The author, Valerie Epson, sent me a DM on Twitter asking if I wanted to review her book. I replied that I did and she sent me an e-book copy. Thanks again Valerie Epson.
This is just one of the times I was asked to review a book. I feel flattered and honored as I am just a lowly blogger. I am not even sure if people read my reviews. Yes, my blog have some views but it's not very impressive or world-breaking. But I don't mind. I am not discouraged as the reason I started the blog was to share my views, opinions and it's also a way for me to vent out my frustrations. It's my way of coping with things that are not happening and I don't want happening in my life. No, I am not pressured in any way. Yes, I do dream of gaining thousands of followers but I am just starting this blog and others have been doing this for years. It may take a while for me to be able to reach more people.
Ideal High is a book about Taryn, a Senior in Ideal High School who has just gone through a very tragic experience. Her supposed to be boyfriend Blake and President of the Student Council, with six other students died in a fire. Taryn, being the Vice-President will need to take Blake's place. But Taryn cannot and would not want to be President. She could never do what Blake does or did...until, she was forced to.
You know the saying, some books find you. This book is one great example. This book just came to me and I was fortunate that it did. This is one of really commendable books that I have read. This book is very brave and honest. It talks about bullying. And I can relate to what is in here. I was bullied too. Whether it was in grade school or whether I was already in college or working. Everywhere, there are always bullies, not just in high school, which is really sad. I am not anymore as weak as I was back in grade school. I now put up a fight but most of the time, I decided to leave the place where I am unhappy. I have a choice now to walk away and be somewhere else where I am appreciated. Like they say, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. But I assure you, choosing to leave, doesn't mean I was defeated. I just chose to remove or stay away from toxic people and from those that won't help me in any way. I chose to have a better life and be a better person.
So, let's go back to the book. I know, I always get sidetracked. I just want to point out that this book runs very close to my heart. I can easily picture myself in there, being one of the bullied. I am saying that it is admirable to talk about this very sensitive subject. And a lot of people have been becoming aware of bullying and its ill-effects. Spreading awareness means a lot. Sometimes, those bullies, do not know what they are doing. Most do know but just refuse to acknowledge it because it's their way of exerting some semblance of control over someone or his/her life, because, in most cases, at home, he/she can never do that. The root causes, always lie at home. And most parents don't even know. Some are in denial.
In my case, I felt fortunate that some of my tormentors in grade school realized what they did to me. Some even apologized to me a few years back. The apology may have been twenty years in-the-making but that means a lot. So, if you have bullied someone before and you realized your mistake, it's not yet too late to say sorry. When that person's dead, that's too late. While that person is still breathing, whether he forgives you or not, saying sorry will never be useless. It is for yourself too. Believe me. It felt like some torn that was lodge in my chest for so long was removed and I can breathe easier. Never underestimate the power of a sincere apology, even if it took forever to reach the recipient or to make.
I give the book 5/5 stars. I wish I had someone like Taryn while I was growing up. I could use some champion to defend me. I remember my seatmate in grade three and she defended me once. I would never forget what she did. Unfortunately, we were not classmates anymore after that and I've never seen her again. I am not even sure I thanked her for what she did. But if I see her again, I will let her know that her good deed did not go unnoticed. So, to all the Taryn's in the world, thank you. May there may be more of you. Let's us all make it a conscious effort and work hard to stop bullying.
Sorrows, disappointments, and even tragedies are events in life, they are not life itself. They should not become the center of everything you do.
- Valerie Epson, Ideal High -