Writer, Christian, SEO/Social Media Marketer, Book Reviewer, Deaf and Loud.

Monthly Archives: March 2014


Image Credits: My Crazy Life as a Navy Wife 

This is still hard. Maybe moving on is easy for some people. Like “hey this guy treated me like crap but he’s gone now so my life’s going to get so much better.” I mean yes, that’s absolutely the truth, but it doesn’t make it hurt any less. I still remember how things used to be and it’s so hard to let go of it all. It still feels like I just lost my best friend and I don’t know how to live anymore.

I have so much anger, hatred, pain, and frustration inside of me. I’m so extremely  bitter. The first time Casey screwed me over I broke everything connected to him. I’m out of things to break but still not exactly the most sane person in the world. This weekend I went on a cleaning spree and a two hour walk. It was a little crazy, but helpful.

I feel like I need to reevaluate my life, who I am, and what I want. I want to spend a lot of time alone, focusing on me. Rediscovering old passions, the things I love and kind of forgot about. I want to date myself right now, basically.

When I went on my walk this weekend, I had no destination. I was literally walking around Washington Township completely aimlessly making the most random turns just to see where I would end up. I ended up at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School. I think it was about two mile from my home.

Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, like most elementary schools, has a playground. I couldn’t resist swinging. I stayed there for about an hour just swinging and really thinking about everything in my life. I remembered meeting one of my best friends in elementary school on a swing set and I wished life could go back like that…when everything was so simple. There were boys, but there wasn’t relationships. They was still so much more intimacy, a closeness, a different form of love. Just two kids side by side on the swings. And in the summer we’d play cards on the porch and eat ice cream. I’m 23. I guess this is growing up — you can’t have those things anymore. But Oh, how badly I want to go back.

I realized this weekend something else. I spend too much time plugged in focused on others and the outside world. Social media is not a convenience for me — it’s a problem. I’m extremely addicted to it and it wastes so much of my time — and for what? It doesn’t serve much of a positive function in my life. Do I really need to know everyone’s every move? Who even are these people? Why do I care? Do I care, seriously? Or am I just pretending? Does it even matter?

I feel like social media is controlling too much of me and my happiness. I’m too connected. This is how I met Casey…through the internet. This is how we maintained our relationship…through social media. This is how he left me — both times. How positive, right?

I didn’t go completely disconnected this weekend. I’m not sure I’m completely capable of that, but I did cut back significantly. Instead of being glued to my phone and laptop I cleaned. I took long baths that inspired me with new writing ideas that are proven to be great. I read hundreds of pages and remembered how passionate I am about books, especially classic literature. I thought about grad school and how the idea of earning a Master’s in English from Rutgers Camden is still very appealing. I even considered printing out an application.

I felt happy. Sometimes it was combined with sadness. I did want to cry a bit. Luckily I had some good friends on hand to talk me through some of my anger, bitterness, and pain. It was helpful.

I watched Netflix in bed while eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, like your typical broken female. But at that particular moment I didn’t feel broken. I felt relaxed and like in time, I would be okay.

Casey controlled so much of my life ever since I knew him. When I first met him I felt utterly broken and worthless and I DEPENDED on him to make me feel okay again. To show me my worth. I couldn’t do it on my own. I NEEDED him.

I depended on Casey for my happiness. I needed him in order to be happy. I needed him to share everything with. I needed him to live. He was a strong part of my identity. Without him I didn’t exist.

But it was wrong.

Casey didn’t need me. He still doesn’t and he’s made that very obvious.

As for me? I can do better. I don’t mean to sound like a narciss, but I like to think I’m better than Casey. I sure as hell treated him better than he treated me. That’s pretty much a fact.

So I’m going to try to be a bit nicer to myself. A bit more understand. I’m going to date myself and I’m not going to like it. I’m going to [learn to] love it.

Hi Kimberly, meet Kimberly.



This past Halloween was not fun. I was in the process of moving and feeling 24344334 shades of blue.

