Tuesday, March 8, 2016

See How They Run

    See How They Run by Ally Carter is an action-packed sequel to All Falls Down - an Embassy Row Novel. After learning more about her mother's mysterious death in book one, Grace is now trying to understand how all of it could have happened and how some of it might be her fault. Living in Embassy Row she is trying to be a 'normal' teenager, but with mystery and danger at every turn, she struggles to feel sane, let alone normal. Even with the return of her beloved big brother, Grace is in over her head and in more danger than before, especially after her brother's schoolmate turns up dead. Will Grace find more answers to the millions of questions she has, or will the past continue to haunt her forever?

     This is the second book in this Embassy Row series and definitely didn't disappoint. Ally Carter has written two other series that I loved, so when this series came out I knew I had to read it. What I love so much about her books, that continues in this series as well, is her strong female characters and her ability to keep you guessing at every turn. I couldn't put this book down and am left with so many questions that I won't get answers to for at least another year. See How They Run was action-packed from start to finish and allowed me to get to know even more about the characters that I have come to love. This is another must read series, especially for girls who like reading about girls who aren't perfect, but find strength through every challenge they face with great friends and family to support them along the way.  

The Last Lecture


     The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch is an incredible memoir about living your childhood dreams and lessons learned along the way. Mr. Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who changed his students lives with his work in virtual reality. When Randy was asked to give the prestigious "last lecture" at the end of the year, he had no idea how much this title would ring true to him. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and only given a few months to live. He decided to use this lecture to leave a legacy for his children since he wouldn't always be around to share this wisdom with them later in life. What he created in this lecture left a lasting impact not only on those that knew him well, but on anyone who was lucky enough to experience it through his book, on YouTube, or DVD. Randy was a man who lived a life of passion and that legacy will live on through his lessons.

     There are many things that Randy discussed in his lecture that have stayed with me personally. One of my favorite sections was when he discussed "Brick Walls." Randy said, "Brick walls are there for a reason, not to keep you out, but to show you how badly you want something." This is a message that can be applied to so many things in life. We can't always understand things that are thrown at us, especially the tough things, but it is how we move past them that define us. The most successful people are the ones who don't hold back, who don't let anything get in the way of what they want. This kind of perseverance will allow you to live a life of purpose. I know that I don't always understand some of the things that have happened in my life, but I never let them stop me from moving forward and Randy reminds me of that often. Cancer may have been his ultimate brick wall, but he didn't let it ruin the time he had left. He was the definition of living for every moment and not letting things stop you. That is inspirational and I hope to live half the life he did.