Still from The Perks of Being a Wallflower, directed by Stephen Chbosky

My writing journey, throughout the course of my life, has not always been a linear one. I have often found myself stuck in the constant cycle of trying to determine to what extent my writing should be conventional and to what extent it should reflect myself. I thought “good” writing was when I could remove myself as much as possible, speaking as objectively as I could in the voice of my papers. However, throughout the course of the semester, I’ve combined what I enjoy so much about the liberties of fiction writing with the realm of the academics; I’ve identified…

“Eclectic Electric” by Primus.

The term “eclectic electric” has always been one of note to me, ever since the first time I encountered it. Introduced to me as the title of a Primus song, I always remembered this phraseology more so than the song itself. Sitting in a friend’s car in high school, I looked over at her phone to see the song that was being played. Eclectic Electric (Primus). Eclecticism in itself, defined by me as the collection of different fragments to make one whole, has always encompassed my identity as an intellectual. I have never been one thing…

I consider myself to be a feminist. Now, despite the “fem” in the word, I don’t only advocate for women. I try to be very careful about considering the male perspective, as well as the innumerable ways that men are also adversely affected by patriarchal structures. Issues like custody, male suicide, and disproportionate male imprisonment are just a few of the adverse effects against men that I take very seriously, and I make sure to occasionally mention these in fem-centric gender equality discussions. …

Picture this: you’re watching a music video for a new song. The video features a white female singer championing the vocals as black women dance around her as overly-sexualized props. The white woman pours champagne on the bodies of these women and gropes their scantily clad bodies as she remains the crucial focus amongst this exploitation. Pretty gross, right? I mean, clearly this is an intersection of the oversexualization and objectification of women of color. The white woman is using them as props? Like, totally unacceptable and racist.

Take a moment to look at this photo…

Lily Allen doesn’t think so. No, she may be exploiting black…

Works Cited

Rowell, Rainbow. Eleanor and Park. St. Martin’s Griffin, 2012.

Rowell, Rainbow. Fangirl. St. Martin’s Griffin. 2013.

Chbosky, Stephen. The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Pocket Books, 1999.

Green, John. Turtles All the Way Down. Dutton Books, 2017.

Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye. Little, Brown and Company, 1951.

Kesey, Ken. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Viking Press, 1962.

Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. Herbert S. Stone & Co., 1899.

Collins, Suzanne. Catching Fire. Scholastic, 2009.

Meyer, Stephenie. Breaking Dawn. Little, Brown and Company, 2008.

Asher, Jay. Thirteen Reasons Why. RazorBill, 2007.

Photo by Alfons Morales on Unsplash

Regarding the books that built me:

Here, I’ve taken it upon myself to compile the openings and closings of ten of the books that I feel formed my identity not only as a writer, but as an individual at large. These are the novels that crafted my prose, while simultaneously crafting my paradigm through which I view the world. These are the novels that created in me a voracious love of reading, and these are the books that have fed that love over time. These are the books that made me decide that I want to be an author. …

attached: the openings and closings of the novels mentioned below, for reference

Now, this is perhaps the most mystifying leg of all in my journey. Here, I delved into the novels that I definitely count as affecting me, but not so much by their content. Rather, it is the experience and sentimental value attached that allow them to make the cut.

Catching Fire, absolutely, makes this sort of miscellaneous cut. The second novel in The Hunger Games trilogy, and my favorite of the trilogy at the time of my Hunger Games obsession, this one will always stick with me…

attached: the openings and closings of the novels mentioned below, for reference

It would be fair to say that at the beginning of my journey as a reader, I was anti-classics. Much of this could be attributed to my desire to defend the books that I did enjoy. I would say, “YA books are just as good as any classic.” I would say to my mother, who would recommend Anne of Green Gables to replace Percy Jackson, “One day, the books I like will be considered classics. I’m not going to be pretentious and read books that I don’t…

attached: the openings and closings of the novels mentioned below, for reference

When compiling the list of novels that have shaped me, it wasn’t surprising that stories from young adult fiction continually popped up. After all, there were a few good years there, spanning from middle school to the beginning of high school, when this is the only kind of book that I read. After beginning my love of the novel through the popular stuff written for the young, like The Hunger Games, The Twilight Saga, and Harry Potter, I wanted more. Lucky for me, after the rise in…

Recently, I read Aliyah Perry’s piece, “‘WAP:’ Empowering Women’s Sexuality.” ( And I loved it. Perry discussed many of the reactions by prominent conservative men to Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s recent hit, WAP (aka, Wet A** P***y). These conservative men were openly very critical of the music, pointing to it as a representation of the faults of modern feminism and the degradation of women caused by the left. As a response to these naysayers, Perry responded by saying, “It’s the fact that these high-profile individuals use their platforms to criticize women before they will use it to advance…

Tess Botts

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