Out of My Mind PDF Summary

Out of My Mind PDFAre we judging too quickly? – Well, we all know we have a habit of doing just that.

Although it’s not something we should be proud of, it’s good first step to at least become aware of your tendencies.

The summary is premised on the events we found insightful and useful to share.

Who Should Read “Out of My Mind”? And Why?

Kids are undiscovered treasure, something of a gem that can’t be expressed in words. A miracle of nature that is enriched with mysteries that are worth exploring.

Out of My Mind is an insightful and life-altering novel that may change your perception about everything. We believe it’s suitable for each and every one because it entails situations and topics that we all encounter on a daily basis.

Sharon M. Draper Biography

Sharon M. DraperSharon Mills Draper is hailed as one of America’s most celebrated children’s writer and educators born on August 21st, 1948.

As an award-winning author, she managed to get into the hearts of those in need of hope.

Plot

Out of My Mind is a fascinating and much-appreciated novel written by Sharon M. Draper. Melody Brooks absorbs the role of a leading character in the plot and narrative. A thirteen-year-old girl suffering from with cerebral palsy and bound to a wheelchair embarks on a new adventure.

She manages to maintain the sharpness of her mind, but Melody is not able to speak and express her thoughts verbally. Melody feels strong despise towards her special-school program and the idea of not being able to share her opinions with the rest of the world.

This turn of events prompts Melody to embrace “fighting” as a way of life in order to find her place in this “wretched” society. Through a computer, specially designed to accommodate the needs of people with cerebral palsy, she can speak and participate in extracurricular activities.

Despite her successes, she can’t seem to find understanding on the receiving end, because the audience seems reluctant to acknowledge her achievements. This is the bitter truth Melody has to face and deal with its effects. Nonetheless, she finds a spark from within, which tells her that she is no different from the rest!

Her physical disadvantages may only serve a purpose and make her even hungrier for triumph.

Let’s take it from the beginning: Any child being born with cerebral palsy has a hard time, especially in adolescent years to socialize and live a normal life. Most parents bend over backward to provide their beloved ones with an equal dose of optimism, but that’s easier said than done.

Not being able to express herself, is the biggest frustration Melody has to confront and overcome. Despite being diagnosed by the doctors as a retard, her mother refused to accept the fact that her daughter is not on the same wavelength and is not receiving equal treatment as others.

Mrs. V. is a generous but demanding woman living next door, who teaches Melody to rely on herself. In fact, she pushes her to reach new heights without asking for help. Mrs. V. even open her eyes to the possibility that she can roll over by herself, crawl, work – basically everything.

Mrs. V. also provides Melody with basic training on how to get up whenever she falls off the wheelchair. These techniques evoke a new sense of self-sufficiency that embodies competitive spirit and self-love. Nonetheless, she continues to lean on her parents for pretty much everything – such as feeding, going to the bathroom, etc.

Melody’s mother is conceived when she is eight. Despite all the enthusiasm about the new baby, they both fear that the newborn may experience the same fate as Melody. She overhears them talking and falls into despair. Fortunately, the baby is born healthy, both physically and mentally.

As Penny grows and develops into a self-motivated person, who can do all the things Melody can’t, she envies her but not too much. From top to bottom, Melody loves her little sister and is happy about the joy she is bringing to the lives of their parents.

About the time Melody begins her fifth-grade adventure, the school inspired by new teacher agrees to allow special-education children to participate in standard classes. A dose of skepticism is felt in the air, and that’s what Melody dislikes the most.

Assumptions are made, that Melody doesn’t have what it takes to participate in all activities. However, she proves them wrong by passing the exam with a perfect score and knocking everybody’s socks off.

Melody proves its worth and has received the go-ahead to enroll in the qualifying exam. The goal is to somehow become a member of the trivia competition by stunning everyone with her readiness and intelligence. She does that, and the team welcomes her to its ranks.

Melody is excited for helping the team finishing in front and winning a trip to Washington DC for the national championship. Prior to leaving, she discovers that her flight is canceled due to weather problems.

The rest of the crew is already in Washington because they’ve taken another flight.

Out of My Mind Epilogue

The next day, Melody is both angry and disheartened for not making it to Washington. Although she insists on going to school, her mother is not in the mood to take her. In the meantime, Melody kicks and screams to warn her mother that Penny, has disappeared.  

By the time, they understand what Melody is saying – Penny finds herself in the middle of a car accident and is badly hurt. Melody feels awful for not conveying the message more lucidly. But no one blames her for the accident. Melody is relieved when she finds out that Penny is doing great and she’ll be fine.

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“Out of My Mind PDF Quotes”

Words have always swirled around me like snowflakes-each one delicate and different, each one melting untouched in my hands. Click To Tweet She talked to me like I was just like any other student, not a kid in a wheelchair. Click To Tweet Music is powerful, my young friends,” she said. “It can connect us to memories. It can influence our mood and our responses to problems we might face. Click To Tweet What your body looks like has nothing to do with how well your brain works! Click To Tweet It’s like I’ve always had a painted musical soundtrack playing background to my life. I can almost hear colors and smell images when music is played. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

You can’t expect anything less than pure excellence from Sharon. On numerous occasions, she has proven that her writings are “prepared” with the flair of a true master.

We find it highly compelling and most importantly eye-opening!

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The Power Of One PDF Summary

The Power Of One PDFThe book is basically the heart of South Africa, as it covers both sides of the story. The racial intolerance is spreading, and the apartheid era is going in history.

Now, an independent state, the South Africans can look back, and see how these ethnic prejudices hampered the technological and industrial progression of South Africa.

Without further ado, let’s jump into the plot!

Who Should Read “The Power of One”? And Why?

A novel translated into dozens of languages stands to reason why this novel is labeled as one of the greatest in the late 20th century.

The Power of One is best-suited for all people, especially for those living in mixed-ethnic environments and society. It helps you see the big picture, and refrain from judgment.

Don’t delude yourself with hatred, and open your eyes!

Bryce Courtenay Biography

Bryce CourtenayBryce Courtenay was a South African novelist, and a renowned advertising director who left a legacy of memories, and compelling work.

He died at the age of 79 in Australia.

Plot

The Power of One is a compelling novel which revolves around the life of a South African Boy named Peekay, as he trains to beat the odds and become a world boxing champion. He is guided by the fire burning inside him to “return the compliment” to school bullies who made his life miserable.

On the brink of the largest clash in human history, Peekay is living on a farm with his mother and nanny. It’s 1939; the world is preparing for a clash followed by egregious violence and crimes against humanity. He starts attending a boarding school and is frequently bullied by other African kids because he is English-boy.

They find a suitable nickname for him – Piskop, which can be roughly translated into “piss-head.” The mastermind behind the bullying is a bad-tempered boy with a swastika tattoo on its arm. He provokes Peekay by saying that Hitler will defeat England in next to no time, and drive England away from their land. South Africa will no longer be just a satellite state of the mighty United Kingdom.

The oppression he suffers there makes Peekay vulnerable, and he begins to wet his bed occasionally. Upon his arrival, he asks for help from Zulu (his nanny), to show him how to get rid of the “wetting” problem.

Peekay is miraculously cured by a medicine man, who comes to his aid and gives him a magic chicken. The doctor also instructs Peekay on how to summon up his strength and courage – named “the power of one.”

Peekay feels equipped and ready to face his school bullies. Nonetheless, things take a turn for the worse, as the bullies continue to give him a hard time, and beat him up on a regular basis. He is even forced by Judge to kill his chicken.

Peekay can’t stand it anymore, and can barely sit still. He counts on the doctor to help him, and psych him up once more. Despite the early enthusiasm, he doesn’t know whether he’ll be able to cross that bridge. In the last moment, he is instructed to go to his grandfather’s house by train instead of returning to the small farm.

On this trip, Peekay bumps into Hoppie Groenewald, a boxer who shares his viewpoints and encourages him to become a boxing champion. Upon his arrival in Barberton, Peekay hears the disconcerting news – his mother had fired the nanny because she refused to convert into a born-again Christian.

While staying at his grandfather’s home, he lays eyes on a German Professor, who helps Peekay with his piano lessons. When the two superpowers collided, Hitler’s Germany and Churchill’s England; Doc (the German Professor) gets arrested and sent to prison.

Peekay becomes a frequent visitor in prison, and he even enrolls in the prison-boxing program. He receives first-class instructions and training from an experienced boxer named Geel Piet. Geel is half white and half black; the embodiment of South Africa that shall emerge in years to come.

After practicing with Geel, Peekay decides to provide support for the prison-boxing team in all regards. He starts to smuggle cigarettes and exchange letters for the prisoners, which helps him to earn the nickname Tadpole Angel. The guards have a sneaking suspicion about activities that are flying under the radar.

One of the guards catches Geel carrying letters and beats him to death with an intention to reveal the name of the rat. He refuses to double-cross Peekay and faces the cruel destiny.

In the meantime, Peekay is accredited as being the best boxer under-twelve with prowess to go for big scores. He is also a highly-talented pianist forged under the guidance of Doc. After the war, Doc is released from prison, and he alongside a local librarian urges Peekay to undergo academic tutoring to win a scholarship.

He obtains a scholarship to a prestigious University located in Johannesburg and enrolls in the school boxing team. Peekay leads his team to victory for the first time in its history, helped by his right-hand man Morrie, who is also his manager. At the time, he receives his first professional training from Solly Goldman, who is a renowned boxing coach and a prominent figure.

In the ring, he faces Gideon Mandoma. After a while, he discovers that he was fighting his former nanny’s son. Peekay once again pulls out a miracle and defeats the older and more experienced fighter in a stunning match.

Peekay is now determined to teach Gideon and other Africans to read and write English, but his idea doesn’t live up to its expectations, because the local police shut down the school.

They explain that under the new apartheid regime, all black teenagers must not leave their houses because nightly curfew is enforced. The kids continue their teaching through letters and other methods.

The Power of One Epilogue

Peekay makes his last final push to earn a Rhodes Scholarship to go to Oxford University in England. Demoralized by this failure, but not disheartened entirely, Peekay decides to raise money for college. While working as a miner, he rubs eyeballs with Rasputin, with whom he acquainted.

When Rasputin died, Peekay is amazed to know that his old friend has left him enough money to study at Oxford.

A sudden twist of fate delays his voyage to Oxford when he bumps into Judge. Peekay as a person no longer to be messed with, wallops Judge, and ends the fight prematurely. He then lays the English Flag over the Swastika Tattoo and ends the match!

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“The Power of One PDF Quotes”

Always listen to yourself... It is better to be wrong than simply to follow convention. Click To Tweet I learned that in each of us there burns a flame of independence that must never be allowed to go out. That as long as it exists within us we cannot be destroyed. Click To Tweet Winning is a state of mind that embraces everything you do. Click To Tweet You've got to be quick on your feet in this world if you want to survive. Though once you know the rules, it is not too hard to play the game. Click To Tweet Pride is holding your head up high when everyone around you has theirs bowed. Courage is what makes you do it. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

As one can already conclude – the novel covers bullying, revenge, loyalty, creativity, endurance, suffering, inner power, etc. In our opinion, this is a mix of qualities that we all experience in a lifetime.

Although Peekay’s intentions were not revolving around revenge, somewhere deep inside him; vengeance was filling his heart with motivation.

From top to bottom, this is one of those classic you wouldn’t want to miss.

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The Best of Me PDF Summary

The Best of Me PDFWhat is the best of you? Do you dare to take the road of uncertainty and put doubt on your methods for achieving happiness?

We were thrilled by every aspect of this fantastic novel, and we hope you’ll be too.

Without further ado, let’s cut to the chase:

Who Should Read “The Best of Me”? And Why?

Is this one of those teen novels that make you feel girly (if you are a guy)? Well, no! Nicholas’ style is unsurpassable in all regards if you ask us.

All things said, and considered – “The Best of Me” is best equipped for anyone who believes in true love. Finding your soulmate is perhaps the most beautiful encounter one can face in a lifetime.

Don’t be afraid to explore your inner beauties.

Nicholas Sparks Biography

Nicholas SparksNicholas Sparks is an American romance novelist, born on December 31st, 1965.

So far, he has published 19 novels and 2 non-fiction books that are exceptional as well. He is the author of Two by Two.

Plot

The Best of Me” is nothing shorter than a brilliant romantic novel written by the prominent author Nicholas Sparks. The main plot revolves around Dawson Cole’s return, to fulfill the wishes of his long-time friend Tuck Hostetler and person who sheltered him when no one else did.  

Upon his arrival, he lays his eyes on his high-school sweetheart Amanda, now a married woman who is on the same quest as Dawson. They break a few words, and then part ways.

As one can imagine, the presence of Amanda rekindles that romantic spark. They dread the idea of falling in love once more and suspect that Tuck has something to do with it.

Amanda is aware that every journey is fraught with danger, and this time the threat derives from Dawson’s family. Although Cole wants to escape from their grasp, the members of his circle pose a great danger to this reunion. Dawson’s future is also at stake!

The author also introduces us to Dawson Cole’s job – he is employed off the coast of Louisiana as an oil rig. Dawson nearly loses his life one day after a blast in the oil factory, but he is saved by an anonymous person in the water who shows him the way.

Not long afterward, he is informed about the death of Tuck Hostetler, his role model, and friend for life. On the spur of the moment, he decides to pack his bags and return home, to pay tribute to his buddy.

Dawson’s family is involved in various criminal activities, and he too is branded a gangster and a hooligan. Although he doesn’t share the same convictions as his family, no one attaches weight to the belief that one day Cole will become a law-abiding citizen like everybody else.

This unfortunate turn of events leaves Dawson isolated and earns him the title of a loner. However, this twist of fate is not new to him, because as a teen he ran away from his father’s home and settled in Tuck’s garage for the time being.

In those days, he for the first time met face to face with Amanda Collier – a girl from a wealthy family. They become lab partners and fall in love. Amanda refuses to pay heed to the warnings and suggestions said by her parents to leave Dawson.

They start dating, despite the idea of having to deal with the “boiling” pressure induced by the society. She soon faces a choice, to go to College, or stay with him. Dawson plays a part in convincing her that education is vital, and they make a decision to put an end to their relationship.

Not long afterward, Dawson finds himself in the middle of another problem. In a car accident, he kills a local doctor and is sentenced to 4 years in prison.

Upon his release, he leaves town for good and decides to try his luck elsewhere.

He finds Amanda at Tuck’s, and old memories start to roll in as he sits there in confusion. He is also surprised to hear that Amanda has nurtured a strong relationship with Tuck over the past few years, and received a call from Tuck’s lawyer to attend the last wish-fulfillment process.

They go to dinner that night and start to reminiscing.   

Amanda’s mother doesn’t miss an opportunity to lecture her about the danger she is facing by associating with Dawson. On top of that, she is a married woman! Nonetheless, her mother has no idea that Amanda’s marriage is falling apart because of her husband’s alcoholic urges.

The next day, Amanda and Dawson are summoned to scatter the ashes of Tuck at a nearby cabin that he chose prior to his departure. This activity binds them together, and they spend the day planning their next move.

Amanda takes leave, while Dawson stays at Tuck’s to work on a car, his old-friend tried to fix. In the meantime, Dawson’s insane cousin Ted creeps up on him with an intention to kill him – blinded by vengeance.

Dawson finds Crazy Ted’s truck in the woods and confronts him. Dawson learns that his cousin was behind the explosion that almost killed him. They cross swords, and Ted gets the worst of it.

The plot starts the untangle the following day when Dawson and Amanda for the first-time stumble upon a letter hidden in Tuck’s cabin. The writings reveal details about the love story between Tuck and his wife, which inspires them to pick up where they left off.

The Best of Me Epilogue

Amanda makes a surprising decision to return back to her family. She feels weak to go through raging scenario that fills her with dread. With little options but to flee, Dawson embarks on a long journey.

He returns to pick up the letter Tuck had written before. Upon entering the town, he lays eyes on the man that saved him.

Dawson tries to catch up with that man and enters a bar where he discovers that the son of the doctor he accidentally killed years ago, is tormented by his cousins. He saves the person but shortly afterward, Crazy Ted puts a bullet through his head.

In the meantime, Dawson overhears that Amanda’s son requires a heart transplant. He sacrifices himself for one last time without Amanda’s knowledge nor approval.

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“The Best of Me PDF Quotes”

Don't take my advice. Or anyone's advice. Trust yourself. For good or for bad, happy or unhappy, it's your life, and what you do with it has always been entirely up to you. Click To Tweet Life was messy. Always had been and always would be and that was just the way it was, so why bother complaining? You either did something about it or you didn’t, and then you lived with the choice you made. Click To Tweet There's a lot of magic between you too, ain't no denying that. And magic makes forgettin' hard. Click To Tweet I gave you the best of me, he'd told her once, and with every beat of her son's heart, she knew he'd exactly done that. Click To Tweet Love, after all, always said more about those who felt it than it did about the ones they loved. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

This is one of those books that can get you to burst into tears. We loved the passion, the suspicion, the idea of not knowing – basically everything.

We warmly recommended this book, and vouch for the uniqueness of this novel. It most definitely deserves a place on your bookshelf!

A movie starring James Marsden & Michelle Monaghan is made based on this best selling novel:

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Tell Me Three Things PDF Summary

Tell Me Three Things PDFLet us tell you three things about “Tell Me Three Things”:

#1. The debut YA novel by Julie Buxbaum, the book was a critically acclaimed “New York Times” bestseller;
#2. The novel is a “perfect mix of comedy and tragedy, love and loss, and pain and elation”;
#3. It has one of the cutest and most adorable endings of a YA novel ever!

So, let’s go!

Who Should Read “Tell Me Three Things”? And Why?

Have you ever watched “You’ve Got Mail,” one of those adorable Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan romantic comedies?

Or, in case (somewhat like us) you enjoy your old Hollywood icons better, “The Shop Around the Corner” starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan?

Well, “Tell Me Three Things” is, more or less, built around the same premise – in a YA Californian version.

If you are a fan of authors such as Jennifer Niven, Rainbow Rowell, and E. Lockhart, or Stephanie Perkins, Nicola Yoon, and Jenny Han – you should definitely give this book a try.

Julie Buxbaum Biography

Julie BuxbaumJulie Buxbaum is an LA-based “New York Times” bestselling author.

She has written four books so far, the critically acclaimed “The Opposite of Love” and “After You,” and the ultra-popular YA novels, “Tell Me Three Things” and “What to Say Next.”

Find out more at http://www.juliebuxbaum.com/  

Plot

Jessie Holmes is 16 years old, and she has just moved from Chicago to California with her father.

To be more precise – since Jessie kind of is – it has been exactly 30 days since the relocation.

Which only happened because 15 days before that her father decided to elope with a woman he had met on the Internet.

And that happened about 688 days after his wife – and Jessie’s mother – died from cancer!

So, in a nutshell, too many traumas for anyone to bear – let alone a 16-year-old girl, who, on top of this all, doesn’t even have someone – anyone – to share her pain and anger with!

She did have someone until recently: Scarlett, her half Jewish, half Korean “all-time best friend for life” with whom she shared a lot more than a million get-togethers at DeLucci’s Pizza and a mutual hatred for a certain Deena back in Chicago.

But, somehow, even this relationship doesn’t work that well at a distance.

You know what else doesn’t work well?

Everything!

Not only is Jessie now living with a recently widowed woman her father wants to replace her beloved mother with, but she is obliged to call this Rachel her “stepmother”!

And this “step-monster” – Jessie’s word, not ours – has a gay son called Theo who misses his father as much as Jessie misses her mother; so, Jessie doesn’t get along that well with him too.

But, wait… there’s more:

Her stepmother enrolls Jessie at a fancy hotshot school called Wood Valley High School (WVHS), which is way out of Jessie’s league – something she recognizes on her very first day there.

But then – something happens.

Jessie receives an anonymous email from a certain person who calls himself Somebody Nobody who offers himself to be her virtual “Wood Valley H.S. spirit guide”:

I have been watching you at school. not in a creepy way. though I wonder if even using the word “creepy” by definition makes me creepy? anyhow, it’s just . . . you intrigue me. you must have noticed already that our school is a wasteland of mostly blond, vacant-eyed Barbies and Kens, and something about you—not just your newness… — but something about the way you move and talk and actually don’t talk but watch all of us like we are part of some bizarre National Geographic documentary makes me think that you might be different from all the other idiots at school.

Against her gut – out of both desperation and hope – Jessie replies, and, soon enough, she starts regularly exchanging emails with this shy and obviously fairly smart SN.

The MO is always the same: SN and J start their correspondence by telling each other three things. In time, Jessie learns that SN can understand her better than many because he has experienced a loss as well – 196 days ago.

SN recommends Jessie that she befriend Adrianna Sanchez (or “Dri” for short) because he feels like Dri and Jessie can become good friends. This SN seems a great judge of character since Dri and Jessie do become good friends.

However, most of the Barbies at WVHS are the total opposites of Dri and the reason why movies like “Mean Girls” seem too real-life to be considered a parody. One of them, Gem, is evil personified and she becomes Jessie’s bully and tormentor.

Fortunately for Jennie, even though the Barbies don’t like her, the Kens seem to share SN’s interest in her.

Which, strangely enough, in time becomes a great problem, since Jessie really likes (messaging with) SN but has no idea who he is in real life.

There are three possible candidates:

Ethan, a smart and handsome Batman-shirt-wearing blue-eyed dark-haired nerd who goes to some of her classes and with whom she is paired up for a poetry project (ironically, T. S. Eliot’s “Waste Land”);

Liam, the lead vocalist of the band Oville where Ethan plays the guitar; also, the son of the owner of “Book Out Below” where Jessie gets a part-time job;

Finally, Caleb, the first boy Jessie meets after arriving at WVHS and someone who, coincidentally, seems to be texting every time Jessie receives a message from SN.

It can be either one of these three, but, as time goes by, Jessie sets her mind more and more upon only one of them.

Ethan.

Tell Me Three Things Epilogue

Jessie has a hard time combining school with work and after some time decides to take a break, and she goes back to Chicago to see Scarlett once again.

To her surprise, Adam, Jessie’s ex-boyfriend, is now Scarlett’s partner and, to her absolute amazement, Deena has become Scarlett’s best friend!

They settle things out, but somehow Jessie is not that unwilling to leave Chicago this time.

She gets the best possible inspiration she can ever get: a message from SN telling her that he wants to meet her at IHOP!

Is it Ethan?

Well, this is how things unfold at the very end:

“I want to kiss you, like, very much, please,” the secretive guy says to Jessie.

“You do?”, Jessie asks.

“I do,” he answers and soon everything falls away.

We read:

It is just him and me, Ethan is Ethan is Ethan and Jessie is Jessie is Jessie, and his lips touch mine.
But sometimes a kiss is not a kiss is not a kiss. Sometimes it’s poetry.

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“Tell Me Three Things PDF Quotes”

Just because you're strong doesn't mean you shouldn't ask for help sometimes. Remember that. Click To Tweet

Other people can't make you feel stupid. Only you can. Click To Tweet

Not feeling like I belong anywhere has made me crave constant motion; standing still feels risky, like asking to be a target. Click To Tweet

Not knowing the right thing to do is not an excuse for not doing anything. Click To Tweet

There’s nothing lonelier than a hand on glass. Maybe because it’s so rarely reciprocated. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Jodi Picoult has three things to tell you about this novel:

(1) I loved it. (2) No, really, I LOVED it. (3) I wish I could tell every teen to read it. Buxbaum’s book sounds, reads, breathes, worries, and soars like real adolescents do.

