My post is a bit late tonight and I blame this book that I accidentally spent all evening reading. It's You by Caroline Kepnes and though I had planned to only read for half an hour, it sunk its claws into me and did not let up until I reached the very end.

The plot involves one Joe Goldberg, a guy who works at a bookstore and one day falls in love with a girl who wanders in. Only his love is a bit...obsessive. He's so poised and well-read and ridiculously intelligent, sensitive and attentive...and will stop at nothing to secure his beloved's attention. It's the first time I've seen a yandere character rendered so perfectly in western media. There was a lot of poignantly-written parts, too, such as:

"There's no such thing as a flying cage, Joseph," he said. "The only thing crueler than a cage so small that a bird can't fly is a cage so large that a bird thinks it can fly."

The entire book is written in 2nd person POV. You get inside Joe's head and the book feels like a dialogue between him and Beck. I thought that, as a reader, I would identify more with Beck since she is the "you" that he keeps referring to. Instead, I think we are firmly placed in Joe's camp as readers. The more you read, the more normalized his psychopathic thoughts and behavior are until you are unironically rooting for him and complicit in these fictional murders, somehow. It's a trip. It's utterly chilling[1].

There's a sequel novel and apparently this is being adapted into a mini-series, so I've definitely got my eyes out for that. For some more spooky stuff, my brother just burst into my room and made me watch the new Venom trailer, which looks promising. Tom Hardy is one of those actors where I'll watch just about anything if he's in it.

In other news, I discovered AllTrails and I've already bookmarked a bunch of trails I want to go on. The more I write about forests and nature, the more I want to be in them and I am just hoping that the weather stays nice. I don't mind the chill because it keeps bugs away, but no rain, please!

Growing up, I spent a lot of time at my grandmother's house in this little town an hour out of Houston. Her backyard (and everyone else's on the block) basically opened up into this big, shared forest. In the center of the forest there was a playground, but my cousins and I usually ignored the playground in favor of running around and climbing up the trees. One time we threw a boomerang and it got stuck up a tree that must have been 30 feet tall. Needless to say, we did not get that thing back.

I'd forgotten how much nature and forests were part of my life growing up and not part of my life now. I'm not knocking technology and the convenience we have now[2], but I think current generations of kids growing up staring at an iPad instead of running around roleplaying outside in the woods are missing out. It reminds me of extinct animals. We can look at pictures of them now, but they're gone. We can look at videos of the Great Barrier Reef on YouTube even as it's slowly dying. I myself probably spend too much time on the internet and wasting my hours reading silly articles I'll forget in a day.

I want to learn to become more purposeful and mindful with my time. Maybe my current excitement about hiking is part of that. I'd like to regain my relationship with nature, as well, step by step.

  1. A review of the book I read had this nice quote: "In the age of social media this is an important book. It's startling how much a person can find out about another through Facebook, Twitter and other means through Google and search engines. It's also startling to realize how much a person with a crafting mind can get away with; startling and very, very scary." ↩︎

  2. I only know about the Audubon center and these trails because of the internet! I grew up on the internet just as it grew alongside me. ↩︎