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This is not exactly the exciting new high school experience I had in mind.
I'm a month into St. Ignatius, a regional, parochial school nine miles from home and I still don't know what I'm doing, where I'm going, or how I'm supposed to be.
Plus, this is the ugliest uniform in the world. It's true. I would like to know what girl-hating hag cursed us with knee-length brown plaid polyester skorts, long sleeveless vests, and baggy yellow polyester blouses.
I wish Crystal's parents had transferred her here, too, instead of keeping her in public school. Then we could be miserable together.
Oh, and I definitely need new shoes. Mine are loser wear.
I'd still rather be here with five hundred new kids, though, than stuck with nobody but the same boring, cliqued-out crew from junior high. They move in huddled masses just like they did in ninth grade, and seeing that makes me feel like some kind of intrepid pioneer striking out on my own.
Hanna's big adventure.
It's scary but I kind of like it.
(Cue Grandma Helen's voice) Back straight! Stand tall! Look 'em in the eye! Smile! Never let 'em see you sweat!
(Cue my voice) Be brave, Hanna.
School would be a lot easier if I had a partner in crime.
I miss Crystal.
I've done some research and found that most of the older girls' uniforms are way shorter and tighter than mine. I asked someone about it and she said that's because everybody hems them up and takes them in. They wear killer heels and black panty hose, too. All against the rules, but most of the nuns are old and slow, so even if one tries to snag you on a dress code violation, you can usually outrun her before she IDs you.
Turns out only us lame sophomores wear long, baggy uniforms.
Time to convince Gran to do a serious overhaul on this hideous skort.
Well, it took whining, pleading, and begging but she's hemming my skort even though my father said he didn't spend three hundred dollars on a uniform to see it turned into something too small to wear to the beach. I said everybody wears them that way, and he said (of course), Come on, Hanna, if everybody else jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge...
He is so tiresome sometimes.
My mother laughed and told him it was just history repeating itself because she'd gone to parochial school, too, and had a uniform just as ugly, and she'd always rolled her skirt up at the waist because feeling ugly was no way to spend your whole high school career.
My father just looked at her and shook his head like she was hopeless.
She laughed again and tickled him in passing. He told her to quit it but I could tell he was trying not to smile.
I love it when everybody's happy.
Oh my God, I'm in love.
I must have him.
He's a junior, beautiful, sexy, sweet, and I found out that Bailey, the girl he really loved last year, broke his heart so now he supposedly parties hard and goes out with a lot of different girls because he was too hurt and doesn't want to be again. He plays guitar, too, and hangs out in the courtyard.
I need to make the courtyard my new hangout ASAP.
I never felt anything like this before. I love his eyes and his smile and his hair and just everything. He's really tall, blond, and a little skinny but it looks perfect on him. He even makes a uniform jacket and tie look hot.
He hasn't noticed me yet but I can change that, I just know it. Good thing Gran Helen hemmed this uniform. Now at least when he does look at me, he'll be able to tell I'm a girl.
Also, I hung out with another sophomore named Sammi Holloway who I think might be my next partner in crime. We're pretty different — she's thinner, flatter, richer, and sleeker than me, and next to her I feel like nothing but flyaway hair, frayed edges, and loose ends — but she cracks me up bad and so far I like her a lot.
I think we could have great adventures together.
Life is very exciting these days.
I took too many classes. I have to drop some right now. They're interfering with my chance to meet Seth. The days are rushing by and I'm not getting anywhere because of all these stupid classes! I tried to dump algebra and physical science but Mr. Sung in guidance won't let me. So maybe journalism and...what? There's nothing else I can get rid of. I don't mind dumping journalism; it's all about facts, and who needs facts when imagining what could happen is so much more satisfying?
I kept creative writing but dropped journalism so now I have an extra free period and I just found out that for some reason my name isn't on the sophomore Mandatory Community Service list. Yay! I probably should be worried about this but I'm not, and I'm sure not bringing it up. I can use the time for my Seth quest. I'll just make it up next year or something.
I love a good computer glitch.
My parents went on a date last night — which kind of freaked me out because the last time they did that was like two years ago, and right after, they argued about growing apart — so I went down to Crystal's and we passed the time hanging out with her older brother and his friends. They were full of compliments and if I didn't like Seth so much, I probably could have found myself a boyfriend.
I hope he appreciates this sacrifice.
Oh. My. God.
Seth noticed me today. For real. And it was good.
No, better than good.
I was caught in a stream of kids changing classes, flowing down the right side of the hall, and there he was, heading toward me in the stream on the left side, ambling along, head and shoulders above the crowd, laughing at something somebody said and kind of scanning oncoming traffic as he walked.
I looked at him right as he looked at me and I swear time stopped. He held my gaze for like a full three seconds, then smiled this sweet little sideways smile and lifted his chin in a Hi. I smiled back and then we passed and he didn't break the connection until he was almost past me.
He saw me. Out of all the hundreds of other people in that hall, it was me that he smiled at. Me!
