Thoughts On “Severed Heads, Broken Hearts”

I’m back from a training camp for a student club I’m active in my university. During those four days I felt more introverted than I’ve ever felt in my whole life. If I’d gone with the rest of my club members I could have had tons of fun goofing around with them. Sadly, I had to go alone. Our student club has branches in a lot of universities around the country, and each branch had to send only one representative to the camp.

Needless to say, I was bored out of my mind. I’m not going to lamely blame the others and call them names, but they were so different from me. They had a completely different sense of humor and fun, where I just felt like they laughed at all the wrong things way too loudly. And even when I pulled up a chair and tried to join a conversation I felt very out of place.

Readers, I hope none of you ever end up in a four day camp with a bunch of people who have no idea what you’re talking about. Who have no interest in what you’re like. I hate them, not because of our differences, but because of the way they could have so much fun while I was struggling so much. I guess it is simply envy on my part.

Right before I went to the camp, I finished “Severed Heads, Broken Hearts,” (also called “The Beginning of Everything”) a young adult book in which a popular teenage boy suddenly has to fit in with the geeky kids and discovers that they have a huge and wonderful world of their own. My situation in reverse. Ezra has it easier though, since the geeky kids are welcoming and eager to introduce him to their ways.

I don’t read too many young adult books anymore, but I found this one very funny (and filled with tons of references to geek culture) and interesting because it was told from the perspective of a boy. His love interest Cassidy felt like she’d flown out of a John Green book, though I also had fun reading about her weird interests and personality.

At the camp, I met a wonderful person who was very nice and who tried to include me in some of the cool kids’ activities. I dubbed him Mr. Too Cool For Me, because he really was too cool for me. He was smoking, drinking and partying with the rest of them and I could not understand how he could even befriend me, the girl who carried around a book in her purse. Nevertheless, he did befriend me, and I felt very comfortable just talking to him since we had more mutual interests than I’d expected, and for just a moment it was nice to pretend that he wasn’t too cool for me.

Ezra is luckier than me in that aspect I suppose, though at times he also felt that Cassidy was too cool for him. This book does give hope that over mutual interests people bond, and no one is “too cool”. And throughout the book, the very definition of “cool” shifts from the popular jocks and cheerleaders to the debate club kids who like to dream big. When you think this way, it seems like I’m the one who is too cool for Mr. Too Cool For Me. Or maybe I should just stop talking like people are two dimentional, without any depth to their personalities, like they’re characters of a YA book.

And just to clarify, I did try to socialize. I’m shining my shoes for the Fat Lady after all. I just did not do a top notch job at it, but it’s okay. There is a huge world out there to discover and all sorts of people to meet. As for “Severed Heads, Broken Hearts”, it was one of the nicest YA books I’ve read so far. No whiny girl narration, no bubbly romance, lots of Harry Potter references, very easy to read. Recommended to young adult fiction fans.


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