On Second Chances and Cancer Cells


Alivia Sandberg, Sophomore Staff Writer

Back to school means back to the grind for a lot of students, but for just as many, the grind didn’t end when summer began. I mean, we all love summer work, right? No, me neither; however, I surprisingly something of interest in my summer reading assignments.

 The two books I read for Honors English 10 were Fahrenheit 451 and And Then There Were None. These were the two I chose, with For One More Day being a required read for the class. Let me start by saying I obviously have horrible taste when it comes to selecting books because the two that I chose, I hated. Fahrenheit 451 lacked depth; it never really captivated me,  and for that reason, it took me a ridiculous amount of time to finish. The story line was bad; all about a world where firemen burn books, and a protagonist named Montag whom the author portrayed as someone I probably wouldn’t like if I had met him on the street. I ran into the same problem with And Then There Were None.  The book has ten main characters and because of that, the author never really goes into great detail about any of them. As a reader, I struggled to identify with any of them, which made the book less than enjoyable to read. However, For One More Day was the light in the darkness. It brought up the age old question of “What would you do if you had one more day with someone you lost?”  The story line was relatable, which I love, because we’ve all wondered exactly what we would do given this opportunity.  The book included plenty of detail, had good character quality and was just a complete pleasure to read. This novel is easily in my top five favorites, right up there with the Harry Potter series, and I would recommend it to anyone!

The other class that included summer reading was Honors Biology. I chose to read Restoring Harmony and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.  Once again, my selection skills failed me, but only in part. I absolutely hated Restoring Harmony.  It was about a girl trying to bring her grandparents back home while desolation continued. It was just too dreary.  I can respect a book about poverty and hardship, but most books include some type of outlet from the burdensome; however, the only outlet in this book was a boy with whom the main character falls in love. Can you say cliché and predictable?  But The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was a pleasure to read. I enjoyed the non-fiction genre and learning about Henrietta and her family, as well as the contribution the study of her cancer cells made to science.

 Overall it was an average year for summer reading books.  Hopefully my ability to select fortunately will get better by next summer; at least I’ve got nine months to work on honing my selection skills.