And we have just one thing to add: we would have written the same had we been as eloquent and as creative as Jodi!

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Everything, Everything PDF Summary

Everything, Everything PDFA Novel

What if you were allergic to everything and, thus forced to live in a bubble?

And what if, in spite of that, you fall in love?

Everything, Everything” tries to answer both questions.

Who Should Read “Everything, Everything”? And Why?

“Everything, Everything” is a young adult novel, so, obviously, it should interest John-Green/Nicholas-Sparks-worshipping teenagers much more than adults, many of whom may find this book a bit melodramatic.

However, the book’s innovativeness, its lyrical descriptions, and heartwarming narrative may jerk more than one tear out of the eyes of many adults who don’t like YA novels so much, but who do want to leaf through a sentimental work or two from time to time.

If so, this one should be the next one on your I-want-a-break-from-all-this-madness list.

Nicola YoonNicola Yoon Biography

Nicola Yoon is a Jamaican-American author.

She majored in electrical engineering at Cornell University, but a creative writing class inspired her to subsequently attend the Master of Creative Writing program at Emerson College.

She wrote her debut novel, “Everything, Everything,” long after while working full-time as a programmer for an investment management firm and raising her first daughter. The book proved a huge success, and it was adapted into a movie released in May 2017.

In 2016, Yoon’s second book, “The Sun Is Also a Star,” was published, the film rights of which have been already acquired by MGM and Warner Brothers.

Everything, Everything Summary

Have you ever watched “Seinfeld”?

If so, you certainly remember the episode with the Bubble Boy, right? You know, the one with the boy who has to live in a bubble because unless he lives in a germ-free sterile environment, he may die instantaneously!

Well, the main character of Nicola Yoon’s debut novel “Everything, Everything” is a bubble girl, Madeline “Maddy” Whittier, who suffers from the very same disease.

She explains its nature and its consequences from the very start of the novel, telling us that her disease is “as rare as it is famous” and that it’s a form of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID):

“Basically, I’m allergic to the world,””she notes:

Anything can trigger a bout of sickness. It could be the chemicals in the cleaner used to wipe the table that I just touched. It could be someone’s perfume. It could be the exotic spice in the food I just ate. It could be one, or all, or none of these things, or something else entirely.

No one knows the triggers, but everyone knows the consequences. According to my mom, I almost died as an infant. And so I stay on SCID row. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years.

Maddy’s father and brother died a long time ago, so Maddy lives with her mother Pauline and her nurse Carla. She spends most of the time reading and watching the outdoors through the windows of her room.

One day, a family moves in next door.

Watching it from her window, Maddy notices three things.

One: that the father of this family is abusive and violent.

Two: that the daughter has a smoking problem.

And three: that the son is smoking hot.

Fortunately for Maddy, the son – whose name is Olly notices her back. Even more fortunately for her, despite Pauline’s attempts to keep Olly (and everyone else) away from Maddy, Carla has her back: one day, she sneaks the boy into Maddy’s house.

Soon enough, Olly basically becomes a part of the furniture of Maddy’s house every time Pauline is not around. And one time, Maddy even dares to leave her home for a few seconds!

Expectedly, Pauline finds out, and she bans Maddy from seeing Olly again. Even so, Maddy and Olly go on communicating by secretly texting each other.

After some time, they even decide to go on a holiday together to Hawaii.

Of course, the only reason why Olly would ever agree to such a foolish plan is a lie: Maddy tells Olly that she is on a new medicine and that she will be fine.

Surprise, surprise – she is not!

The second day in Hawaii, she begins to feel extremely sick and is taken to the hospital, where, for one brief moment, her heart stops beating.

Chilling…

Having found out about the young lovers’ plans in the meantime, Pauline travels to Hawaii and brings Maddy back home. Aware that SCID is not something you can mess around with, Maddy breaks off communication with Olly.

Barely a month passes, and Maddy sees Olly, his sister and their mother escaping in a van from the tyranny of their father.

Now, she doesn’t even have the chance to see him anymore.

And that should be the end of it, right?

Well, let us quote Yoon on that one:

Spoiler alert: Love is worth everything. Everything.

Everything, Everything Epilogue

One month after Olly leaves, Maddy receives a letter from the doctor who had treated her after her unfortunate Hawaii incident.

And the letter reveals something utterly strange: Maddy doesn’t have SCID. In fact, it’s the other way around: her immunodeficiency is the result of her enforced SCID row.

In simpler terms: Maddy is sick not because she was born that way, but because she has spent 17 years in a germ-free sick-secured environment which has never allowed her body to form a natural immunity.

This leads to one of two conclusions: either she was misdiagnosed as a child, or her mother is lying to her throughout her whole life!

Yes, it’s the second one: Maddy rummages through Pauline’s medical files, and all she discovers are just a few SCID-related internet articles!

So, why did she do such a horrible thing?

Two words: helicopter parenting.

After receiving some much-needed therapy, Maddy’s mother reveals to her that soon after the death of her husband and son, Maddy got very sick as well.

She didn’t want to lose her either, so, basically, after finding about this rare disease called SCID, she simply decided that Maddy has it as well. That way, she was able to keep her protected at all times.

The worst idea ever!

Oh, and we almost forgot the obligatory happy ending:

SCID-free, Maddy travels to New York and reunites with Olly.

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“Everything, Everything PDF Quotes”

Everything's a risk. Not doing anything is a risk. It's up to you. Click To Tweet

Maybe growing up means disappointing the people we love. Click To Tweet

Life is a gift. Don't forget to live it. Click To Tweet

Just because you can’t experience everything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experience anything. Click To Tweet

I was happy before I met him. But I’m alive now, and those are not the same thing. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Many epithets have been used to describe “Everything, Everything” and most of them have been beyond flattering.

The New York Times Book Review” called it “gorgeous and lyrical” and “SLJ,” simply, “wonderful, wonderful.

However, David Arnold may have been closest to the truth when writing that “Everything, Everything” offers “an entirely unique and beautiful reading experience.”

True to the case: even though we are not big fans of the sentimentality of YA novels, we would be lying if we said that this one didn’t attract our attention.

Built on a fairly original premise, “Everything, Everything” is nothing short of a masterpiece of its genre, definitely a book over which many teenagers will obsess for many years to come.

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The Gospel of John PDF Summary

The Gospel of John PDF Summary

The Gospel of John” is a symbolic biography of Jesus.

Need we say more?

Read on!

Who Should Read “The Gospel of John”? And Why?

Oh, come on!

We choose to not dignify these questions with an answer.

“The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved” Biography

All that we know about the author of the Gospel is that he is Jesus’ beloved disciple.

Some people say it must be John the Apostle – hence the title – but others claim that it might have been Lazarus.

Plot

The Gospel of John is the fourth and final of the four canonical gospels which form the first four books of the New Testament.

According to most scholars, the Gospel can be easily divided into two halves (Jesus’ public and Jesus’ private ministry), framed by a prologue (a poem celebrating Jesus’ coming) and an epilogue (happening after Jesus’ death).

I THE PROLOGUE (1:1-18)

The Gospel of John begins with a splendid prologue, essentially a marvelous poetic hymn/invocation expressing the author’s knowledge of and love for Jesus’s deeds.

The prologue first informs the readers of Jesus’ true identity and then, in much the same vein as “an overture does for a musical work,” states all of the themes and motifs which will be scrutinized in detail throughout the rest of the Gospel.

The first verse of the Gospel is one of the most memorable ever written:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

II THE BOOK OF SIGNS (1:19-12:50)

The second part of the Gospel of John is rightly called the Book of Signs, since, for the most part of it, it’s a retelling of seven important miracles performed by Jesus which the poet of the Gospel has selected personally and has chosen to refer to as “signs.”

We know that these seven are selected by him and that the author is mainly interested in their significance because he tells us so late, late in the book (John 20:30-31):

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of [his] disciples that are not written in this book. 31 But these are written that you may [come to] believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

#1. Changing the Water into Wine (John 2:1-11)

This is “the beginning of [Jesus’] signs in Cana in Galilee.”

