Sunday, July 29, 2012


I was perusing the Kindle store when the title Slammed caught my eye. I saw a documentary last year about poetry slams: people writing poetry and performing them on stage.  Mostly kids, putting their feelings, emotions and selves out there.  It was so raw.  I was in awe.

I downloaded the ebook by Colleen Hoover and started reading.  I didn't stop throughout the day, except for the dogs.  A brief synopsis: Late teenage Girl's dad dies and mom must uproot Girl and brother from Texas to Michigan.  As they are moving in to new home Boy (early 20's) who lives across the street spots girl.  The rest you will have to read about.

What I loved about this book is that it isn't pretty - it is life.  Down and dirty.  Most of us didn't have to learn about the down and dirty part in our late teens/early 20's but the characters in this book did.  I have written before that my mom died when I was 21.  This book almost stopped me in my tracks but it was so beautifully written I kept going.  To use Oprah's phrase I went to the ugly cry place.

I finished the book but it stayed in my head.  I looked up the author's name and found that there was a sequel - I love when that happens! (Remember Outlander A?)   I downloaded it immediately and started to read A Point of Retreat

It picks up with the same Boy and Girl and continues on with their lives.  As the story progresses other characters are introduced including a neighbor girl, Kiersten, who at 11, in my opinion, has an old soul.  She is being bullied by kids at her school and the brothers of the Boy and Girl stick up for her.  When she is introduced to slam poetry she decides to write and perform a poem for talent night. With the horrible and sad suicides of teenagers around the globe due to bullying, this resonated.

The one thing you need to know is butterfly is a euphemism for cuss words - any and all.

A slam poem by Kiersten, a character written by Colleen Hoover

What a beautiful word.
What a delicate creature.

  Delicate like the cruel words
that flow right out of your mouths
and the food that flies right out
of your hands.
  Does it make you feel better?
  Does it make you feel good?
Does picking on a girl make you 
more of a man?

  I'm standing up for myself
Like I should have done before.
I'm not putting up with your 
butterfly anymore."

"I'd like to extend to others 
what others have extended to 
"Butterfly you, Mrs Brill." (hands principal a hand made butterfly)
"Butterfly you, Mark.
Butterfly you, Brendan.
Butterfly you, Colby."

"I have something to say to you.
I'm not referring to the bullies
Or the ones they pursue.

I'm referring to those of you
that just stand by.
The ones who don't take up for
those of us that cry.
Those of you who just...turn a
blind eye.

After all it's not you it's 
happening to.
You aren't the one being bullied.
And you aren't the one being
It isn't your hand that's
throwing the food. is your mouth not
speaking up.
It is your feet not taking a stand.
It is your arm not lending a 
It is your heart
Not giving a damn.

So take up for yourself.
Take up for your friends.
I challenge you to be someone
Who doesn't give in.
Don't give in.
Don't let them win.

In the next paragraph Mrs. Brill is moving to the stage as soon as damn comes out of Kiersten's mouth.  SERIOUSLY!  Please tell me there aren't principals like Mrs. Brill in charge of our schools.

I loved this book series for so many reasons.  I loved it because we, all of us, struggle with our selves at different points in our lives.  I know as a teenager I only ever wanted to fit in but as an adult I have come to realize it is our differences that make us unique.  Our strengths and weaknesses make us unique.

Right now there are a lot of people converging on London.  A lot of people competing, in the spirit of sport.  A lot of different people.  

Being different is cool.  

Be cool.

1 comment:

  1. Your Cool Ginny! Love it and downloading the book today! :)