator who mercilessly slaughtered millions. After the primary protagonist, Vin, slays the Lord Ruler, the power returns to the Well of Ascension, and she, unbeknownst to the fact that giving up the power will free Ruin, releases the power there.

In the fight to stop Ruin from destroying the world, the heroes discover more and more about the past, which the Lord Ruler had kept hidden from his people. They discover that the Lord Ruler worked, just as they are now working, to stop Ruin. He even created many species, such as the kandra, that were of Preservation, Ruin’s opposite. Though power inevitably corrupted him, and he was never the most noble of people, the Lord Ruler prepared for centuries for the day Ruin would return, and had he been left alive, he would’ve saved Scadrial a second time. I find it very interesting that by assassinating someone who they viewed to be a no-good oppressive leader, the heroes of the story also unleashed an even greater evil.

Usually in books antagonists are either complete evil, or working for a cause they believe to be good. The Lord Ruler was a mix of both of these types of villains. He did not want the world to be destroyed as Ruin did, and tried his hardest to stop the god of chaos. However, he was also at heart a selfish and cruel man, encouraging the rape and murder of millions of skaa, the lower class people, and killing off an entire race simply because he was afraid of anyone getting powerful enough to contest him.


IRJE, Divergent

Erudite has published two more articles attacking Abnegation. the primary accuses them of withholding goods, and therefore the second argues that politicians shouldn’t be chosen from one faction.

“I didn’t get down the roof because I wanted to be just like the Dauntless. I jumped off because I already was like them, and that I wanted to point out myself to them. I wanted to acknowledge a neighborhood of myself that Abnegation demanded that I hide”

Though the initiates are almost totally quarantined from the surface world, they are doing have access to those biased reports attacking Abnegation and its leaders. Worse, the Candor initiates seem to be in on the scheme. Molly was told by the reporter that blatant lies to form the Abnegation leaders, specifically Tris’ father, seem evil, and Peter is doing his best to spread the misinformation among the opposite initiates.


IRJE Hunger Games

Katniss recognizes the strange creatures chasing Cato as mutations, hybrid animals engineered by the Capitol. These mutations look like giant wolves but can walk upright like humans.

“The boy took one look back as if checking that the coast was clear”

Cato runs to the big rock and Katniss follows, but she realizes Peeta can’t keep up because of his injured leg. Unable to help him from the ground, she climbs to the top of the rock and fires arrows at the approaching mutations, allowing Peeta to climb up just in time to escape them.



IRJE: March 15 (Boy Erased)

In Garrard Conley’s Boy Erased, he starts recalling his earlier experiences with his family and his girlfriend Chloe, whom he liked and dated in an attempt to ignore his attraction towards men. The members of the Baptist community are expecting them to get married once they become adults, but Conley feels that he is losing control of this relationship as Chloe attempts to advance it. She suggests having sex with him in the near future.

“We have to do something,” she said. “I’m worried.”

“The storm will be over soon,” I said.

“No,” she said, “About us. We have to do something drastic.” (p. 58)

In this passage, Chloe did not suggest the idea because she wanted to. She has no interest in sex, it is the only thing she knows that is “drastic”, and can presumably change the awkward state of their relationship. She also talks about how there’s no time in Heaven, so they are “already married”. It is just about “demonstrating love for God”. I don’t think she understands this completely. She is anxious, but her solution to solve the problem is to escape into the truths of her religion. (From what I believe,) Heaven has no concept of time because only mankind needs time. There is never any resolution to anything that guarantees “all has already been done” because all has never existed if we must use that logic.



The Catcher In The Rye I have found to be one of the most descriptive books I have read. The entire book revolves around Holden describing every little imperfection or perfection, in anything in his line of sight. It makes the book interesting to look back on previous pages and realize how you got to the scene that Holden is describing. Every person or thing seems to have a long backstory behind it. 

He was terrifically intelligent. All his teachers were alwasy writing letters to my mother, telling her what a pleasure it ws having a boy like Allie in their class. And they Weren’t just shooting the crap. They really meant it. And it wasn’t that he was the most intelligent member of the family. He was also the nicest, in lots of ways.

This quote is of Holden describing his younger cousin’s baseball glove. this then leads to him describing his cousins’ personality, physical features and what he meant to people. Holden is constantly relating people to different scenarios, and how they would act in them.