Jesus, his mother (who is not named in the Gospel of John, but let’s just save us some trouble and call her Mary), and his disciples are all invited to a wedding in Cana.

After some time, the wine runs out, and Mary tells this to Jesus. Jesus replies: “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.”

But you know how mothers are and, lo and behold, before you know it, Jesus turns the water of six stone water jars (used for Jewish ceremonial washings) into the best wine anyone has ever tasted.

(If you want to hear Rowan Atkinson’s version of this story, click here).

#2. Healing the Royal Official’s Son (John 4:46-54)

Now, even though Jesus is still at Cana, he successfully performs his second miracle at some distance away.

A royal official comes to him and asks Jesus to cure his child.

“You may go,” says Jesus unto him, “your son will live.”

And true, once the royal official comes home, he learns that the fever left his son at the same time that he was talking to Jesus.

#3. Healing the Paralytic at Bethesda (John 5:1-15)

This miracle is a bit controversial since it happens on the Sabbath, the day of rest according to the Old Testament.

Jesus visits Jerusalem for a feast and encounters a man who has been paralyzed for almost four decades. Jesus tells the paralytic to pick up his mat and start walking. Immediately he is able to do so.

Apparently, however, it is unlawful to carry your mat on a Sabbath, so the Jews scold this man, who tells them that he was told to do so by Jesus.

The Jews are mad, but once they face Jesus with this allegation, he answers them like a boss: “My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.”

#4. Feeding the 5000 (John 6:5-14)

One of Jesus’ most famous miracles, also known as the miracle of five loaves and two fish.

You already know why: Jesus needed merely five barley loaves and two fish provided by a small boy to feed the five thousand people who had come to him.

No wonder they afterward concluded: “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.”

#5. Jesus Walking on Water (John 6:16-24)

Well, this is probably the most famous of them all.

Jesus’ disciples board a ship and try to cross to Capernaum, to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.

It’s dark and a storm is brewing, and Jesus is still not with them.

And then, after they manage to row “about three or four miles,” they notice Jesus “walking on the sea and coming near the boat.”

Needless to say, they are terrified.

“It is I,” says Jesus. “Do not be afraid.”

#6. Healing the Man Blind from Birth (John 9:1-7)

Jesus sees a man blind from birth.

His disciples ask him: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Jesus answers: “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.”

After this, Jesus spits on the ground, makes some mud with his saliva and lays the mud on the blind man’s eyes.

After the blind man washes his eyes, he is finally able to see.

Jesus explains the metaphorical significance of this miracle a bit later (9:39):

I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.

#7. The Raising of Lazarus (John 11:1-45)

Speaking of symbols – the raising of Lazarus is the climax of the seven signs, foreshadowing Jesus’s own resurrection.

Lazarus – we are told – is one of Jesus’s dearest friends. His sisters – Mary and Martha – send a messenger to Jesus, to tell him that Lazarus is deadly sick.

Surprisingly, Jesus isn’t in any hurry. He remains where he is for the next few days only to find – when he finally arrives in Bethany, that Lazarus is already four days dead and buried in his tomb.

Jesus orders for the gravestone to be rolled away.

“Lazarus, come out,” he says.

And Lazarus does, his face wrapped in cloth, his hands and feet tied with burial bands.

III THE BOOK OF GLORY (13:1-20:31)

Once Jesus has prepared the scene for it, he is ready to tell his disciples of what’s about to happen to him and how they should go on in his absence.

He washes their feet and teaches them that the leaders eat last, i.e., that everyone should serve everyone and that everyone should love everyone as well.

Then, he tells them that even though he is about to be betrayed by one of them, His Father (aka God) will leave the Spirit of God with them, to guide them through the rough times.

And they will be as rough as they come, since – Jesus says – his followers will be persecuted the same way he had been.

You know the rest of the story: the next time Jesus goes to Jerusalem, Judas Iscariot betrays him with a kiss and Jesus is taken to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, who next sentences him to death by crucifixion.

Death-shmeath, says Jesus from the cross, and three days after he dies, Mary of Magdala finds his tomb suspiciously empty.

Thinking that his body is stolen, Mary weeps at this revelation, but the tears turn into tears of joy once she sees the gardener.

Because – wait for it – it’s not the gardener, but Jesus himself!

Everyone believes this but Thomas – which is how he gets his unflattering nickname: The Doubting Thomas.

The Gospel of John Epilogue

There’s one more chapter in the Gospel (21), telling of Jesus’ appearance to his disciples in Galilee, his miraculous catching of fish, as well as the prophecy of the crucifixion of Peter.

It ends with a twist worthy of a film adaptation (remind us: have they made one?).

Once told of his future destiny, Peter sees behind Jesus “the disciple… whom Jesus loved, the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper and had said ‘Master, who is the one who will betray you?’”

Surprise, surprise: “It is this disciple,” concludes the Gospel, “who testifies to these things and has written them.”

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“The Gospel of John PDF Quotes”

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. Click To Tweet In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Click To Tweet Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Click To Tweet Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Click To Tweet Jesus said to him: Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

We don’t know if everybody agrees, but, in our eyes, the Gospel of John is the most beautiful of the four gospels.

And that should tell you enough.

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The Epistle of James PDF Summary

The Epistle of James PDFInterested in reading a letter written by the brother of Jesus?

If so, the brief “Epistle of James” may be your only chance to.

And we have its summary.

Who Should Read “The Epistle of James”? And Why?

“The Epistle of James” is the first of the seven catholic epistles – which doesn’t mean that Catholics like it more than the rest, but simply that it’s one of the most general or universal epistles in the Bible.

So, if you can spare half an hour, do read it in its entirety.

Especially if you’re Christian.

James AdamsonJames Biography

Just like many other books in the Bible, not many things are known about the actual author of the Epistle of James, regardless of the fact that he uncovers his identity at the very beginning of the letter.

However, there are six different people who are named James in the Bible, and this guy may even be a seventh, unknown one.

Traditionally, the Epistle is attributed to James, the brother of Jesus, also known as James the Just. If so, that is a Byzantine icon of him on the left. Most probably, he looked nothing like it.

Plot

The Epistle of James – also known as the Book of James or, simply, James – is (usually) the 15th of the 21 epistles (letters) found in the New Testament, presumably written by James the Just (the brother of Jesus and the leader of the Jerusalem Church) to “the twelve tribes in the dispersion.”

Now, these twelve tribes are most probably Jewish Christians, because, as is often stated, if not for two generic references to Christ (“the Lord Jesus Christ” and “our glorious Lord Jesus Christ”), the Epistle of James would fit rather nicely in the Old Testament.

In fact, this is the only one of the 21 epistles which makes no mention of the death and resurrection of Christ, let alone of his status as the Son of God.

It is a fairly short letter of eclectic nature, which mostly reads as a collection of proverbs and moral exhortations.

However, some authors have tried structuring it in one way or another.

We’ll follow their lead:

I ADDRESS (1:1)

This part consists of merely one verse, the salutation of the author: “James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes in the dispersion, greetings.”

II THE VALUE OF TRIALS AND TEMPTATION (1:2-18)

In this part, the author speaks of many topics, but mostly of faith and wisdom (1:2-8), poverty and riches (1:9-11), and trial and temptations (1:12-18).

He starts by telling the receivers of his letter: “Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trial, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

Then, he asks for perfect perseverance, or, if we are allowed to paraphrase him: “Don’t be a doubting Thomas no matter what happens to you”!

After pointing out that money means nothing, he goes back to talking about perseverance yet again, blessing the ones who endure the trials and temptations of this world, since all of them – he explains – come from above and are a test.

III EXHORTATIONS AND WARNINGS (1:19-5:12)

This part forms the bulk of the letter of James, containing many instructions and cautions related to, once again, various topics.

Hearing and Doing the Word (1:19–27)

In one of the earliest occurrences of the “talk the talk, walk the walk” phrase, James writes to the twelve tribes (in a bit more eloquent manner, of course): “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.”

