I don’t understand how he so easily survives for days like that without me, when I feel like the color has drained out of the world when I’m without him.-

This book, as opposed to the other books I’ve reviewed, is not fantasy. It’s a dreadfully real-world book with real-world issues. M.T. and her family are illegal immigrants, and because she’s so undocumented, M.T. has none of the benefits that we American citizens are born with ~ no Social Security number, no birth certificate, no passport ~ and because of that, it’s very difficult if not impossible to get a good job, a full education, and a driver’s license. M.T.’s inability to move forward in her life by going to college ~ which she really wants to do (for some reason; I hated college, personally) ~ makes her feel lost and alone, as all her friends are constantly talking about applying to different universities and visiting and things like that. And on top of that, her father is physically abusive to her, which must make her feel even more lost and alone.

All of her built-up issues finally causes M.T. to consider suicide. SERIOUSLY consider it. She lost hope, and so her stellar grades slipped. She simply didn’t care anymore, and this is what frightened me the most. I began thinking, What if I stop caring so much that I feel life itself is pointless? What if my apathy gave me the courage I don’t feel like I have to actually end my own life?

I had never understood before reading this book and thinking these thoughts why anybody would ever kill themselves. But now I think I might understand it, at least a little. And it is terrifying. And I honestly don’t know what I would say to anyone who might be considering suicide. I wish I had the right words of hope for you to keep you going. I wish I knew what to say.

But doesn’t everybody?

The illegal immigration in this book was also a subject that I didn’t know much about, but after reading this book I think I understand it fairly well, at least from the viewpoint of the immigrants themselves. I heard awhile back that Obama was considering making a law that grants illegal immigrants full citizenships and all the paperwork and benefits that come along with it. Now that I’ve read this book and I fully understand what that means, I can’t say I have changed my opinion on the matter. I still feel that it would be wrong. We shouldn’t reward people for breaking into our country illegally. But maybe we shouldn’t go into any political debates here.

A little chunk of me will always be a stranger everywhere, different chunks of stranger in different situations.-

What this sentence meant to me was far different than what it was meant to mean in the book, but whatever. I do these for how I related to them, not necessarily how they were meant, but most of the time I think the two coincide fairly well. This is probably the first case where my meaning is far different from that of the book.

Anysuch. There are a lot of us, I think, that feel like we don’t quite belong in any group. I think it’s easier and more common to feel that way in high school, because of all the cliques and obvious distinctions in the groups there (at least, this is what I’ve decided from the movies I’ve seen and the books I’ve read about high school; I was homeschooled at that time, so I don’t really know firsthand what it’s like). But it’s also possible to feel this way as an adult. Just when you feel like you’ve finally found a group you can run with, you find a small part of you that is the exact opposite of that group, and it clashes so much that you feel out of place when you hang out with them. Even Christians have their little posses, and we can feel like strangers among our own kind just like everybody else can. The only difference (or SUPPOSED difference) is that we have a certain love and support of all our fellow Christians, regardless of whether they’re in our posse.

All that needing someone ever does is give them the power to hurt you.-

The pure reality of this statement is really heart-wrenching. I, among many others I’m sure, try very hard not to need anybody. I try to write myself as an independent person who don’t need no man. There’s something really cool about seeing independent people, girls OR guys, though it is somewhat rarer in girls. But the truth is, everybody needs somebody, to some extent. Human contact is just one necessary part of being human. (And one I am constantly being annoyingly reminded of.) I wish it wasn’t so, but maybe IF it wasn’t, our society would fall apart. Our sympathy toward each other would be naught. We would have no desire to make friends, and so we would live on our own and fight our own kind, like cougars.

But that’s just the thing. People can’t really hurt you until you start feeling like you need them, simply because the people you don’t need you don’t usually share things with, so they don’t know what they can do or say that will strike you deepest. Once you start needing someone, you give a little sliver of your heart to them, and with that sliver they can slice you in two. It’s really a frightening thing, and I think about it almost on a daily basis. There is so much risk to depending on someone. What if one day, they’re not there?

“It may seem funny for someone who speaks English with an accent to be teaching the English. But what I like to say is that you can only truly love a place when you have lived outside it.”-

To be honest, I’m kind of depending on this to be true. Because honestly, I don’t really like where I’m at right now. I wish I could be somewhere else ~ ANYWHERE, and I have wondered on many an occasion if, should I move out, I would ever find any reason to come back. A lot of the time I feel like I wouldn’t, which is a dangerous thought in itself. But then I think maybe I would miss little old Dallas. I know this town so well. Maybe I would miss the people in my youth group, who have done nothing for me. I wouldn’t have any reason to, but maybe I would. And that is a comforting thought.

Like they say, distance makes the heart grow fonder.

It makes me a little sad, but mostly it makes me grateful. He came along and changed me, made me a better me. And maybe that’s a pretty good reason for someone to be in your life, even if just for a little while.-