These teachers take their classes way too seriously. I mean, I'm fifteen; I have like another seventy years to worry about zygotes or circumferences or whatever.
I wish I could just learn what I'm interested in, which would be creative writing, psychology, and nature stuff. And not biology. I don't want to hack open dead animals; I want to study them alive and healthy.
If I ever have to take biology, I'm boycotting carving up dead things, and too bad about the grade. If anybody makes me do it, I'll just throw up on purpose every single day all over the lab until they let me out. I don't care. I will not mangle dead animals.
Gran won't mind. Heck, she'll probably give me a medal.
(Cue Gran's voice): No, Hanna, we don't kill spiders; they're the perfect natural insect control. Careful, you almost stepped on that beetle. Look, the spring fawns are out frolicking on the lawn!
Yes, she actually uses words like frolicking.
She is so embarrassing sometimes. (I would never tell her that, though. It would hurt her feelings too badly. Actually, I'd better call her soon or else her and Grandpa will show up at school or something just to make sure I'm still alive.)
Anyway, what I really need is less classes and more free time. How else am I supposed to develop into a sociable, well-rounded human being if I never have the time to get my hands on Seth?
Sammi's doing trash pickup along the roads with a bunch of other kids for her community service, and yesterday some lady in a Lexus stopped and asked if they were from a juvenile detention center because usually only prisoners from the county jail pick up garbage, but they wear orange jumpsuits so everyone know they're prisoners out on work detail.
Sammi, being tired, disgusted, and a smart-ass said they usually wore brown plaid uniforms and wouldn't get released unless they completed their mandatory service, too.
The lady looked righteous and said, Well, I don't know what you did to get into this situation, but I certainly hope you've learned your lesson, and drove away.
Sammi said it was funny but also pretty humiliating, and next year she's just gonna stuff envelopes or something instead.
God, I'm glad I escaped this.
I've been sitting out on the curb in the courtyard in my free time, pretending to read or page through my notebooks but really watching Seth from beneath my hair and trying my hardest to will him to come over and fall in love with me.
So far, it isn't working.
I am learning him, though, by watching and listening, and sooner or later that's got to be worth something. I've already discovered that he smokes Marlboros, loves South Park, and is a killer flirt when he's high. He also seems to be addicted to bitchy girls with long nails, ankle bracelets, and cool, you-can't-touch-this smiles, which is kind of depressing.
"Hey," Sammi said, plopping down on the curb beside me. "Anything good going on?"
"You-know-who likes ankle bracelets," I said glumly.
"I hate ankle bracelets," I said.
"I like them," she said, leaning back on her hands and turning her face to the sun. "I think they're hot."
"I don't," I said. "They remind me of shackles."
She snorted, amused. "Oh, c'mon Hanna, you can't tell me that if he walked up to you and said you'd look hot wearing an ankle bracelet, you wouldn't go right out and get one."
"No," I said, irritated, and then, "You're a pain in the butt, you know that?"
"I love you, too," she said, smirking and bumping her shoulder against mine. Copyright © 2009 by Laura Battyanyi Wiess
How It Ends is a beautiful story. I took it on vacation with me and one evening, after everyone else had turned in, I sat curled up on the couch and read most of the book in one sitting as a thunderstorm raged outside. By the time I got to the last page, my eyes had welled with tears, and I just sat pondering the book for a while before I could even consider trying to sleep. I love when a book can touch your heart so strongly. The story alternates between two different points of view, Hanna's and Helen's. While Hanna is concerned with mundane, every day things and getting Seth to notice her, Helen is far more worried about death and leaving Hanna with lies, and then as Helen declines, the story of her youth begins. Though many teens may feel that they can relate better to Hanna, How It Ends is truly Helen's story, and how it affects Hanna and forces her to grow from a childish, flighty girl who acts on stupid whims into a thoughtful young woman. Wonderfully written.
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Posted March 29, 2010
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Laura Wiess is an exceptional author who continues to amaze with her books. This book titled How it Ends is her third book.
Hanna is the main character. She lives in a rural area. Her next door neighbors have known her since she was little. Hanna refers to them as Grandma Helen and Grandpa Lon, even though they have no relation to her. As a little girl Hanna would constantly be over their house, and since they never had any children, they fell in love with her. "Grandma" always took Hanna under her wing and told her about her own life when she was little. She showed Hanna around the forest and even educated her about the forest animals. Hanna always loved the animals and was very worried about animals dying.
Soon enough, she is a teenager going through her high school years. She hardly vists Grandma Helen and Grandpa anymore. She is infatuated with a boy named Seth, who is very popular and into girls that do not fit her description. Evenso, Hanna is determined to make Seth her boyfriend. She goes the long way to classes just to sneak a glimpse of him, and even tries to become friends with some of his friends just to get closer to him.