Holden is a kid going through school and is having trouble finding his place in the world. Holden is an incredibly observant character in this book and you can see this on just about every page. He is constantly judging his surroundings and the people around him. He is constantly noticing the small things about people that make him mad, but at the same time, Holden loves getting on people’s nerves. This makes holden in my eyes a little bit of a hypocrite.

“Cut it out, Holden for chrissake!” Stradlater said. He didnt feel like horsing around. He was shaving and all. “Wuddya wanna make me do cut my Goddam head off.

Stradler had been shaving in the washroom for some time, and holden had been sitting there just pointing out all of Stradlater’s annoying mannerisms to himself. Stradlater was being a little arrogant, this just really gets on Holden’s nerves.  So Holden decided to choke Stradler as a funny joke while he was shaving, which is much more annoying.


The Magic Misfits

In The Magic Misfits, written by Neil Patrick Harris, a boy named Carter Locke is running away from his Uncle Sly. The darkness of the train yard and the ever-growing fog makes it difficult for Carter to see. He is running for his freedom, which his Uncle had taken from him the moment his father died.

“Carter! Get back here! Don’t you run from me, boy! I ain’t going to hurt you!” (p. 2)

The person speaking this quote is Carter’s Uncle who tries to lure him back into his grasp with gentle words which are nothing but a lie. Carter knows what his Uncle is trying to do which is why he continues running, wanting nothing more than to be free from his Uncle. Carter was nothing more than a pawn for his Uncle’s shenanigans. This is the only reason why his Uncle is trying to get him back. The advantages Carter brought to his Uncle were beneficial towards keeping them alive.


IRJE – March 15th – A Separate Peace

In A Separate Peace by John Knowles, the friendship between Gene and Finny is continuously growing. At the Devon School for boys, the two are having a summer packed with enjoyment and adventures. This novel is narrated by Gene,  and although he considers Finny as his best friend, there is a prominent feeling of jealousy that Gene feels towards him. In Gene’s eyes, Finny is perfect. He’s the quintessential example of what Gene aspires to be. Finny is confident, athletic, social, and kind, which I believe subsequently affects Gene’s self-worth. When Finny opened up to him, and told Gene that he was his best pal, I feel that his self-worth was slightly restored. Finny expressed a raw emotion, without prompting, which could have boosted Gene’s confidence. Perhaps this following passage is an attempt to maintain that emotional strength, or perhaps it’s something deeper.

Exposing a sincere emotion nakedly like that at the Devon School was the next thing to suicide. I should have told him then that he was my best friend also and rounded off what he had said. I started to; I nearly did. But something held me back. Perhaps I was stopped by that level of feeling, deeper than thought, which contains the truth. (p. 44)

This hesitance surrounding the expression of his emotions is quite a natural response, that I’m sure everyone can relate to. However, this makes me wonder, why are we so scared of sharing our emotions? Is it the pride of knowing that we have the power to control how the situation plays out? Is it the fear of rejection, or the fear of knowing that there’s a very real possibility of getting hurt? Or, is it simply as Gene said, a feeling that we as humans can’t quite grasp in a conceptual way. In this scenario, Gene isn’t facing rejection, since Finny has already admitted that Gene is his best friend. Nevertheless, there is still something holding him back from saying it aloud. Which for now, may just have to remain inexplainable.


IRJE: Paper Towns (4)

As I was reading the book Paper Towns by John Green, I came across a quote that Quentin said:

It is so hard to leave–until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.

This quote is ironic because most people don’t want change, and want everything to stay exactly the same. They are deeply attached to something/someone. Change should not be too concerning for anyone. When you let go of something/someone you are deeply attached to, there is a kind of mental weight that is lifted off from your mind. One should let go of what hurts them, and live their life without worries.



IRJE: Paper Towns (3)

In Paper Towns, Quentin starts reflecting on the false image he had constructed about Margo, in his mind.

What a trecherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.

When Margo disappears, she leaves a bunch of clues, but some of them were not intended to be found by Quentin. Margo was someone who broke rules without getting caught, someone who went on wild adventures, and she liked being a ‘paper girl’ (a girl who is someone what other people want to see her as).  When Quentin found clues left behind from Margo, that weren’t intended to be found, Margo says that Quentin just wanted ‘a girl to save’. Her actions and words suggest that she was ungrateful and a complex person. People project various different personalities of themselves to everyone.