He then compares the hearers to people looking at their own faces in the mirror before going off their own ways forgetting how they look like.

Warning against Partiality (2:1–13)

Partiality is a sin, warns James, since everyone who differentiates between those with gold rings and fine clothes on the one side, and the poor people in shabby clothes on the other, are actually playing gods and judges.

And that is a big no-no – because they will be judged too.

So speak and so act as people who will be judged by the law of freedom,” James concludes. “For the judgment is merciless to one who has not shown mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.

Faith and Works (2:14–26)

Now, James goes back to the theme of doing the word as well as hearing it, clothing it in a more relatable manner: faith and works go hand in hand.

Even the demons believe in God, he warns, making a person who merely believes and does nothing about it as empty as a body without a spirit.

You need to be like Abraham, completing and justifying your faith through your works, even if this means offering your son upon the altar.

Power of the Tongue (3:1–12)

The tongue, James says, is both as small and as powerful as a ship’s rudder: though merely an insignificant part of the body, it steers the whole body in one direction or another:

7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it, we bless the Lord and Father, and with it, we curse human beings who are made in the likeness of God.

This shouldn’t be so, because a spring doesn’t “gush forth from the same opening both pure and brackish water” and because a fig tree doesn’t produce two types of olives.

In a nutshell: less cursing, more praying.

The Wisdom from Above (3:13–18)

If someone is wise, he will live a humble life, because humility (as opposed to jealousy and selfishness) is the only viable product of real, divine wisdom.

Friendship with the World (4:1–10)

Here James takes a look at the causes of division, which he thinks must be the passions (the needs and desires) which make war within our members and organs, turning people into adulterers and hypocrites.

The solution: “Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you!”

Judging a Brother (4:11–12)

Back to judging – this time of an especially serious type: speaking evil of one’s brother.

There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save or to destroy,” notes James once again. “Who then are you to judge your neighbor?

Warning against Boasting (4:13–17)

If you want to make God laugh,” remarked once Woody Allen, “tell him about your plans.

Better yet, James notes, just start saying “If the Lord wills it, we shall live to do this or that.”

Otherwise, you’re merely boasting, and such boasting is evil.

Warning to the Rich (5:1–6)

Just like Jesus, James really doesn’t like the rich.

Don’t believe us?

See for yourself:

 1 Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries. 2 Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten, 3 your gold and silver have corroded, and that corrosion will be a testimony against you; it will devour your flesh like a fire. You have stored up treasure for the last days.

 Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure; you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter. You have condemned; you have murdered the righteous one; he offers you no resistance.

Patience and Oaths (5:7-12)

If Job was able to be patient, everyone should be as well. So, follow his examples.

Also, by heaven, stop swearing oaths!

The Epistle of James Epilogue

IV THE POWER OF PRAYER (5:13-20)

The Epistle of James concludes with a beautiful elucidation of the power of prayer.

Anointing of the Sick (5:13-15)

In a nutshell, if someone is suffering and/or is sick, he/she should pray by himself/herself or ask someone else to pray for him/her.

Confession and Intercession (5:16-18)

Also, everyone should confess his/her sins and pray for everyone he/she knows.

Conversion of Sinners (5:19-20)

Finally, “whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”

So, if you do know someone – you know what to do!

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“The Epistle of James PDF Quotes”

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Click To Tweet

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires Click To Tweet

Believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Click To Tweet

Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Click To Tweet

If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, ‘Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled’; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

If the Bible was authored by God, “The Epistle of James” is not His finest hour. It’s too repetitive, hurriedly structured and stylistically not as subtle as some of the other epistles.

Martin Luther even denied it was the work of an apostle, calling it an “epistle of straw.’

Be that as it may, we still think it’s Bible-worthy – if solely as an example of New Testament wisdom literature.

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What Is the What PDF Summary

What Is the What PDFThe Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng

Life can be stranger than fiction.

And, sometimes, not in the good sense.

What Is the What” tells one such story.

An astonishing, powerful, tear-jerking story.

Who Should Read “What Is the What”? And Why?

“What Is the What” is basically the autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng, one of the thousands of Lost Boys of Sudan.

If you do know what that sentence means, then you surely know that this is a heartbreaking story which should be required reading for every human being on this planet.

If you don’t – well, consider that one more reason to read this book as soon as possible.

Dave EggersDave Eggers Biography

Dave Eggers is an American writer and publisher.

Author of more than ten novels and novellas and five bestselling nonfiction books, he is probably most famous for “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius,” a memoir which follows Eggers’ stewardship of his younger brother Cristopher Eggers.

The book was voted as the 12th best book of the first decade of the 21st century.

Eggers is also the founder of McSweeney’s Publishing, a non-profit publishing house which has published books by numerous well-established, as well as emerging writers.

Plot

As its subtitle suggests, “What is the What” is an autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng, a real-life Sudanese refugee who was one of the selected few who were given a chance to restart their lives in the United States.

Even though a novel, typical of Dave Eggers’ style, “What is the What” is, in fact, rooted into reality, unassumingly blending fiction and non-fiction and producing a unique type of impersonal memoir.

As Valentino Achak Deng explains in the preface:

I told Dave what I knew and what I could remember, and from that material he created this work of art. It should be known to the readers that I was very young when some of the events in the book took place, and as a result we simply had to pronounce ‘What is the What’ a novel. I could not, for example, recount some conversations that took place seventeen years ago. However, it should be noted that all of the major events in the book are true.

“What Is the What” follows two plotlines, one chronicling Achak’s journey through Africa, and the other relating his experiences after reaching the United States. These plotlines are interspersed in the book, but we’ll recount them chronologically here.

So, we start in Africa where Valentino Achak Deng lives a relatively happy life in Marial Bai, a village in South Sudan.

He even feels a bit privileged when compared to the other people around him, since he has both a loving family and numerous friends.

Unlike many of his countrymen, he has a future as well: being a son of a shopkeeper, he is destined to take over his father’s business, once his father retires.

However, the Second Sudanese Civil War strikes and the Arab militia – murahaleen (Arabic for deported) or the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) – in an attempt to institute Islam all over the country, wipes out Achak’s hometown from the face of the earth, just like many other Dinka villages.

Though separated from his family and his childhood friends (William K and Moses), Achak is somehow able to escape and join a group of fugitive boys and girls (now known as the Lost Boys of Sudan) who are on their way to a refugee camp to neighboring Ethiopia.

Achak finds William K among them, but only for a brief period of time: just like many other of the boys and girls, William K dies from disease and malnourishment.

Achak is one of those who finally reach Ethiopia.

Unfortunately, the refugee camp is not exactly what he had hoped for: not only the conditions are bad, but, soon enough, many of the children who get to the camp end up being forcefully recruited by SPLA rebels.

Things go from bad to worse when in 1991 Mengistu Haile Mariam, the Ethiopian Marxist dictator, is overthrown and leaves the country for Zimbabwe.

The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front forces the Lost Boys of Sudan out of the country at gunpoint.

Follows another Golgotha, this one from Ethiopia to Kenya, or more precisely to the Kakuma refugee camp.

Thousands and thousands die while crossing the Gilo River, and many more die either of starvation or in the fangs of the hungry lions.

About 10,000 reach Kakuma, where, to their dismay, the conditions are even worse from those in Ethiopia.

Even so, most of the children manage to survive with one meal a day, and, the more they stay there, the better they feel.

Achak starts going to school, shows off his athleticism as a basketball player and even meets a girl by the name of Tabitha.

After a while, his popularity grants him an opportunity to visit Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.

In 2001, the United States Government and the UNHCR establish the Lost Boys of Sudan program through which about 4,000 boys are offered resettlement in the USA.

Valentino Achak Deng is among them.

His dreams have finally come true: in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attack, Valentino boards a plane and flies off to Atlanta.

What Is the What Epilogue

But, unfortunately, that is not the end of the story.

A few years later – and this is how Eggers’ novel actually begins – Achak answers a knock on the door of his apartment in Atlanta.

