Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Here, There, and Everywhere

I just finished reading "Here", written by Denise Grover Swank. 

I'm about to spoil the book for those of you who think you might be interested in reading it so if you so desire, STOP READING THIS POST NOW.


Okay, so all two of you that are still with me, here is the review from Amazon.

Sixteen year old Julia Phillips buries herself in guilt after killing her best friend Monica in a car accident. Julia awoke in the hospital with a broken leg, a new talent for drawing and false memories of the accident, in which she dies and Monica lives. The doctors attribute this to her head injury, but no one can explain how a bracelet engraved with her name ended up at the scene of the accident. A bracelet no one has ever seen before. Classmate Evan Whittaker paid Julia no attention before the accident, let alone after. Now suddenly he’s volunteering to tutor her and offering to drive her home. She can't ignore that his new obsession started after his two-day disappearance last week and that he wears a pendant she’s been drawing for months. When the police show up one night looking for Evan, he begs Julia to run with him, convincing her that Monica is still alive. Julia agrees to go, never guessing where he’s really from.
Turns out, Evan is from a parallel universe. A world in which the Cuban Missile crisis caused a nuclear war..and in which Julia is dead and her best friend Monica is alive.
The explanation Evan gives to Julia is that when something happens in her world, the opposite happens in his.
I've been pondering this for a few days. And it makes my head hurt.
See, what if there really IS a parallel universe. What if Elena Allen (my original name) exists and lives with her original family? What is she like? Is she confident? Thin? Organized?

And then I realize, Elena Allen wouldn't have been abused in this alternative universe.  She wouldn't feel uneasy going to the bathroom, waiting for the waggling fingers and derisive laughter to come.  She wouldn't dread her mother and sister leaving the house for a shopping trip because her father wouldn't come after her and assault her. She wouldn't feel the pain of a wooden spoon being broken across her backside for opening a box of cereal when one was already open.  She wouldn't have a fear of thunderstorms from racing around the house to close the windows.  She wouldn't spend the bulk of the Fall, Spring and Winter in the woods hiding from her parents and creating her own fantasy life that she could escape to.

But what if, in her world, she died from Reye's Syndrome when she was 13 months old?  What if her/my mother didn't catch it in time and she slipped into the coma and never woke up? 

Fuck, this is heavier than I thought.

I edited this post by the way because I thought of more stuff as I sat here on the couch.  I might edit it again. 

Did I mention a thunderstorm is imminent here?  The lightning is starting.  Sigh.


  1. I can't even imagine what it must feel like to know you had a different name... Book sounds interesting. A lot of people believe in alternative universe theories actually... It's what the show Fringe is based on.

  2. It is strange Matt but oddly comforting too. I remember the email my original mom sent with my name and it really made me happy to know that she had thought about what she would have called me.

    The book wasn't awesome..but was good for a fluff read. ;)

  3. I think that I'll be buying this book for my kindle.
    Thanks for the review.
    Loved it!


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