Rowan & Tessa’s Conversations: Reading Slumps and Summertime


Rowan: April is upon us, and that means graduation is right around the corner. I, for one, have been struggling a lot this year. In terms of finding motivation and actually doing my work that is. I think I’ve missed more school this year than the last three years combined, but there’s nothing I can do about that right now. And with this unfortunate lack of motivation, I haven’t had the energy to read many books for the past two months. I’ve only recently been able to pick them up, and it’s because we’re reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury in English. I’m also trying to get through The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson for my red dot. I’m struggling, Tessa. 

Tessa: Same! Life has given me a swift kick in the pants. My homework sits, and stares me down. And what’s crazy is I don’t even care anymore. I’m accepted into college, I’ve applied for scholarships, the next phase has begun. Do I really need to continue to try in high school? But, in relation to books, I did just finish The Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee, but it took me over a month to consume, which is unheard of for me. Now I also have to read Fahrenheit 451 in English. But unlike usual, I’m actually looking forward to reading the book about burning books. Maybe it will ever so slightly be like The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. 

R:Yeah, Fahrenheit 451 has been super interesting to read so far. We’re only a few chapters in, but I’m excited to see where the story goes. I’m honestly surprised it took me till Senior English class to read it. Speaking of that and The Book Thief, I have a small confession to make. So many people have told me it’s amazing, but I haven’t actually read it yet. 

T: What!! Read it. It’s so good. So atmospheric. Read it. Now.

R: Wow. That was really convincing. It’s been on my list to read for so long, but I always end up pushing it back for other things. I just feel it’s a little overhyped. I’m scared to read it and have it not live up to expectations. 🙁 

T: That’s fair, I’m biased because I think it does live up to expectations. I loved it. If you like historical fiction, and don’t mind that it’s narrated by death, I think you’ll love it. What are some books you would like to read before the school year ends? Or before college starts?

R: I really want to finish The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake. I started it a few months ago, but haven’t had the chance to get through it yet. I keep getting distracted by the smallest things. I also bought Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan, so hopefully I can start reading that as soon as possible. I’m pretty excited about getting to start V.E. Schwab’s Gallant sometime this summer. She’s one of my absolute favorite authors. How about you?

T: I want to read A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley before the school year is up. One of my teachers is excited to chat about it with me and it’s that experience I want if I do read it. I think classics mean much more and I enjoy them more after dissecting them and chatting to others about them. So, I want to read it and have the opportunity to talk through it and pull it apart before I graduate. Other than that I have so many books I would like to read, it’s hard to pick a few to talk about. I do have a book called Beyond the Blue Border checked out from the library that I want to read sooner rather than later, and obviously before the school year comes to a close. 

R: I know! I’m starting to prefer grabbing books from the library rather than buying them myself. It gives me a date of when I absolutely need to finish the book. At this point I need that little extra motivation to pick it up. I’m thinking about picking up The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown sometime. I love his work so far, and I’m excited to get back into it. But enough about that, I have a different question for you. How are you feeling about starting college next year? 

T: Oh goodness, where to start. I’m done with high school. Senioritis is very real. But at the same time I don’t really want to be an “adult.” Too much responsibility. I feel like part of my personality is to be a child. Also college is just going to be different from high school. Most of the teachers won’t care, the assignments are going to be different, the workload potentially much greater, etc. I don’t like change, and this is a big change. I’m also dreading to audition for the band program and get rejected. Are you ready?

R: I don’t know. I feel torn between “yes” and “no.” I’m ready for the independence that comes with growing up and going to college. I feel like I’ve been ready for that for the past year or so. But I don’t think I’m ready for the actual academic part of leaving high school and pursuing a higher education. I’m scared I’m not going to live up to the expectations of my parents, or myself. The workload is definitely going to be different, and I’m expecting it to be way more than the work that I’m getting now. I think that the most stressful part is worrying about how to manage school work, my job, and the time I want to spend with friends, my boyfriend, and family. Nevertheless, I’m excited about starting this new phase of life. Are you excited for our graduation day? 

T: Kind of. It’s going to be long and boring. For everyone’s name to be announced and for the speeches to be made, etc. I am excited to graduate and not have to be a high schooler anymore. After graduation is work, since I only work in the summer. Work kind of eats up all of your time to do anything. I have hopes and dreams of reading outside with a glass of iced tea under my tree with my beagle beside me… but alas, that hardly ever happens because I don’t have the time. My hopes and dreams are always crushed. I only was able to do that a few times last summer. 

R: Awww, that’s really sad. I always romanticize my summer too much, too. Even if it’s just picturing a day at Flathead Lake or skating around my neighborhood. I tend to have high expectations for the days I have off from school, but I usually end up disappointed as well. My work definitely gives me more hours during the summer, but I need the money so I can’t complain too much. I’m also considering getting a second job. I’m hoping to get into the hosting/waitressing gig sometime for the tips. Maybe once summer starts I’ll find the motivation to pick up the books that are on my to-read list. Even though you’re working the majority of the time, do you have any trips or plans for the summer? 

T: Actually yes! I’m going to see my sister in LA in July. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m going to beg for us to go to the ocean. I went to LA over spring break and we briefly stopped at Santa Monica Pier and the ocean was so much fun. I want to go back. Maybe read on the beach too. I don’t know if we’ll have time though. I’m going to plead, I’m longing to go back. Other than that I want to visit a lake, if you can’t tell I love the water. What about you?

R: For once I actually do have pretty big plans for the summer. I turn 18 on June 23, so my family is taking all of us to Costa Rica for a week to celebrate. I’m super excited. I love going to the beach, and I can’t wait to try all the food. I was supposed to go on the Spanish Club trip to Costa Rica during our sophomore year, but then everything hit the fan and I ended up not going. I think I’m most looking forward to zip lining, not going to lie. 

 However, even with summer and graduation fast approaching, it’s important to power through the final stretch of the year. You can do it Spartans!