Everyone has some embarrassing stories of what they were like when they were younger. Puberty doesn’t treat all of us well, and I’d dare say I’m the poster child for awkward prepubescent years. I thought I was cool and different and misunderstood. My family and friends allowed me to carry on like this, and I think that the fact that nobody burst my “I’m unique!” bubble is the reason for a lot of my faults today. It’s also the reason why I have so much to look back on and make fun of.
Sometimes I wonder where I’d be if my parents and teachers had been a bit more honest with me regarding my skills and weaknesses. I hold a bit of a grudge about the fact that they allowed me to believe I was an expert at everything I tried, leaving me with an extraordinarily inflated self-image. Life has given me a bit of a reality check since then, and I’ve come to realize that sometimes even I am atrocious.
As a wee lass, I really thought I could write. I mean, I thought I was good. Not just good, but goooood, with extra o’s. Naturally, that lead me to an attempt at writing a totally-not-clichéd, tragic-thriller-coming-of-age-romance novel in seventh grade. It was called A Wish, which is not to be confused with the short essay I also wrote in middle school called “Three Wishes,” which, obviously, was about what I’d ask for if I met a genie. A Wish, on the other hand, is the tragic journey of some spunky, misfit teens who just so happen to fall in love, and then one of them just so happens to get in a car crash and go into a coma after they get in a fight. Spoiler Alert: He wakes up from his coma on their one-year anniversary.
Though I’m still incredibly pretentious and extraordinarily flawed, I would dare say I’ve matured a bit in terms of my literary abilities And so now, I’d like to revisit and extrapolate a handful of excerpts from A Wish. They say it’s important to be able to laugh at yourself, so I’ll be choosing the lines most characteristic of my writing at the time and rating and reviewing them.
So it begins:
We were strangers; We were strangers for far too long.
6/10. Okayish usage of the semicolon. Repetition is repetition is repetition cool. Moderately captivating first line. Leaves the audience with questions. Who were strangers? How long is too long? Why isn’t Pluto a planet? Why were these strangers kept apart?
All through it, Zander’s hazel eyes are staring my way, as if trying to penetrate me.
Wow, I really wish that other young adult fiction novels placed emphasis on each character’s eyes. That would be new and different!
My eyes are a cloudy green-gray color, and my family says I’m pretty. I don’t believe them.
??/10. Alright, but now I have more questions. Why are all of the eyes in teen fiction either cloudy or piercing, or both? I don’t know how they can be both. Clouds are fluffy, right? Eyes aren’t fluffy. Or piercy. That would hurt. Poor eyelids.
My right cheekbone looked broken, although I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a broken cheekbone before.
What the heck?/10. This does not make sense. Help. How can something look like something that you are not familiar with?
Every Sunday since I was eleven my mother brought Zander, his sisters, and his single mom the old, unsellable bread from our bakery.
(I work at Panera! I sell bread! I think this was foreshadowing my later life.)
(Now most of the things I write are really dark and death-oriented which, one might argue, is also foreshadowing of my later life. Spoiler alert: Everyone dies in the end.)
I tend to value that kind of thing more than the average person.
Context doesn’t even matter, just superiority. You special hipster snowflake, you!
While he was looking the other way, I got to actually look at his face for once, not just those piercing hazel eyes.
Thanks for reminding me that the eyes are piercing! I almost forgot during those three pages deprived of eye descriptions.
I didn’t know what to think. She had always stood beside me in everything I’d done, but now this?
I know you put that note in my locker.
More teen angst/10. Doesn’t even matter what the note said. Teen angst regardless.
He cared. For once, someone cared.
Pretty much all the plot summary you need for chapter 2, which was 3/4 of a page long.
I peeked into my mom’s room, she had already left. I found a yellow sticky note from her, though. Her handwriting looked a little weird, but I didn’t have time to worry about that.
Spoiler alert: She didn’t actually write the note. She actually got kidnapped. I’m sure you didn’t see it coming.
Every pebble felt like we were skidding over the top of a mountain.
I later learned that mountain tops are actually not pointy sharp peaks that would be uncomfortable to skid over.
I woke up to complete darkness. I wasn’t even sure if I had opened my eyes, the black of everything so intense I felt that I finally knew blindness.
This happens to me sometimes! I think they call it blinking.
So you probably get the idea. All stories are the same. Or at least, they are in middle school. This one is horrendous, but I’d dare say that at the end of the day it’s still a better love story than Twilight.
All photos captured by Suzy Smithson.