Casey and I were broken up. We were not speaking. Or actually I guess I should say he wasn’t speaking to me. And it hurt. A lot.

We spoke about Halloween in months passed. He was so excited about it. He recently discovered Dr.Who and was obsessed. He wanted to be the doctor for Halloween and I was going to be the tardis…well so he thought. I definitely wasn’t keen on dressing up as some stupid blue box for Halloween especially since I never even seen Dr. Who before. But I tried to negotiate by offering to be a companion or something else. I honestly just wanted to make him happy and was honored to be a part of his plans. He didn’t have a good childhood and never had a chance to dress up for Halloween. His dad didn’t approve of it and hearing that mad me so sad. I wanted to help him make up for his loss childhood. Plus, since we couldn’t physically be together on Halloween, this would help us create a sense of belonging and connect even while over 1,000  miles away.

The fact that Casey and I were broken up and not on speaking terms and therefore not participating in our planned Halloween together crushed me. I was very depressed on Halloween. I called it a night at like 8pm. I didn’t really celebrate at all. I did, however, write a letter.

Despite being completely screwed over by Casey, I couldn’t quit him. He was my favorite drug and I was quite the addict. When he left he did so without any explanation at all which I think was the hardest part for me. I needed closure. I needed reasoning. But I had nothing.

In an attempt to find closure, to get an explanation, a reaction, or at the very least, say all that I needed to say…I wrote a letter on Halloween. This is what it said:

Dear Casey:

I shouldn’t be writing this email. My friends would kill me for this. But they don’t understand.

I’ve written this email in my head about a thousand times. I keep fighting the urge to put it on paper and hit send…but well, here’s the word document…here’s the text that keeps expanding. Whether or not it makes it to the save button, or gets copy and pasted into gmail and makes it to you…well…that’s to be continued.

And whether that all happens and you choose to open it…that’s also something I’m unsure of, but I’m expecting the answer to be a no. I’m expecting this to go straight into the trash folder, completely unread. That breaks my heart so much, but its reality. It’s how things are now, despite how much I try to convince myself things are different.

We broke up over 4 months ago. That’s almost as long as my longest relationship lasted. But it hasn’t gotten easier. It gets harder. I haven’t even bothered to look at anyone else. My friends think I’m stubborn and stupid. Some of them tell me I’m holding onto a dream or something that’s make belief or not real. I guess she’s trying to help or look out for me…but she doesn’t get it.

There’s you and then there’s the rest of the world. The world is ugly. The people that are in it, a majority anyway, are ugly. I’ve been with ugly people.  I’ve been in toxic relationships. I’ve done things I shouldn’t have. Things happen that should not have happened. I don’t want to make those mistakes again. I feel like I’m the only one that sees mistakes at mistakes though. Everyone else sees it as a part of life.

Things with you were different. I loved you. I still do. You were everything I always dreamed of having. I missed you so much when you went home to Florida. But I knew (or I guess now the way to say this would be thought I knew) I would see you again someday. I don’t think I stopped believing that yet.

I could be myself around you. I never felt pressured. I never felt like I had to be someone I wasn’t. The only thing I hated about being with you was time. It never stopped moving and I never had enough time with you. I wish I could have paused it. We spent just three days together, but I replayed every second of those days in my head a thousand and one times. It’s like having a film that never stops playing.

I’ll never forget singing the backstreet boys with you in the mall. Or experiencing my first captioned film at Somerdale movie theatre with you and dancing to the credits at the end. The only two people left in the theatre (which I guess doesn’t say much since there was hardly anyone else there at all). The room could have been packed and nothing would have mattered though. I knew than what I knew before. I loved you and wanted that moment to last an eternity. It was just a bliss. I was so happy with you right then.

I’ll never forget when you left. I never hugged anyone like that before. I never wanted to let go. It was so sad and so beautiful. You promised me you would be back. When we went out to dinner and I got sad because I knew we had only minutes left together. You said, and I quote, “I’m leaving the area, but I’m not leaving you.”