As her life is continually getting bombarded with feelings of lust and love, she is becoming the biggest flirt in school. Grandma Helen is so upset that Hanna will not even come over for a small bit of time and she is afraid that she is not seeing her grow up, or she is growing up too quickly. Helen is constantly wanting to tell her something important, but she seems afraid to tell Hanna. As the old woman continues to get older and more sick from old age, she thinks she will never get a chance to tell Hanna the story she desperately wants her to know.
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I have a Nook Simple Touch. Therefore, l can NOT report anything. But, my grandma has a Nook HD, and l can from that. After you report anything, will it send you anything after that? Like an e-mail or notification?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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Thank you so much my fist two members!!!!!! Remember, your duties are find nook s.e.x., stop it, and recrute new members. We need to build the SNS together!-CassyWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 23, 2012
Must read book . Powerful and Deep. You fall in love with the characters and you feel so connected and really come too love them . Amazing book . I cried during this read . If you are reading this review and thinking about purchasing it . Please do ! I loved most how it soo real life .Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 24, 2011
Posted July 30, 2011
This book was so good!!! I finished it in one day because I could not put it down! It made me tear up a couple of times too. It's a beautifully written book. I think my mom would even love this book. It's for everybody.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 29, 2010
Posted July 31, 2010
This was the first book I have read by author Laura Wiess... I can't wait to read her other books! This is probably one of the best books I have read for a very long time, I can only compare the emotional response I had to it to be greater than when I read "The Notebook" by Nicholas Sparks. I literally had to put the book down because I couldn't see through the tears. A gripping story women of every age can relate to.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 5, 2010
I had started reading this one quite a while ago and had put it down because I just wasn't that into it. However I am so glad that I picked it back up. Once I got into it the story just starts going and you are taken away with it.
The main character are Hanna and Helen. Hanna is a teenager who is dealing with things most teenage girls deal with. Helen is dealing with aging and the ravages that can have on the body. The story follows the two through their own issues and shows us how their relationship has shaped them.
This is as much a love story as it is a coming of age story. While I liked Hanna I didn't really connect with her. Even though her life seems pretty typical for a teenage girl I was not and never have been typical. So I could understand what she was going through, but I couldn't relate because I've never really been in her shoes.
I loved the audio book that Hanna and Helen listened to together. To me that was where the real story took place. The audio book has all the makings of a great story. Love, sacrifice, pain, suffering, and friendship. It was truly a story that examined the human condition in its many many forms.
It was a bit odd to read a story that was being read in a different story, it was an interesting idea and I think Weiss pulled it off without making it weird or distracting.
Hanna and Helen were very well developed. Helen's story really pulled at my heart strings and I cried on multiple occasions. There were a few points that I was close to sobbing. I really got lost in this book and just let myself become absorbed completely by the story.
This was a great book. I haven't cried this hard reading a book in quite a while. I will absolutely be picking up more of Weiss' work.
Posted October 11, 2009
This book was one of the best fictional stories that I'VE ever read.The story had my attention from begining to end. And i must say the book it's just good for teen reading but adult reading as well. It was so easy to relate to Hanna wanting the guy to like you so much that you make certain sacrifice's that you thought you would never do! And I must have cried so hard as if I was listening the audiobook instead of reading the story. I never thought for one moment that it was going to end the way it did! I can't wait to read "Such a pretty girl". I reflect o the story and my Heart is still CRYING.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 1, 2009
Laura Wiess' books have always had the ability to leave me shocked, speechless, and in love, but How it Ends went above and beyond anything I could've ever expected from her. When I first read the summary of her newest book I thought, "This doesn't sound like Laura Wiess at all to me," but this maybe the best book she's ever written.
I've never read a book before that moved me so emotionally and has made me cry that hard. Seriously, I had to put the book down because I couldn't see and just cry into my pillow. And it wasn't the pretty kind of crying, it was the nasty blubbering kind. I've said it before: I don't cry. At least, not while reading books. But, damn, Laura Wiess got me with this one. I don't know what it is, but she really knows how to move me with her novels.
And I must say that she did a splendid job of telling a story within a story. Which sounds very difficult--and it must have been--and confusing, but it wasn't. Both stories flowed together so effortlessly that it seemed only natural for the book to be told that way. There wasn't a story that I liked better than the other because both had such important things to tell the reader about the characters.
Though Hanna definitely grated on the nerves a little, she was so dumb when it came to boys. And I'm saying that as nicely as possible. She could never see who the better guy was and repeatedly picked the one who was mean and careless about her feelings.
I can't even begin to touch on the subject of Hanna and Helen's relationship though. Helen was such a wonderful woman, even if she did lie to Hanna about her past but she did it with the best intentions. And I was mad with Hanna for ignoring her, and out-growing her, and for cutting their "connection". It wasn't deserved. Though, I was happy that they were able to mend their relationship while it lasted.
Laura Wiess did an amazing job on this book. Such a Pretty Girl will always be close to my heart but How it Ends may have beat it for my favorite book. I have not been able to stop thinking about since I finished and I don't think I ever will.