Summer of My Dissent

Summer of My Dissent - Christian M. Frank This book made me cry my eyes out. I could just feel Allie's pain so acutely. It drives me crazy how blind the other characters were to her agony. I know that they weren't inside her head like I was, but George, at least, should have known her well enough to try to comfort her more. He knew she needed him in the last book, how was he so blind in this one? Just because they weren't dating anymore? Especially after what Tyler, Tyler, of all people, told him. Tyler has never had Allie's best interests at heart, but here he was trying to tell George that she needed him, and George ignored Tyler's warning.

Celia tried to help, but went about it in all the wrong way. I'm no expert, but I think if someone is grieving as much as Allie was, and says they're lonely, you should get together with them in smaller groups, not get a whole work camp going with new kids, thereby unintentionally alienating the one you're trying to help. And the scene at the end... it took her that long to figure out that Allie needed help? I mean, she should have at least noticed that Allie was loosing weight, and guessed that Allie was depressed from that. Honestly, she may have had Allie's best intentions at heart at first, but after a while it seemed like she was upset at Allie's flakiness. The girl just witnessed her best friend's murder for pity's sake! Give her a break.

I liked Liz well enough, I mean, it really bothers me that she works to manipulate people, but it hopefully she'll learn not to eventually. The way she told Allie her clothes were inappropriate was really rude, and her suspicion of Allie made me mad. But like I said, that may have been because she wasn't inside Allie's head, feeling her pain.

Brian is a pretty good character, but he was tactless at times. When he told Tyler to watch his mouth when Tyler cussed. I mean, I don't like cussing, but to a guy who goes to public school, and is in a lot of pain--He wouldn't appreciate or respect Brian's 'watch your mouth.' And when he told Allie that missing Mass...I'm glad he told her that she can't miss Mass, but it was pretty tactless the way he told her. And how could he not tell that Liz has a crush on him? It's so obvious.

I really like J.P., but we didn't get enough of him in this book. It's about time we get to hear his point of view.

James is a complicated character, like J.P., we didn't get a lot of him in this book. I want to know more about him. He is obviously strongly Catholic, yet his actions are so hateful, that if he was the only Catholic someone knew, they would never consider coming to the Church. I've thought that he had a crush on Allie since the first book, but I guess I won't get to find out for a while.

Allie was in so much pain that she couldn't feel God's love, and then her friends had to go and make her feel unnoticed. I know they didn't mean to do that, but if, as Celia said, the whole work camp was organized because Allie was lonely, why wouldn't they go out of their way to make sure she felt cared for? The scenes depicting her grief were so well written that they kept making me cry. I may not have ever had to go through anything like what Allie went through, but I know what it feels like to be lonely, and to feel unnoticed, and I wish that the other characters would have tried to help her more. She was just starting into the Church. She wasn't familiar enough with the teachings that the truth made her want to stay, so she really, needed the others to show her the kindness she so desperately needed.

I liked Athan and Isabel. I hope we get more of them later on in the series. Jacinta was really nice, but we didn't get to know her very well, Mary seems nice, but it's harder to tell because we're mostly hearing about her through Brian, who isn't exactly an unbiased judge. I really don't like Mrs. Summers. And I do know some people kind of like her. She was the one to 'throw the first stone' at Allie, judging her for her dress. Yes, Allie's dress was inappropriate, but the only thing that Allie understood was that the people at JP2HS wouldn't like it, not why. She didn't know that she was tempting boys to sin, and she certainly didn't know that the way she walked made it look like she knew what she was doing. Someone should have taken Allie aside and gently explained to her why she shouldn't dress like that. Miranda and her stupid friends were doing what they did on their own. Allie didn't even like them, yet Mrs. Summers accused her of being the ring-leader. Way to go Mrs. Summers. You just took a big step toward sending Allie over to Protestantism. The phrase 'love the sinner, hate the sin' is a good one to live by, but I don't know why Mrs. Summers would actually say that to Allie's face (And I still want to know why Celia would tell those things to Mrs. Summers.)So yeah, I don't like Mrs. Summers or her 'holier-than-thou' attitude that she probably doesn't even realize she has.

Ginger is a really interesting character. I can't wait to get to know her better. I know Keenan means well, but his anti-Catholic propaganda gets on my nerves. Also 'that one's embarrassing it's so easy, Jesus had brothers and sisters.' I'm no apologist, but even I know that the translation actually means 'kinsmen.'

I don't think that the almost completely unknown hitherto, Brock was the shooter, and if he is than I'll be very disappointed in the authors.

I do have one grammar complaint that showed up throughout the book: 'Got to.' 'I got to do something.' 'I got to talk to someone.' Maybe it's just me, but I would've preferred; 'I've got to do something' or 'I have got to talk to someone...' etc.

All in all I really enjoyed to book. It was much better that 'Trespasses Against Us,' and getting up there as good as 'Catholic Reluctantly.' I hope the rest of the series is as good (or better).