#IReadYA - The Hows and Whys

Monday, June 2, 2014

Mondays are usually reserved for Bookish Banter posts. However, Bookish Banter has been put on the backburner (booooo), because we have run out of topics to discuss! So for now, I am just going to post bookish topics that have to do with something I read about in a book recently that relate to me IRL, under the hashtag #IReadYA. 

If you read my ARC Review Letter to The Truth About Alice, I briefly mentioned how I was bullied in high school. Now, this is something I have a difficult time thinking/talking about, because if I'm completely honest, it was a horrible time in my life. Most people say they would give anything to go back to their high school days. I am not one of those people. If given the chance, I would do anything to never go back to those dark, dismal days. 

I'm sure you may be wondering, "Well, Becca, why are we talking about bullying? This post is supposed to be about The Hows and Whys of #IReadYA." We are talking about bullying because if it wasn't for me being traumatized from bullies, I wouldn't be the 'Book Pusher of all things YA'. 

You see, I had a pretty normal high school experience up until my senior year. Sure, I was a reader before then. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't something that I would choose to do over going out on a Friday night, until that year. I'm not going to get into specifics, because it would be pages and pages of nonsense. Really, I'm not sure what I did to be hated so much. One day, I was living the high school senior year dream, and the next, I was the social outcast. I distinctly remember it having to do with me telling my best friend that she deserved better than the guy she was dating. (Trust me on this guys, he was an asshat) Well, I may have said that in front of said guy, and well, long story short, my best friend took her boyfriend's side. Some best friend, right? 

I couldn't walk down one hallway in my entire school without obscenities being shouted in my direction. Any variation of something you could call someone to hurt them? Yes, I've been called it. I was wary about reading The Truth About Alice, because I knew it was about bullying, and I knew it was a book that I would identify with all too well. I was right. It brought back those memories full force, and I haven't been able to shy away from them for the past few days. I needed to get this out. So here I am, telling you my experience.

Being shunned from not only your group of friends that you've had throughout the years, but also the rest of the school (I'm talking at least 1,000 people in just my class, alone) without being asked your side of the story is one of the absolute worst things to experience. Trying to remain strong throughout the never-ending school day is torture. I never, in a million years, would have thought I would be the girl resorting to eating her lunch in the library. I thought that only happened in movies. I mean, it was either the library or the bathroom, and the bathroom was so not happening. EW. 

So, I found myself in the dusty library with hardly any books to choose from besides nonfiction and books that were falling apart. How is that possible in a high school? Thankfully, my English teacher at the time was amazing, and demanded I pick up Twilight. I know, I know, but loving the Twilight series is not something I will ever be ashamed of. It distracted me from the threats I received hourly. It drew me into a world where what people thought of me no longer mattered. I read the first three books within three days, and was dying for more. I needed that escape, because if I didn't have it, I had to face the lies being spread about me.

That week, I ventured into a Borders bookstore for the first time in my life, and loaded up on books. Books that I still have lining my shelf today, and will always hold a dear spot in my heart because they sheltered me through the storm of drama my senior year. I will always be thankful for YA, because not only did they save me from being alone- they gave me a reason to keep my head up. I read YA, because my troubles in real life no longer exist when I read that first word, first sentence, first page, first chapter..

I read YA, because nothing can make me feel like I do when I can relate to a character in a book I'm reading. I know I'm not alone, because of YA. 

Of course, looking back now (five years later), I am in awe at how I handled myself that year. YA gave me the strength to hold my head up high, while receiving pictures sent to me through MySpace (Yes, I'm that old) of the guns that people were going to shoot me with. Just think of where I would be now if I would have chosen to eat my lunch in the bathroom instead of the library. I would be pushing toilet paper on everyone instead of books. (I don't know if that was really funny or not. It was funny in my head) But for real, guys. The things I mentioned in this post are just the tip of the iceberg of things that actually happened that year. In fact, the other unmentionable threats/actions that happened were far more intense. 

