"But how many young people truly
Comprehend the face of war until
it's staring them down. You can't patrol
unfriendly villages without embracing paranoia. You can't watch your
buddies blown to bits without jonesing
It seems that Ellen Hopkins has graduated from YA to adult adult
novels. In Collateral (from which the above quote was taken) she
takes on a very timely topic: America's seemingly insatiable thirst
for combat over there and the effect of repeat deployments on soldiers
and their families.
When graduate student Ashley, Hopkins' protagonist, meets Cole
in a bar love stirs up pretty quickly. He seems sensitive and caring.
He even writes poetry. He isn't at all what she'd expected a Marine
to be like. (It doesn't hurt that he's really good in bed.)
Despite the passion in their relationship, Ashley finds it isn't
all a bed of roses. Cole is sent in and out of very dangerous
deployments. Communication is often sparse. Ashley is alone much of
the time, wondering if Cole will return alive and well, seriously
mangled, or in a flag draped coffin.
Distance, however, is not the only obstacle to their romance.
Cole makes decisions without consulting Ashley. It becomes
increasingly clear that he has a hair trigger temper and the potential
for unconteolled violence...possibly even directed at the one he
supposedly loves best.
Collateral is an excellent novel on a very timely topic. It's
especially pertinent for family members and friends of returning
On a personal note, Tuesday I donated blood at UMaine. Of course it
went well and was lots of fun. Only it was hot and humid which made
me feel wiped out. I fell asleep in Orono Public Library and didn't
wake up when I was supposed to meet someone. I was glad I was able to
do my volunteering at community garden. It was my 4th blood donation
A great big shout out goes out to the Red Cross and the people at
UMaine who made their blood drive possible.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod