For this lovely sandbox assignment, we were to write about some one’s reaction to our completed novel project. For the sake of the assignment, I decided to be extraordinarily arrogant and assume my book would be published, become popular, and that you will react exactly how I want you to.
You trail your fingers on the book bindings as you walk along the library bookshelves in search of a new book. Read it, read it, not interested, why was that even published, read it. Oh, the woes of a teenage bookworm. Then you see something that catches your eye. It’s Subliminal by Eira Conall.
You pull the book off the shelf and examine the cover. Strange that you would find it, since it’s usually checked out. You’ve heard people talk about it but never read it yourself. One of your friends said that it was really interesting and weird at the same time. Actually, you had kind of been wanting to read it. With a shrug, you check it out.
When you arrive home you plop down on your couch and crack open the well-worn book. From the beginning, you’re drawn in. What’s going on? What kind of a story is this? Without really thinking about it, you flip past the first few chapters. Your friend was right—the book is a little different. You thought it would be just another young adult dystopian novel, but something about this one feels unique. Maybe it’s the characters, the setting, the style— you’re not quite sure.
Though at the same time, it rings true. You relate to the characters’ confusion and inner turmoil. Although you thankfully don’t live your life in such a dark setting, you feel like you face the same things they do. You hate the pressure society and peers put on you, and the more you read, the more you see how it affects you and other people. You hate it when people are fake, but now you wonder if you’re fake too. Subliminal fills your head with so many questions about yourself and life that you’re not exactly sure what to do. So you keep reading.
What’s up with this Rowena character? And Chase, something seems strange about him, too. Actually, there seems to be something up with all these characters; it’s making your head spin. And what did happen in Lacey’s past? You keep turning pages to find out…
Wait? What? Did you read correctly? Yes. What is going on? You didn’t expect this to happen. Or this. Or this. There’s always something happening you didn’t expect, and each surprise shocks you more than the last. Where’s the crazy author going with this?
Finally, it looks like you’re there. The end. With a shaking hand, you turn the last page. What’s going to happen? There’s no way everything is going to be fixed, or even all the loose ends tied. Not on one page. You read it. Then you read it again. No, really? That’s the end? You frantically keep turning pages as if that will somehow make more words appear.
You don’t want it to end like this. It’s so bleak, so hopeless. Yet so full of hope too. You stare at the wall for a moment and try to figure out what happened, try to sort through all the emotions you’ve gone through since opening that infernal book. Then, the more you think about it, the more you like the end. You see that’s what really happens; that’s how it works. It was probably best way to end the book hopefully and realistically at the same time.
For the next several days, weeks, months, the book is in your head. You see it everywhere: yourself, life, other people. You want to know what happens next yet feel satisfied with the ending. You want a movie yet don’t trust Hollywood to make it. Through it all, there is one conclusion you are completely sure of.
Someone needs to put that author in a mental institution.