I am an advocate for reading. Ever since that experience in my life, I have been a fangirl of all things YA. I developed a horrible book buying habit, and I have read countless amazing works of authors. One day, I hope to be that author for someone. For now, I will settle for writing my experiences, sharing my book love, and meeting all of you, my best friends in the world. I hope this post has been helpful to some. I want to know your reasons for reading YA- the Hows, the Whys, the Buts, whatever. And if you suffer from being bullied, please please please do not hesitate to contact me. Email me. Tweet me. DM me. Instagram me. Find me on Facebook. I am here for everyone, because I can relate and I can help you. I want to be there for anyone who needs/wants me to be. I love you all! 

Why do you read YA?
How did you get into reading YA?
Have you ever been bullied?
Let me know in the comments!

Thank you for stopping by Pivot Book Reviews! <3
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  1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! This was a fantastic post, and I'm so glad that I got to read it. Don't ever feel bad about Twilight, it has helped us all to escape things that we didn't want to have to deal with. And it has brought so many people to YA who wouldn't otherwise be here. <3

    1. Aw thank you, Andye! I don't feel bad about it at all! If I wouldn't have read it, then I wouldn't have read more YA- exactly as you said! :)

  2. That sounds horrific Becca. I'm so sorry you had to go through that. But I'm glad you found your way to books. I know what it's like to be hated by people in high school. Although mine was far smaller, and people didn't really say things to my face. I did overhear them once though calling me names. Anyway, I'm way past that now too. Also, you're not that old because that would mean I'm old. I used MySpace too a long time ago. Haha

    I'm not really sure how I got into reading YA, but I do know why I've been reading YA for years. It serves as an escape. It's a means of relaxing and unwinding. It challenges me to think, teaches me about life, and makes me a better person. It shows me things I wouldn't have known about if I hadn't started reading. I guess it's not just YA, though it's a definite preference, but reading in itself means a lot to me. :)

    1. It was pretty bad... but it made me a stronger person in the end so it all worked out. The worst thing is overhearing people calling you names like that, so I understand completely, Francine! Haha oh well, we are young at heart!! ;)

      YA is the greatest escape! I love your answer so much!!!

  3. Oigh Becca! I'm so so so sorry that you had to go through such a horrible experience!
    I just cannot understand why some people must make others feel bad that way! It's beyond me how people feel like they can just threaten people and make them feel awful because they feel they deserve it. Don't they think how they'd feel if it was them the ones being bullied?
    But I'm very happy to hear books did help to save your life, so to speak! Books have always been my best friends, and they continue to do so now, when I'm going through a pretty horrible time with my break up...
    What I always say... Forget about diamonds, books are a girl's best friend!! ;)
    *big hugs for you*

    1. It's okay. It made me a stronger person in the long run! This story has a happy ending :)

      I can't understand it either! It really saddens me. I guess they don't think about it at all, or worse, they do and don't care.

      BOOKS FTW!!! I'm so so so sorry to hear about your break-up, Pili! Break ups are the very worst! But I'm glad to hear that books are helping you through. You know, if you ever need to talk, I'm here for you!!!

      AH I love that! I'm totes going to start saying that!!! *BIG HUGS BACK* *SENDS CUPCAKES*

  4. I'm sorry to hear all this, Becca! You are such a good person and are so loved in the blogging community! I myself was never bullied, so I cannot imagine what you went through.

    As for me, what got me started on YA was also Twilight! Why? Umm, IDK. One day I was in the library at the HS and was like, "Oh, this book sounds interesting." And then I thought, if I loved this series, imagine all the other amazing books that there are out there! Kind of a boring story, but they're you have it :)

    1. It's okay, Liliana! Aw, this seriously brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much.

      YAY TWILIGHT! Haha, I think Twilight got a lot of us reading! Lol it's not boring! I love hearing stories like yours :D

  5. I think I started reading YA because I felt like the most interesting genre choices were happening in YA vs. A. There's always this great sense of accomplishment that comes from finishing a book and it's a lot easier to get that from a YA book. ;) Great post! Very insightful!


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