It is an African-American woman who asks Achak to use his phone. He obliges, but as the woman enters, a man appears behind her and forces an entry himself.

He ties Valentino up, while the woman rummages through the apartment, stealing Valentino’s things. After some time, he is knocked unconscious, and when he comes to his senses, he wakes up next to a boy named Michael who is in charge of guarding him.

Valentino tries to reason with him but is unable to.

Soon Michael and the robbers leave, and Achor Achor, Valentino’s friend and housemate, comes back. He unties Valentino and calls the police.

A policewoman arrives, but is absolutely disinterested in Achak’s story and, by the looks of it, she has no intention of taking the investigation any further.

Achak is flabbergasted by her prejudiced behavior, but he’s in for an even more bitter treat once he goes to the hospital, badly bruised and visibly shaken.

Even so, no doctor comes to see him for hours – long enough for Valentino to give up on waiting and head to work.

At work, his colleagues ask him about the cause of his injuries and Valentina’s silence provokes them to conclude that they must have something to do with the fact that Sudanese people get into so many fights.

Depressed and disillusioned with the United States, Valentino starts thinking about his Kakuma girlfriend, Tabitha.

We learn that their relationship ended when Tabitha moved to Seattle and found a new Sudanese boyfriend.

After Achak arrived in Atlanta, he contacted her, and, soon after, Tabitha broke up with her boyfriend. However, her ex-boyfriend couldn’t bear the thought of Tabitha being with another man and killed her.

The moral of the story?

Strangely enough, the story itself:

It gives me strength, almost unbelievable strength, to know that you are there. I covet your eyes, your ears, the collapsible space between us. How blessed are we to have each other? I am alive and you are alive and so we must fill the air with our words. I will fill today, tomorrow, every day until I am taken back to God. I will tell stories to people who will listen and to people who don’t want to listen, to people who seek me out and to those who run. All the while I will know that you are there. How can I pretend that you do not exist? It would be almost as impossible as you pretending that I do not exist.

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“What Is the What PDF Quotes”

Humans are divided between those who can still look through the eyes of youth and those who cannot. Click To Tweet

I lost someone very close to me and afterward I believed I could have saved him had I been a better friend to him. But everyone disappears, no matter who loves them. Click To Tweet

When there is pleasure, there is often abandon, and mistakes are made. Click To Tweet

If I ever love again, I will not wait to love as best as I can. We thought we were young and that there would be time to love well sometime in the future. This is a terrible way to think. It is no way to live, to wait to love. Click To Tweet

Nothing again. No one is listening. No one is waiting to hear the kicking of a man above. It is unexpected. You have no ears for someone like me. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“What Is the What” is more than a novel and more than a memoir at the same time: it’s a heartbreaking hymn to humanity – or what is left of it.

It is impossible to read this book and not be humbled, enlightened, transformed, noted Khaled Hosseini, the author of “The Kite Runner.”

A testament to the triumph of hope over experience, human resilience over tragedy and disaster,” wrote Michiko Kakutani for “The New York Times.”

Unforgettable – we feel obliged to add humbly.

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The Gospel of John PDF Summary

The Gospel of John PDFThe Gospel of John” is a symbolic biography of Jesus.

Need we say more?

Read on!

Who Should Read “The Gospel of John”? And Why?

Oh, come on!

We choose to not dignify these questions with an answer.

“The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved” Biography

All that we know about the author of the Gospel is that he is Jesus’ beloved disciple.

Some people say it must be John the Apostle – hence the title – but others claim that it might have been Lazarus.

Plot

The Gospel of John is the fourth and final of the four canonical gospels which form the first four books of the New Testament.

According to most scholars, the Gospel can be easily divided into two halves (Jesus’ public and Jesus’ private ministry), framed by a prologue (a poem celebrating Jesus’ coming) and an epilogue (happening after Jesus’ death).

I THE PROLOGUE (1:1-18)

The Gospel of John begins with a splendid prologue, essentially a marvelous poetic hymn/invocation expressing the author’s knowledge of and love for Jesus’s deeds.

The prologue first informs the readers of Jesus’ true identity and then, in much the same vein as “an overture does for a musical work,” states all of the themes and motifs which will be scrutinized in detail throughout the rest of the Gospel.

The first verse of the Gospel is one of the most memorable ever written:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

II THE BOOK OF SIGNS (1:19-12:50)

The second part of the Gospel of John is rightly called the Book of Signs, since, for the most part of it, it’s a retelling of seven important miracles performed by Jesus which the poet of the Gospel has selected personally and has chosen to refer to as “signs.”

We know that these seven are selected by him and that the author is mainly interested in their significance because he tells us so late, late in the book (John 20:30-31):

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of [his] disciples that are not written in this book. 31 But these are written that you may [come to] believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

#1. Changing the Water into Wine (John 2:1-11)

This is “the beginning of [Jesus’] signs in Cana in Galilee.”

Jesus, his mother (who is not named in the Gospel of John, but let’s just save us some trouble and call her Mary), and his disciples are all invited to a wedding in Cana.

After some time, the wine runs out, and Mary tells this to Jesus. Jesus replies: “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.”

But you know how mothers are and, lo and behold, before you know it, Jesus turns the water of six stone water jars (used for Jewish ceremonial washings) into the best wine anyone has ever tasted.

(If you want to hear Rowan Atkinson’s version of this story, click here).

#2. Healing the Royal Official’s Son (John 4:46-54)

Now, even though Jesus is still at Cana, he successfully performs his second miracle at some distance away.

A royal official comes to him and asks Jesus to cure his child.

You may go,” says Jesus unto him, “your son will live.

And true, once the royal official comes home, he learns that the fever left his son at the same time that he was talking to Jesus.

#3. Healing the Paralytic at Bethesda (John 5:1-15)

This miracle is a bit controversial since it happens on the Sabbath, the day of rest according to the Old Testament.

Jesus visits Jerusalem for a feast and encounters a man who has been paralyzed for almost four decades. Jesus tells the paralytic to pick up his mat and start walking. Immediately he is able to do so.

Apparently, however, it is unlawful to carry your mat on a Sabbath, so the Jews scold this man, who tells them that he was told to do so by Jesus.

The Jews are mad, but once they face Jesus with this allegation, he answers them like a boss: “My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.”

#4. Feeding the 5000 (John 6:5-14)

One of Jesus’ most famous miracles, also known as the miracle of five loaves and two fish.

You already know why: Jesus needed merely five barley loaves and two fish provided by a small boy to feed the five thousand people who had come to him.

No wonder they afterward concluded: “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.”

#5. Jesus Walking on Water (John 6:16-24)

Well, this is probably the most famous of them all.

Jesus’ disciples board a ship and try to cross to Capernaum, to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.

It’s dark and a storm is brewing, and Jesus is still not with them.

And then, after they manage to row “about three or four miles,” they notice Jesus “walking on the sea and coming near the boat.”

Needless to say, they are terrified.

It is I,” says Jesus. “Do not be afraid.

#6. Healing the Man Blind from Birth (John 9:1-7)

Jesus sees a man blind from birth.

His disciples ask him: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Jesus answers: “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.”

After this, Jesus spits on the ground, makes some mud with his saliva and lays the mud on the blind man’s eyes.

After the blind man washes his eyes, he is finally able to see.

Jesus explains the metaphorical significance of this miracle a bit later (9:39):

I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.

#7. The Raising of Lazarus (John 11:1-45)

Speaking of symbols – the raising of Lazarus is the climax of the seven signs, foreshadowing Jesus’s own resurrection.

Lazarus – we are told – is one of Jesus’s dearest friends. His sisters – Mary and Martha – send a messenger to Jesus, to tell him that Lazarus is deadly sick.

Surprisingly, Jesus isn’t in any hurry. He remains where he is for the next few days only to find – when he finally arrives in Bethany, that Lazarus is already four days dead and buried in his tomb.

Jesus orders for the gravestone to be rolled away.

“Lazarus, come out,” he says.

And Lazarus does, his face wrapped in cloth, his hands and feet tied with burial bands.