You lied.

I know that things change. I know that things changed when you went home. But I never saw that coming.

We used to talk about a lot of things, Casey. I would kill for one of those conversations. I miss falling asleep talking to you. You were 1000 miles away, but you always felt right next to me. It was the kind of closeness you can’t even describe to another person. I miss it.

We used to talk about the future. Dreams, hopes, plans. I thought you would be a part of that. I prayed for it. I really believed one day, it would happen.

You used to talk to me about forgiveness. You were so afraid that one day you’d do something and I wouldn’t be able to forgive you. We weren’t married. Not even close to that. Of course, I had dreams we’d have that in the future. I thought you were the one.

I dreamed of you literally and figuratively. Remember how we would sometimes spend hours at night talking about all of the places we wanted to travel to, things we wanted to do? They were dreams, but I thought they were so real. I never dreamed of those things with anyone else. You’re the only one I’d want to see the world with. No one else would ever really appreciate it or see it the way you do anyway.

I wanted to marry you.

I wanted to raise children with you.

It all seemed so perfect. I didn’t want those things *now* of course. Now’s not the time for it. We need our careers. We need our individual families. And we need to see the world. But I thought in the distant future we could maybe have that. I can’t think of anyone else that would even come close to being half as great of a husband or father as you.

Maybe it’s stupid of me to think this way. But I thought maybe you felt something too.

You never told me you loved me, but I still believed it. I felt it. I can’t shake the feeling that we had something. I just can’t.

Even if we weren’t together…fine.  I mean, it hurts but…

For you to not be anything at all in my life, just some guy I used to  know. That’s unbearable for me right now.

My life has changed so much since you left me, Casey. In scary ways and also in wonderful ways. Sometimes even both at same time. Even when things are great I’m still overcome with a bit of sadness though because I no longer have you to share it with.

I quit Walmart. I wanted to tell you all about it. But you weren’t there.

I got a job as an Inbound Marketer. I’ve been extremely successful so far, almost more than anyone in the department. And you’re not there for me to talk about it.

You used to love this stuff…SEO, web stuff, everything.

I made an Infographic and didn’t know which program to use — photoshop or Illustrator — and I didn’t really have anyone that could offer helpful advice. You could have been that person. But you weren’t there.

My parents and I are moving to a new condo in a nearby, much nicer/safer town. We are so excited for this fresh new start in our lives. I wish I could share my excitement with you. But as excited as I am it still feels weird.

About two days before you left me you talked to me about how much you loved Cherry Hill. How you wanted to move there. I don’t mean to sound vain, but I thought I was part of that equation. I thought maybe one day you’d move there with me. We’d start a new life together.

I work in Mount Laurel. I have to go past Cherry Hill everyday on my way to and from work. I pass the hotel you stayed at everyday. It kills me.

I know things changed in your life too. You deleted me from Facebook. You deleted me from Linkedin. You deleted me from Foursquare. You deleted me from everything there is to delete me from. But you are not invisible.

As much as you try to delete me, you can’t delete the memories or what is in my heart. Sometimes I wish you could.

I know that you left your job at Lab 3 Marketing. I do not know why or how. It doesn’t matter though.

I know that you have a new job at a hotel. I am very proud of you. Are you happy? You sound happy. I hope you’re happy. That’s all I ever want for you.

I hope I don’t sound like a stalker. Yes, I googled you. I looked you up on LinkedIn. Maybe that makes me a creepy stalker. Maybe that makes me a terrible person.

I try not to be like that.

When it comes down to it, I’m just a stupid girl that loves a boy.

I’m holding on to the things I once had. The things I so desperately wish I still had.

The things I can’t believe I lost.

But they’re gone now. I will never know why. I analyzed every little detail of this situation every second of every day since you left and here’s my conclusion:

I have no idea.

I have no idea why this ended.

This never should have happened.

I still love you and I always will.

I had something really great with you.

And I’m scared to death I’ll never have it again.

