By Alex Tresniowski & Laura Schroff
This is a truly moving story about a woman living in New York who comes across a young panhandler on the street. There are obviously many panhandler’s throughout New York, but there was something about this particular boy that compelled Laura to put her love and energy into the young soul of a boy trying to make money for his distraught family.
His name is Alex, and though it may seem as if he knows no kindness or manners, there is something insightful and compelling about his troubled mind. He opens his mind and heart to Laura, allowing them to grow a lifelong friendship despite their age difference and comparibly different living circumstances.
I absolutely loved this book because it was an amazing example of being humble, which goes hand-in-hand with the idea of being kind. Laura could have easily walked away from Alex that day but she opened her heart and shared compassion to no end.
I like to believe the theme of this story is the idea in which the metaphorical length to which kindness can reach and how much it may impact a certain individual, such as a young panhandler on the city streets of New York City. Many people in modern society, have seemingly taken kindness for granted as well as underestimating how much it may emotionally/spiritually benefit someone’s mindset, whether it be just the length of that day or the length of many.
By Jennifer Niven
This story is ultimately, a tragic love story. Finch is a fairly mentally distraught high school kid who does not necessarily understand the idea of “self-care.” He does not know how to express his innermost feelings as well as ask from help, as far as mental health. Violet is also a mentally distraught high school kid, ultimately from the idea that her parents are putting so much pressure on her to get over the death of her older sister. Finch and Violet meet at an extremely unordinary place and the circumstances are rather different than most, as far as a typical societal stance. As their relationship grows, Finch finds it harder to control his mental battles. Violet is unaware and begins to understand when Finch draws himself from her with no explanation.
I personally really enjoyed this novel for a few different reasons. The most important being that, this story shows that not every story has a happy ending. I particularly like the idea that the author created the two main characters as people struggling from poor mental health. The only difference is how they acquired poor mental health. The author created Finch in such a unique way that the audience begins to see him as a ‘freak’ but edgy and attractive as well. I love that the two main characters come from completely different backgrounds.
One thing I would critique, is the flow of the story. Although, there is suspense in the back and forth manner between Violet and Finch each chapter, the lack of explanation towards some details, leaves the audience confused yet compelled.