Chapters 37- 45 Connection

I have a personal connection this week 🙂

“He drove us two hours away for dinner, to a place where no one would know us, so that we could have a conversation. I want to laugh and cry and hug the living crap out of him” (290).

“‘Its the make love part that’s repulsive. I hate that expression. I could be sixty years old and I’d still rather say fuck than make love. Ichth.'” (300).

“‘I would chop that table up and use it for firewood before I would ever choose anything over you'” (313).

The boots ❤

My connection this week is to my best friend. Like Josh, I’m not one for the bf/gf labels, so we’ll go with best friend. However, over the course of reading this book, I am constantly seeing similarities between the book and my life. Josh is a sweet, kind and caring guy. He’s perfect, even with all his baggage. 

Last weekend I spent a lot of time with my bestie, Isaiah. To prove his dedication, he played House with my cousins and I. House. Like, pretending to be other genders and species, and the kind of fun we had as a kid. At sixteen years old, we spent the day playing House. Not that I think Josh would do that for Nastya, but I think what he does for her is similar. He made her a chair, he drove out of the way for a date, he bought her boots and he’s amazing to her. It’s the little things that count ❤

-Em

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Connections – ch. 28-36

I have a personal connection this week. 🙂 Enjoy.

“So I sit. He’s on the backrest and I’m on the seat. We don’t touch. We don’t speak. We aren’t even at eye level with one another. And today, for the first time since I came to this school, the courtyard isn’t nearly so horrible after all.” (221).

This reminds me of when I became friends with my friend Kevin. I had gotten out of an abusive relationship and school was like a war zone. Friends fled, strangers stared, I’m pretty sure rumors I was pregnant went around 4 different times (yet I never gained a pound!). When bathroom stalls no longer provide comfort and the voices of the unspoken speak louder than the chatter in the halls- you need a friend.

Back to my connection- Nastya really dislikes this school and I hated mine. She hides during breaks and tries to be completely alone because she’s depressed and prefers to alienate herself. I would do that exact thing, whenever someone came up to talk to me was the downer of my whole day. When I found Kevin though, he gave me a place to sit. I hung with his group which eventually left but he always stayed- giving me a place to sit and suddenly my school didn’t seem so utterly horrible anymore.

Love ya Kevin.

Hope you enjoyed my story.

-Alex

Chapters 28-36 Passage 1

“And then he does something that shocks even me. Josh Bennett, king of the brooding stoics, laughs. Josh Bennett laughs, and it’s one of the most natural, uninhibited, beautiful sounds I’ve ever heard” (218).

This scene just made me happy. His idea of the ice cream trough was so cute and creative, and his laugh just made it perfect. Also, this sentence structure is flawless. I love the way Katja Millay forms her sentences and story line. The flow is beautiful :’)

-Emma 🙂

Chapters 28-36 Discussion Questions

We’ve gotten to know Nastya and her limits more during these chapters 🙂 Enjoy

1. Why do you think Nastya talked to Drew? Why not keep it between her and Josh?

Nastya confirmed that she had intended to speak to Josh. I think she decided that she was finally connecting with people that she could trust. Josh was a great person, but Nastya sees Drew as an ally as well. I think she could sense that Drew had good intentions, and was someone who kept us his superficial reputation. I think she could see that he wasn’t who he pretended to be, and she wanted him to see she wasn’t either. But I’m not certain, that’s why I asked.

2. What would you have done when Josh cut his hand? When she took her shirt off, did you expect him to “get like that?” What would you have done?

To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what goes through a guys head or how their “dick” works, so I can’t check Josh’s accuracy. I think Nastya giving up her shirt for his hand was completely appropriate, even though she denies a great amount of blood. However, I think she could have kept her awareness to Josh’s boner to a minimum. It’s not like he could help it. Cut the guy some slack. Although since he’s losing “so much blood,” it’s surprising he still has enough for “that.”

3. Do you think Josh knew Kara Mathews worked at the ice cream parlor? Did he bring Nastya there to make a point to everyone?

According to Nastya, the ice cream parlor was unfindable unless you knew where it was. Obviously, Josh knew. I think he knew about Kara and wanted to break the seal on their secret relationship. Not that he wanted everyone to know how he felt or what they did, but I think he wanted someone to know. Otherwise, why not get her a carton you know she likes? The gesture of choosing every flavor WAS adorable 🙂

4. Do you think Nastya’s real name is Milly? Why would her Mom ambush her like that, with the phone? Did she really expect that to go well? Is it justified to turn her birthday into an intervention? Why do you think her brother went to Josh’s alone?