I got my wish. Casey and I reconnected in January. A few days ago we made plans to travel to DC together for his spring break. We were going to use the trip to reconnect and discuss our future and the possibility of getting back together. But within about 24 hours of making plans, Casey up and left with little to no explanation again.

This time I’m done. So fucking done. Look at this letter I wrote on Halloween. Look at my previous blog posts. It’s obvious I cared a great deal and did way more than I should have to make this work.

It’s also obvious that I deserve so much better.

Have a nice life, Casey Fraites. Leave me out of it.

Moving on…


Image Credits: Biography.com 

I’ve been working as an Inbound Marketer for an SEO firm since September. I really love and enjoy my job. It’s always been my dream job ever since I first heard of the company. I’m actually home sick from work today and it’s killing me. I hate not working. I love my job so much that it’s always a pleasure to be working. It’s fun and challenging and never really feels like work.

Prior to getting hired, I worked as a cashier for Walmart. It was a lousy job to say the least, but it helped to pay the bills. I was a recent college graduate with a freshly earned BA in English, BA in Writing Arts, and concentration in Creative Writing. I had prior experience through work study programs working as a social media coordinator for the university. That experience combined with other things such as freelance writing and guest blogging definitely helped me to land my current job.

However, there is one person I owe all of my success to. Charlie Sheen.

You might remember back in 2011 Charlie Sheen partnered up with Internships.com to offer a social media internship. This is when he was having that crazy meltdown, #tigerblood #winning thing. The whole thing was completely crazy, but I had to enter it. Who wouldn’t want the opportunity to work for Charlie Sheen?

I didn’t have too much social media experience at the time. I had just one internship in the past writing for AroundPhilly.com, a job I didn’t necessarily enjoy. There was a little bit of social media involved in that position, but it wasn’t the main function by any means. But hey, you never know what you can do until you try, right? I was also still enrolled at Rowan University at this time. I discovered I hated journalism so I switched one of my majors to Writing Arts where I was beginning to study social media and how it can be viewed as a form of writing. It interested me greatly. I have also recently began working as a social media coordinator for the university. It was still new to me and a learning experience. I hoped it was enough experience to land me the job as Charlie Sheen’s intern.

So I entered the contest. The stakes were very high. There was reportedly over 80,000 people applying. The first round was easy. All I had to do was tweet my entry into the contest in 75 characters or less. I don’t remember what my tweet was, but whatever it was seemed to make an impression on the judges as I quickly advanced to round 2.

Round 2 was more about my actual skills and credentials. It was like a shortened version of a job application. More competitive, yet easier, than round 1. Once again, I quickly advanced.

In round 3 things really started to heat up. Round 3 was the toughest yet and the round where you knew you were one of the last ones standing. What started as an 80,000+ person competition was down to just an estimated 1-2,000 entrants. We tried to level up the competition and find each other on social media and see how we compared. If you look at my Twitter you’ll see I’m still on two lists: 1. TigerBloodIntern Round 3 and 2. More Lackeys (this list was people suspected of faking their acceptance into round 3 of the internship. I wasn’t faking — not sure why I was on this list…)


In Round 3 we had to make a YouTube video explaining why we should be Charlie Sheen’s intern. Getting the most views was very important, and also very difficult. Also, the video had to answer one of their questions. My question was “If you were the Social Media Director for a major humanitarian aid organization, how would you create awareness and raise money via social media in the aftermath of a global disaster?”

Uhm. I’m not sure I knew. I never thought of the power social media can have in situations like this. I tried to think of how it would connect to charities. I thought I had great ideas, but now looking back, I needed more of a plan or a strategy.

My video got a little over 700 views. That was big for me, but didn’t compare to my competition’s. I tried to connect with random people on Twitter for votes/video views. Some people were happy to help and are still my friends today. Others got very upset with me. I made a lot of mistakes while trying to get this internship on social media. It was definitely a learning experience. I learned the importance of building relationships with people on social media instead of merely begging for favors.

I think it’s safe to say I didn’t win the Charlie Sheen internship contest. But I did make it pretty far. I didn’t lose. I won greater things.

Life is really funny sometimes. See, this internship contest was hosted by Internships.com. I had to create a profile and submit my resume to their site and everything upon entering this contest. Internships.com is totally legit. Shortly after this contest ended I heard from a company called BookRenter.com. They were having another contest in search of a social media intern. So here I went again…

To sum it up, I didn’t win that contest either. But I did become a successful textbook franchise manager for the company. I learned valuable marketing skills that helped me later in life. I also got to write some cool guest blog posts and make some great connections with people at the company.

My work at BookRenter was well recognized and it helped me to secure another internship with Cloud IT Guru where I wrote blog posts and other web content. This internship helped me to learn more about the tech world especially in terms of cloud apps. I was beginning to discover my passion for blogging, internet writing, and technology. I knew this is what I wanted to do with my life. I also began guest writing for Bit Rebels around this time. Another great experience that helped me to gain exposure.

All of these combined helped me to land my current role as an Inbound Marketer. have had great success in my current role writing for big websites such as Yahoo Finance, Care 2, and Voxxi.com. 

I’m not sure I could have done this all if it wasn’t for Charlie Sheen. I thank him for allowing me to drink from his Tiger Blood to become a #winning internet marketer.

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This is going to sound stupid. A 23 year old (soon to be 24) blogging in a fit of rage what love is and what it isn’t.Oh and not just that…a 23 year old who’s been through3 boyfriends in less than 2 years…the longest relationship being just 5 months long.

But my relationships taught me a lot about myself. Life. Love. And how many people in society have it all wrong. I’ve made mistakes and questioned my theories on love. I’ve had some relationships that were very different from each other. My most serious, intimate, longest lasting relationship should have been my first love.

But it wasn’t.

Not even close.

We would talk about being engaged. There wasn’t a ring or a formal proposal by any means, but we told each other we were secretly engaged. We talked about going to the courthouse and getting legally married a few times. He started to look at engagement rings with his mother.

When things got the most serious….we started fighting. Non-stop.

I couldn’t stand it.

It got verbally abusive and horrible.

One of the things we fought the most about was what love is and what love isn’t. We had very different views. Looking back I still don’t see a shred of love in that relationship, especially not from me. It was something to do. And a horrible horrible mistake. I walked out of that relationship pretty scarred up. I still struggle to cope with the poor decisions I  made back then. A lot of things happened that never should have. Mainly  because we didn’t love each other.

I dated someone else about six months later. It was a better relationship, but it didn’t last very long. Just a few weeks, maybe a month. Love was a big issue in this relationship as well. One of us wanted love. The other just kind of wanted to have fun. It wasn’t that anyone was wrong or right…we just merely wanted different things. Breaking up was a great decision because it allowed us to be friends. We broke up just in time before any serious damage could occur. I respect him for ending this when he did.

Casey was different. Casey was love. I can’t even begin to describe it.Everyone thinks I’m insane and I guess I am. I wrote quite a bit about Casey in the past. Casey and I didn’t have a physical relationship. Casey and I barely even saw each other since we live over 1,000 miles away.

But guess what? He’s the only man I ever really loved. We didn’t need a physical relationship. We had each other. We had pure, raw, true love that you only hear about in movies. Yes…that actually still exists.

I kissed Casey once on the cheek on our 2nd night together. It caught him off guard a little. On our last night together he kissed me on the cheek goodbye. That was the height of our “intimacy”. Or what society defines intimacy to be.

Society has taught us that sex is love. The more sex you have, the better off you are. If you’re not having sex, you have no love. There’s something wrong with you.

But I don’t believe that. To me sex can come from love (and in my personal opinion which tends to piss people off on a frequent basis…that’s how it should be). But love itself is different. Love is more.

Love is talking someone through the darkest moments of their life. Letting them know they are not worthless. When they make a mistake, they don’t judge that person. Instead, they remind them that they are human. We are children of God.God died on the cross to protect us from our sins…he doesn’t expect us to be perfect. If he did he never would have made such a sacrifice.

The first time I really remember talking to Casey, really talking to him, was when I poured my heart out to him about my past. All of the mistakes I made. It was only a few weeks or a month after ending my first serious relationship. I was a bit of a mess. I felt completely and utterly worthless. Casey made me feel whole again. He gave me what I needed to pick up the pieces and carry on again. He loved me when I didn’t feel worthy of love.

Love is silly. It is stupid. It is finding joy in the slightest thing.

A text with a picture of a gnome you found in Florida? A picture of a cat? You making fun of me for my love of wallpaper paste (hummus)? Love.

Love is being with someone,even if you’re 1000+ miles away.

Staying up to talk to me at 5am when I’m on break at Walmart? Falling asleep under the same sky even if you can’t be there together. You don’t need to be.You can still feel that person cuddled up next to you. Distance doesn’t matter.

Love is caring more about someone else than yourself. Are they happy? Are they okay? When you’re sad…so am I.

Love is wanting what’s best for the other person more than yourself. It’s seeing the things that they cannot see and encouraging them to do what makes them the happiest…even when they’ve given up.

Love is a future.

I saw a future with Casey. I felt it. I really believed in it like no other.

I thought we’d travel the world together.

Love is exciting. Love has no boundaries.

Nothing was more thrilling than our talks about all of the places we wanted to see together. I never talked with anyone like that. It was amazing and It felt so real — I couldn’t imagine it *NOT* happening in the future.

Love is marriage. If you’re not going to marry the person you’re with…what’s the point? I just never understood that. I wanted to marry Casey so bad. He treated me better than any many I ever knew. He was the perfect gentleman and no one compares. I’ve tried so hard to move on and there’s just no one that comes remotely close to Casey Fraites. I can’t imagine marrying anyone else or seeing him marry someone else. I’d be devastated.

Love is between more than two people.

It’s not just about you and the person you’re with. It’s about your future…your future kids. Have you thought about giving them what they deserve? I thought Casey would make a great father. When I thought about kids with my ex boyfriends…I broke up. It was a horrifying thought. It would have been a huge mistake. I couldn’t bear to think of my children having a father like that. But with Casey…it was thrilling to think about. It felt perfect.

Love is a rollercoaster.

You have feelings for me. I date someone else. We get together. You cut me off. We reconnect. I cut you off.

Love is a never ending story.

We’re on the I cut you off part of the roller coaster…and I can’t help feeling this still isn’t the end.

I feel like I made a horrible mistake.

I’m only me when I’m with you.

I’ve done horrible things trying to get over you. I get so lost and stupid and lose sight of who I am.

And then I break down and realize there’s one thing I always come back to…one thing that never changes no matter how hard I try to change it or how many stupid things I do.

Casey Fraites…I love you.

I can’t do this anymore. That’s the most simple way to say it.

Tomorrow is 1 year. 1 year since I outright said “I love you.”

It was the most natural thing in the world. I never meant those three words more than I did 364 days ago.

I couldn’t stop gushing over you. “My boyfriend this. My boyfriend that. My boyfriend my boyfriend my boyfriend.”  It didn’t matter that we never met IRL yet. Or that you weren’t my boyfriend. You said you didn’t mind.

We made it official on April 1st. What a perfect symbol for our relationship! A joke. That’s all this ever was, right? Looks like the joke was on me…

They say that no one likes you when you’re 23. I should have known.

I met the love of my life the day I turned 23 and it was everything I had hoped it would be.

He thanked me by destroying me a month later. Leaving for no apparent reason — just completely disappearing from my life.

I can’t begin to explain how dark my days were at that point. I was devastated. I had built up a future for us.We talked quite a bit. I thought we’d travel the world together. Get married. Raise children. Live happily ever after.

