Car Crashes and Traffic Jams – My One Year Anniversary Post

One year ago at the end of February, 2012, I began this little blog, not knowing what would become of it. One year later, it’s still going strong and I’ve met so many wonderful friends because of this little space. I’m grateful to all who stop by and comment and those who just stop and read. You all help make this writing journey less lonely and much more fun. Thanks for all of the encouragement and companionship!  On to the post!

There’s this song by Snow Patrol called “Headlights on Dark Roads” that begins with such an astounding proclamation that it immediately caught my attention the first time I heard it.

“For once I want to be the car crash
Not always just the traffic jam
Hit me hard enough to wake me
And lead me wild to your dark roads”

Having been in a couple of ugly car crashes, I had to wonder what kind of person would choose that? To feel the terror, the violent impact and pain that comes from a split second mistake. To see a monstrous, out of control hunk of metal roaring towards you and to feel utterly powerless. Someone would choose that over a stagnant life where nothing is happening?

Fascinating.

That first stanza grabs you, makes you want to hear more, makes you feel something visceral from the very beginning of the song. It continues with the next verse after the chorus:

“My tongue is lost so I can’t tell you
Please just see it in my eyes
I pull up thorns from our ripped bodies
And let the blood fall in my mouth”

Powerful, no? I think some of the very best song writing is like poetry. For me, Snow Patrol is one great example of many. There is so much passion in their lyric writing. I would also recommend seeing them play live. They are fantastic.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about this song of theirs lately and what it means. All about how one would rather have a life full of passion and pain rather than the alternative of safety and boredom.
Life is pain?
A life worth living has pain?
All kinds of ideas were generated, which is another great sign of art inspiring art. This heavy, deep thinking about car crashes then seemed to leak into my reading selections because the last three books I read all began with violent car crashes and death. Interesting how one part of our life can influence another, whether purposefully or not.
There the similarities in the stories ended. That was something else that fascinated me; how writers could take a similar premise and develop three completely different stories from it. Here’s a bit about each of the three books. I really enjoyed reading all of them.
If I Stay by Gayle Forman

ifistay-paperback

Wow. This is the smallest of the books, but one of the most emotionally powerful. Gayle Forman made me tear up, fight back, and then submit to an ugly cryfest with this wonderful book. Saying anything else would just spoil it for you. Except that there is now a sequel, Where She Went. Music is a very big part of this book and you can sample each of the songs mentioned in the book from a playlist on the author’s website.

On a day that started like any other…

Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, adoring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. Then, in an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the one decision she has left—the most important decision she’ll ever make.

Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving. (Plot summary from author’s website.)

You can read an excerpt of the book on her website.

Learn more about Gayle Forman here.

Follow Gayle on Twitter here.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall

Have you ever wanted to replay a day where you totally screwed everything up and fix all your mistakes? What if it was your last day? Lauren Oliver was an author I had never read before. She has a new series out, the Delirium Series, but before I committed to something like that, I wanted to read one of her first books and make sure I liked her enough to invest that much reader love. And I do. Emotion and voice and ah! I could go on for days. What a perfect book to start your writing career.

What if you had only one day to live?

What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: the world’s most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.

Instead, it turns out to be her last.

Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing. (Plot summary from author’s website.)

Learn more about Lauren Oliver here.

Follow Lauren on Twitter here.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E Pearson

The Adoration of Jenna Fox 1

I came across this title while in search of something new to download onto my Nook. I’d remembered my daughter raving about this book a few years ago, but little else. Something vaguely about a girl recovering from a car accident and trying to regain her memory. Unfortunately she’d checked it out at the library so it had slipped from my mind as soon as it was out of sight. I’m all for reading something new and trying out authors I haven’t read before, so download it I did.

Amazing story and not at all what I thought it would be. I had no idea it would be such a clever and heart felt exploration into what it means to be human. I ripped through this one in record time. And now I find out it’s a series? Oh, yay!

Identity.

Where does it lie? In a face? A voice? A bundled string of events we call a lifetime? Is it in our DNA, bone, flesh, ancestry? How do we define our identity, and is it a once and for all definition?

Who am I? Can anyone ever know for sure just what it takes to be who we are?

We all search for our place in this world and how we fit in, but for Jenna Fox that search reaches dark new dimensions when she wakes from a coma and can’t remember who she is. Worse, she doesn’t remember the people who claim to be her parents. There is something curious about them, about the house they all live in–in fact, curious describes her whole life, as she attempts to unlock the secrets of who she was, and who she has become.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox is about Jenna’s search for identity, a quest as old as history, but as startling as the future. (Plot summary from the author’s website.)

Learn more about Mary E Pearson here.

Follow Mary on Twitter here.

Have you read any fantastic books about car crashes?
Have you been in a car crash? How did it change your life?
Let me hear from you.
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