III THE BOOK OF GLORY (13:1-20:31)

Once Jesus has prepared the scene for it, he is ready to tell his disciples of what’s about to happen to him and how they should go on in his absence.

He washes their feet and teaches them that the leaders eat last, i.e., that everyone should serve everyone and that everyone should love everyone as well.

Then, he tells them that even though he is about to be betrayed by one of them, His Father (aka God) will leave the Spirit of God with them, to guide them through the rough times.

And they will be as rough as they come, since – Jesus says – his followers will be persecuted the same way he had been.

You know the rest of the story: the next time Jesus goes to Jerusalem, Judas Iscariot betrays him with a kiss and Jesus is taken to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, who next sentences him to death by crucifixion.

Death-shmeath, says Jesus from the cross, and three days after he dies, Mary of Magdala finds his tomb suspiciously empty.

Thinking that his body is stolen, Mary weeps at this revelation, but the tears turn into tears of joy once she sees the gardener.

Because – wait for it – it’s not the gardener, but Jesus himself!

Everyone believes this but Thomas – which is how he gets his unflattering nickname: The Doubting Thomas.

The Gospel of John Epilogue

There’s one more chapter in the Gospel (21), telling of Jesus’ appearance to his disciples in Galilee, his miraculous catching of fish, as well as the prophecy of the crucifixion of Peter.

It ends with a twist worthy of a film adaptation (remind us: have they made one?).

Once told of his future destiny, Peter sees behind Jesus “the disciple… whom Jesus loved, the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper and had said ‘Master, who is the one who will betray you?’”

Surprise, surprise: “It is this disciple,” concludes the Gospel, “who testifies to these things and has written them.”

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“The Gospel of John PDF Quotes”

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. Click To Tweet

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Click To Tweet

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Click To Tweet

Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Click To Tweet

Jesus said to him: Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

We don’t know if everybody agrees, but, in our eyes, the Gospel of John is the most beautiful of the four gospels.

And that should tell you enough.

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Two by Two PDF Summary – Nicholas Sparks

Two by Two PDFNo one should ever be forced to march through life alone – these are the concluding words of Nicholas Sparks’ penultimate novel, “Two by Two.”

An emotionally charged story of love and loss, “Two by Two” is another gem in Sparks’ translucent bibliography.

Some even say – one of the brightest.

Who Should Read “Two by Two”? And Why?

Nicholas Sparks has so far written 19 novels.

11 of them have been adapted for the screen, and each of them has earned the producers a substantial amount of money, which in the case of “The Notebook” and “Dear John” moves in the region of hundreds of millions of dollars!

So, if you’re into romances and love stories – or being in a relationship with someone who is – we’d be very surprised if you haven’t watched at least one of these 11 movies.

Since the era of Sparks’ adaptations has recently come to an end, there’s a high chance that the only way you can get to know to the characters of “Two by Two” is by reading the book.

So, what are you waiting for?

Nicholas SparksNicholas Sparks Biography

Nicholas Sparks is an American novelist and screenwriter.

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, on the last day of 1965, Sparks was a 28-year-old pharmaceuticals salesman when he wrote “The Notebook,” the book which would earn him millions and make him a household name just three years later

A string of successes would follow – including “Message in a Bottle” (1998), “A Walk to Remember” (1999), “Dear John” (2006), “Safe Haven” (2010), “The Best of Me” (2011) – making Sparks one of the most successful and beloved novelists currently active.

Sparks’ novels have sold over 100 million copies and have been translated into more than 50 different languages.

Plot

Russell Green is a 32-year old advertising executive who, seemingly, has it all: a stunning wife (Vivian), a lovable 6-year-old daughter (London), and a large, expensive mansion in Charlotte, where he lives close to his family.

However, in a matter of months, his life will be turned upside-down.

Fortunately, even though he will lose many things in his life, during the process, he will manage to find the two that really matter.

It will all start with his job: in an attempt to start his own marketing company, Russell will quit the marketing firm where he is an advertising executive.

His wife, Vivian, doesn’t take this the easy way: though seemingly crazy-in-love with Russ, she doesn’t want to sacrifice the comfort of her life because of a whim on the part of her husband.

So, even though the couple now earns far less money than before – Vivian is a stay-at-home mum – she doesn’t want to change her shopping habits one bit!

Things gradually worsen, and Vivian eventually decides to go back to work.

She finds a job as a PR in the real estate development firm of Walter Spannerman, who is both a womanizer and a billionaire, so, not exactly, one to not worry about if you are in the shoes of Russ.

However, that’s only one of the things Russ has on his mind since his plan to set up a successful advertising company is going only half well: it is an advertising company, but it is not successful.

What’s more, with Vivian working and all, now he has basically turned into a full-time caretaker of London.

Even though in the beginning Russ has a difficult time coping with the unexpected role reversal, with the help of his supportive family and, especially, his beloved sister Marge, he eventually manages to find a balance between work and London.

Soon enough, he starts enjoying the time he spends with his daughter, and London is happy with her father as well.

However, things between Russ and Vivian go from bad to worse when she starts spending even the nights away from home.

So, it comes as practically no surprise when, at the end of the summer, Vivian informs Russ that she is in love with her new boss and that she intends to move with him to Atlanta once Spannerman’s company relocates.

The inevitable happens: the documents for divorce are finally filed.

Russell hires his first client at the new company, Joey Taglieri, as his lawyer. His only demand: joint custody of London.

No matter what.

In the meantime, an old girlfriend of Russ, Emily, comes into the picture.

She is a single mom with a son (Bodhi), so she has an understanding of Russell’s struggles, lending him both a compassionate ear and a helping hand during his difficult times.

Needless to add, this develops into something bigger.

One day they take their kids to the zoo and, as they reminisce about some old memories, Russ finally realizes that many new await them:

I was acutely aware of how close she was; up head, London and Bodhi were walking beside each other as well, and I flashed on the book I read nightly to London. The four of us walking two by two, because no one should have to walk alone.

And, then, tragedy strikes:

Russell finds out that his beloved sister Marge – just like Nicholas Sparks’ real-life sister Danielle – has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Two by Two Epilogue

The news of Marge’s condition stirs something inside Vivian, and she travels back to Charlotte to spend Christmas with London, Russ and Russell’s family.

Eventually, she ends up having a long discussion with Vivian which convinces her to settle things with her husband out of court.

The deal is joint custody, but only if Russell agrees to move to Atlanta.

Russ does exactly that.

To his surprise, Emily and Bodhi follow, and, once Merge passes away, his parents express a desire to do the same thing.

Looking back, Russell realizes that this is what life is all about: being with someone:

At any given time, I am not the whole me; I am but a partial version of myself and each version is slightly different from the others. But each of these versions of me, I now believe, has always had someone by his side. I’d survived the year because I’d been able to march two by two with those I lived the most, and though I’ve never admitted it to anyone, there are moments, even now, when I feel Marge walking beside me, I’ll hear her whisper the answer when I’m confronted with a decision, I’ll hear her urging me to lighten up when the world is weighing heavily on me. This is my secret. Or rather it is our secret, and I think to myself that I’ve been lucky, for no one should ever be forced to march through life alone.

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“Two by Two PDF Quotes”

If it comes, let it come. If it stays, let it stay. If it goes, let it go. Click To Tweet

Guilt, in other words, isn’t always wasted. It can keep us from making the same mistake twice. Click To Tweet

I wish I could simply forgive myself and move on, but then again, if I really wanted to change, why didn’t I? Click To Tweet

Because counseling isn’t about changing someone else. It’s about trying to change yourself. Click To Tweet

Age doesn’t guarantee wisdom, any more than age guarantees intelligence. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Two by Two” is not a typical Sparks’ novel: it treats topics such as divorce and separation, and it lacks any great romance.

So, definitely not what you would expect from the “King of Love.”

However, Sparks wouldn’t be Sparks if he hadn’t delved deep into the redeeming quality of love even here.

It turns out that he may have stumbled upon an even more profound type of it this time around.

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