It felt like a million swords were being individually stabbed in my heart. I wanted to die because as far as I could see, my future was shattered. I thought you were my future.

I prayed every day that you would come back to me. I could never hate you. Everyone around me? That’s another story. I was a mess. You destroyed me. I was so broken and reckless.

You did come back. NYE. How ironic. You sent me an email and I thought it was the answer I searched so desperately for for months. I thought we could start anew.

Everyone warned me about you. Was I really going to accept a lame apology on NYE of all nights? Is this how I wanted to bring in 2014, with the same pain and turmoil leftover from 2013? Forgiving the man who damn near traumatized me with heartbreak? For no apparent reason?

Yes. Yes it was.

Because I loved you.

Because I believed in you.

Because I thought this was it.

I wanted to marry you and start a family and have a future with you more than anything in the world. But sometimes, love is not enough.

I loved you and it doesn’t matter at all.

Because you don’t love me.

If you did, you never would have hurt me like this. And when you came back in my life? Way to not make an effort. Way to not try. Way to barely exist.

Maybe you never wanted any of that. In that case it’s fine, but why string me along? It’s no secret how I felt about you — it’s never been a secret. You’d have to be a complete idiot to not see my heart breaking when you disapeer completely for months at a time. When you blatantly ignore me.

It’s not that hard to give someone a litttleeee attention or to show a little care. I work full time usually 43+ hours a week and I’m always here for you. Anyone else would have been for me.

I understand patience is a virtue. The best things in life are worth waiting for.

I waited for you. I waited. And waited.And waited.

But now I’m done.

This is not the best thing for me.

We will never get married.

We will never have children together.

I don’t think I’ll ever see you again.

I deserve so much better and I know that better exists. I don’t think you’re who I thought you were. I don’t know who you are anymore.

But this is over. I can’t do this anymore.

I’m gone.



Image Credits: SmashWords

When Brian first sent me a copy of Summer of Sharona well before it was printed, I knew it was going to to be good. Just a few weeks prior I finished reading his other book, Purple Ducks and really loved it. Purple Ducks was a non-fiction spiritual book. Summer of Sharona  was a bit more of my preferred genre — young adult.

I was blown away by Summer of Sharona. I couldn’t put it down.The beginning of the novel stole my heart as I saw a young Ashley struggle to cope with growing up, especially in the midst of her family troubles, such as her father’s abusive nature.Being 16 is hard enough as it is.

Perhaps her tough childhood is part of the reason why Ashley strives to appear older than she is. When she attends Disco Night at the White Sox game with her Aunt Claire,Claire frequently reminds Ashley that just because she looks older doesn’t mean she can’t hang around more people her own age, a piece of advice Ashley quickly ignores as she goes off to meet an older player and arrange a date.

But when Ashley shows up for her date a few days later, it is anything but what she expected. The experience further ages a young Ashley and leaved her confused and nearly traumatized. Ashley may be forced out of town to grow up and take on responsibilities she’s not quite ready for. All as a result of one night filled with unforeseen, unwanted events.

The only thing Ashley has in her life to keep her strong is her next door neighbor, Ryan. Ryan’s always been by her side as he heard the violence, heartbreak, and trauma through the paper-thin walls. While Ashley failed to acknowledge him in the past, she quickly learns to lean on Ryan support and begins to see him in whole new ways she never would’ve knew possible in the past. He becomes her foundation.

Summer of Sharona is a novel that chronicles pain and hardships during a summer in the 1970’s,but more than that — it covers strength. While I certainly never grew up in the kind of environment Ashley was forced to — I connected very strongly with her. She is a strong woman who made some bad decisions, but had to pay worst consequences for events she ultimately had no control over. It’s easy to take the blame for these things and to beat ourselves up over them. But we are not to blame for the faults or wrong doing of others. And even in these bad situations we can always come out on top and see and feel hope. Sometimes we just need good friends, prayers, and a faith. A little bit of faith can go a long way.

Summer of Sharona can be purchased on Amazon and Smashwords.

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