NOT COOL, NASTYA’S MOM! Well, when we first suspected Nastya’s name could be something else, it was because her dad said “Mi-” but now Margot and Asher have called her “Em.” I can’t believe that they ambushed her on her birthday. I mean, we know that her and her mother are not on the same frequency, but this was just low. Yet, every family member supported the intervention. Did they really expect it to work? When Asher showed up at Josh’s house, it had been hours since she left. It might have been funnier if Nastya’s mother came instead.

-Emma 🙂

Week 3- Passage

“I believe in God, Sunshine. I’ve always believed that God exists,” he says.

And what he says next isn’t self-pity or angst or melodrama. It’s truth.

“I just know he hates me.”

. . . Nothing about it is ridiculous. When you watch every person you love systematically removed from your life until at seventeen years old there is no one left, how can you think anything else? It makes such perfect sense that the only thing that surprises me is that I didn’t think of it myself.” (196)

This line, I think, is important because you see how Josh views the world. He views it through a pessimistic eye and his view is completely justified. Why would he view the world as anything other than a hell-hole when everyone has been taken from him? That last line though, “. . .I didn’t think of it myself,” I think it’s Nastya’s way of saying maybe God hates her too. Just maybe.

What do you think?

See you next time ~Alex

Week 3- Discussion Post

Hope you enjoyed this week of reading! 🙂 Here are the questions to make your brain think (; My book is full of little post-its!

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1. Why do you think Josh got so angry at Drew’s family’s comments about Nastya? When Drew spoke up against Sarah do you believe it was right of Josh to then turn on him as well? Did Sarah have a point to call Josh out asking him what was his problem? (P. 153-155)

My personal commentary is that I believe Josh was so angry all starting with Sarah talking bad about Nastya. Josh is the only one Nastya has ever spoken too, which in turn implies he’s really the only she deems trust-worthy. When Drew told Sarah to shut up, I think Josh should have probably ignored it. Drew, in his loud obnoxious way, was trying to accomplish the same goal as Josh- stop the bashing on Nastya. I think Josh only lashed on Drew purely because it was heat of the moment and let’s be honest- Drew has been horrible to Nastya. I think Sarah calling him out was justified because no one in that room knew Josh and Nastya had spoken.  Josh wasn’t about to break that promise, so getting mad over a girl “who can’t talk,” (153), was completely out of line for a night at Drew’s.

2. Why do you think Josh claims he doesn’t care about Nastya? 

“‘Why are you telling me this? Shouldn’t you be talking to Drew?”

‘Drew doesn’t care.”

Her accusation is clear and I answer it.

‘Neither do I.'” (155)

I think he is purely trying to hide his true feelings for Nastya. Everything right now for him must be so confusing. Is she just using him? Does she even like him? Does he even like her? Drew’s mom was talking to him about how she probably needs help and Josh just probably doesn’t want this weight of her well-being on his shoulders. Since Drew is the one who is trying to sleep with her he’s trying to pass on the guilt to him and it just isn’t working.

3. Refer back to page 134, when Nastya first talks.

“‘And I’m supposed to trust you?” I say to her back. This girl really is crazy if she thinks she’s walking in here, out of nowhere, and expecting me to do that. 

She stops, turning to level her eyes at me before she goes.

“You don’t have to trust me. I don’t have any of your secrets.”‘ (134).

Now refer to page 171.

“I have one of Josh Bennette’s secrets now. He gave it to me.” (171).

How do you think Nastya was feeling when Josh put trust in her? He wasn’t too keen on the idea earlier in the book, what do you think made him change his mind? What is the importance of this to their relationship?

I loved that line about him giving her his secret. It was so innocent, so adorable. Okay onto the question. I think Nastya felt sort of relieved. She had shared and confided in him and now finally he was returning the favor. I think him changing his mind was due to the fact that Nastya hasn’t left and hasn’t given him any reason not to trust her- it’s not like she’ll tell anyone. (; This is super important to their relationship because they need trust!! 

Chapters 19-27 Passages 1

“He leans over me and places his hands on top of mine on the armrests and looks straight into my eyes, which flays me a little bit. ‘It’s a chair. Stop overanalyzing it. I’m not selling it and I’m not giving it to someone else. I made it for you. It’s yours.’  . . . ‘Besides, it already has your name on it.’” (165)

:O Okay, I wrote down five quotes to use from this chapter but this one took the cake. I was not expecting that. They went from casual friends, to her saying he’s her “by-all and end-all friend”, to him making her a chair. This was really great!

“I’ve never told him anything real. Even my name” (171).

I KNEW IT!!!!!!! Oh, now she has my attention. AND she Margot later calls her “Em.” I feel honored!

-Em