Monday, July 30, 2012

Nothing Else Matters

No, I'm not trying to be depressing or philosophical or anything.  That is the title of the book I just finished reading by Leslie DuBois.

I had actually read one of her other books and totally loved it.  You have your typical teenage angst stuff in the books, but they were written well.  I also realized that i didn't write about that last book which kind of makes me sad because now I don't have anything to refer back to.  Oh well...

Since I usually read so fast, I can't really remember the exact details from the other book, so I'll concentrate on this one, referring back to the other book, The Queen Bee of Bridgeton, on things that I remember.

I love the fact that this writer has really strong female characters.  Both Reyna and the main character from Queen Bee were minority young women in high school that knew what they wanted to do with their lives and were taking the steps to get there, and hope to influence others in their quest.

Reyna did it all - she was valedictorian, tutored on Saturday, president of the school? or was it class?  Okay, that I can't remember, but she was one busy lady!  In her senior year, she was able to almost single handedly assure that the other black students (and I think there were a total of 12 in her school?) pass or get on the honor roll in the college prep school that they attended. 

Her best friend, Scott, had been her dear friend since 6th grade.  They loved each other, but Scott's mom didn't approve of her.  The year in the book is 2008, so it's not like they live in a time where inter-racial relationships was unheard of.  But they lived in the south - I think it was South Carolina?  Ah, my short term memory!!!  But either way, it should have never been such a big deal.

Now, I've never really been in the south, so I don't know what it's like there.  My only experience was one time when I went to West Palm Beach, FL and was treated like I criminal at the local mall near the hotel that my mom and I were attending a conference.  I realized that it was just one stupid person acting in a stupid way, so I didn't let it bother me.  No one else treated us badly for the rest of our stay, so I never let it bother me.  So, again, I have no idea if people like Scott's mom still exist in the south - I'm sure they do because we have stupid thinking people like that in AZ, and even in CA when I grew up.  Heck, even my best friend from Jr. high and high school (and part of college) - her parent's didn't like me at first because I was a Hispanic that lived in a bad area of San Jose.  But they got to know me and hopefully got over it - unless they were just acting well enough to fool me (which I doubt).

Anyway, Reyna and Scott fall in love... but what makes this interesting is that Scott is white.  I believe that the writer had a similar story with Queen Bee - where the main character is black and her love interest is white.  The story does have some of the interesting conflicts in it, which not only intrigued me, but really made me think.

My niece, who I consider my daughter since she moved in with us at age 15, has the sweetest boyfriend ever.  I am so proud of them because they just got their first apartment together, and even though I would have loved having them home for longer, knew that they had to get their own space and be on their own.  They are so good together and I can tell that they really love each other.  On the other hand, my poor niece has been torn because her grandparents, my own mom and dad, who taught me from childhood that all people are equal and all require the same amount of respect; do not approve of Bunny and her boyfriend's relationship.

What the big shocker to me is that I can't believe that these are the same people that raised me.  Was it all an act?  It must have because thinking back in it, even 20 years ago they treated my husband like crap.  Was it because he was white?  Oh, I hate to think of this as a whole black/white/racial issue, but I really can't tell anymore.  My parents eventually accepted my husband, though never as well as I was accepted into my husband's family; and it makes me wonder if they will ever accept my daughter's boyfriend?  I love those kids with all my heart and only hope for the best for both of them.  I don't care what my parents think and I hope that my support and unconditional love will help both of them get over my parent's stupidity.  They are both good kids and they love each other, so just like the title of the book, nothing else matters.  Nothing else should matter when it comes to love.

The writer made a really good point when the main character, Reyna, had a moment of clarity.  She realized that so many people go around looking for their true love their whole lives, and so many never do.  So why should the color of someones skin make a difference if she and Scott loved each other?  They had (or at least she thought they had) that true love that the proverbial soul mates have for each other.  I really liked this point and know that I point that out to people often when I talk about why I support same sex marriage.  When you love someone, it shouldn't matter.

Reyna and Scott end up getting married despite Scott's mom and her horrible attitude.  I hope that nothing will stop the true life romance story happening in front of my very eyes between my Bunny and her boyfriend from living their happily ever after as well.  That story is still unfinished, and we'll have to wait and see...  :-)

Happy reading,


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