Thursday, February 10, 2011

Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott

Amy and Julia had been friends since 6th grade, when Julia moved into their town. Amy, almost 6 feet tall, always felt out of place, until the outgoing Julia befriended her and swept her into a more exciting life. By the end of sophomore year, they remained best friends, and Amy had become much more confident.
One night at a party, however, Amy saw that her friend's boyfriend Kevin was cheating on her again, and set Julia up to walk in on them. She only wanted to open her friend's eyes to the pointlessness of continuing to forgive Kevin, and was shocked when Julia broke down in tears. Amy regretted her plan, and promised Julia that everything would be all right- that they just had to leave, and she would feel better. Julia drove, despite how upset she was, because Amy drank a lot at parties. She quickly got into an accident. Amy escaped barely harmed, but Julia was killed.
The story starts 75 days after the accident. Amy is about to return to school after a time spent in rehab, recovering from a dependence on alcohol. The memory of the crash continues to haunt her, and she frequently reminds herself of how she believes the accident to be her own fault for making Julia drive. She cites guilt as the only thing that kept her from killing herself after the funeral. Amy says, "I didn't because living with what I'd done to you was what I deserved. I deserved to be alone" (61-62). Amy's school life is not much better, although her grades improve dramatically because she spends so much time studying. She cannot bring herself to talk to any of her old friends, because it is too painful for her, and she is sure that they must also blame her for Julia's death. She spends much of her time alone, although she does eventually start talking to an old friend from elementary school, and a boy she once met at a party who understands her grieving.

The author does not ultimately give a moral to the story, perhaps as a way of illustrating the senseless pain of losing someone. Amy has made steps towards a better future, but still spends most of her time grieving for her friend. She writes, "Wherever I go, I'll always see you. You'll always be with me. And there's no happy ending coming here, no way a story that started on a night that's burned into my heart will end the way I wish it would. You're really gone, no last words, and no matter how many letters I write to you, you're never going to reply" (176). The novel ends almost half a year after the accident.

1) Amy dealt with many of her emotions about her friend's death by writing to her in letters. Do you think this was an effective method of grieving, or do you think it prevented her from moving on?

2) Amy spends a lot of time thinking about things she should have done differently when Julia was still alive, like telling her about a boy she liked. She also must come to terms with mistakes Julia made that had harmed her. Amy seems reluctant to admit that Julia ever did wrong. Do you think that working through these things is more beneficial than remembering Julia in the best light?

29 comments:

Josie D 7/8 said...

1. I think that writing letter may have been benificial for Amy. It may have helped her get over the pain of missing Amy rather than just forgetting about her completely. Although, at a point it may have started to become counterproductive towards her own recovery.
2. It woudl be better for Amy's state of mind to understand that Julia was not perfect. Amy needs to learn that everything bad that ever happened to Julia was not her fault. She'll never be able to recover if she does not understand that the accident was not her fault. It would have been less safe for her to drive drunk anyways.

Brandon M. 1-2 said...

1. I think that writing letters was a good way to solve her grief because it gave her time alone to sort out her emotions. However, from what you said in your summary, it sounds like this method did not really work and she let her guilt destroy her...ssooooo....I think it was a good idea but it did not work.

2. Yes, because Amy's guilt can be ERADICATED slowly by taking Julia out of innocence by admitting her faults. And then, she won't feel as bad that she was the cause of her death.

Sarah N. 7-8 said...

1. I agree with Brandon. I think that it was really both. Eventually she will need to learn to move on, but in the beginning I think that it was a way to sort through her problems safely. However, I think by writing so many letters she never really allowed herself the process of completely moving on.

2. I agree with Josie. I think that it would have been more dangerous for her to drive drunk, because there would be an equal possibility for an accident. I also think that it would help her accept the idea of moving on if she remembered Julia isn't perfect. However, she cannot forget the good times.

Nicole H. 7-8 said...

1. I agree as well. Writing in the letters was a good way to sort through her emotions, pinpoint what she was looking for about the problem she was dealing with.
2. I think remembering Julia's faults, as well as her perfections, is important to help Amy move on. Had she thought Julia was completely perfect she would have remembered a different person than Julia, because no one is perfect. I think that remembering someone not the way they were would slow down the grieving process.

Ashley B. 1-2 said...

1) I think that by continuing to write the letters, Amy ended up harming her health then continuing her recovery. It was a good idea to start with and to help with her grief though.

2) I agree with Nicole in that it would slow down the process by remembering her in the wrong way because no is perfect and everyone makes mistakes.

Lisa T. 1-2 said...

1. I don't think it matters whether or not Amy was moving on, as long as she was dealing with her grief in some way. The letters may have slowed or stopped a full recovery, but there isn't always a way to truly recover from such a loss. I think that finding a way to cope was all she could ask for, and writing letters was effective for her.

2. I think that seeing Julia for who she was is seeing her in the best way, because as Nicole and Ashley said, no one is perfect. Julia was Amy's best friend for everything that she was, including the bad, and remembering only the good things is like forgetting half the reason Julia meant so much to her. However, when people die, those who were close to them tend to see everything, both good and bad, in a positive light, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that either.

Ashlyn W. 7-8 said...

I think it was an effective way to deal with her emotions. If she did not do this, she might have kept all of her emotions inside of her and she wouldnt have been able to deal with the pain.

Hannah K. 1-2 said...

Sarah, you made a good point. Julie was going to leave the party, and if Amy had driven it would have been just as dangerous. While there's a possibility they could have been okay, it is not very likely.

Hannah K. 1-2 said...

Lisa, I think you made a really good point. I don't believe that anything could have really helped Amy recover from losing Julia, because most of her life was spent with Julia, and all of her plans for the future involved her. Also, I agree that acknowledging that Julia had made mistakes does not necessarily mean remembering her in less of a good light.

Sydney M 7-8 said...

1. I think by Amy writing letters she was able to let out all her emotions about her friend's death. It was a effective method of grieiving, but it may have prevent her from moving on. But when someone dies can you really ever move on? So I think it was a good way to deal with the death and cope with her loss.

Sara D. 7-8 said...

1) I agree with everyone above, the letters were just a way of grieving and allowed Amy to express her emotions in a constructive way. She could have allowed her anger and depression to take control of her an do something destructive; however, she chose a better method even though she never stopped feeling guilty. I don't think she would have ever gotten over the accident, even if she didn't write the letters that reminded herself of it.

Raechel B. 7-8 said...

1. Writing letters to Julia was a way for Amy to grieve and also to tell the reader that was not able to accept the fact that she would never see her best friend again. Something inside her was hoping that one day Julia would respond to the letters.

2. Thinking of all of the things Amy could have done better while Julia was alive is not a good way to grieve. She should think of all the good times they have had together.

Avi D. 7/8 said...

1. Many people cope differently. Amy chose to write letters to deal with her pain. Different methods work differently with other people. So in this case it did not work with Amy. I agree with Syd when she says that no one really moves on after a death. Nevertheless, Amy's method severely hindered her progress from a friend's death.

2. In a way Julia's death was Amy's fault. Had she not caused emotional distress, Julia would be alive. That being said, it was a poor way to handle the situation, and the results can be seen through Amy's detachment from her other friends. Had she forgiven herself, she could have lived out better.

Megan M 1-2 said...

1. I believe that everyone copes differently and no matter what that way is, it's okay. Dealing with the loss of someone you're very close to is one of the hardest things a person can do so however she wanted to deal with her death was just her way of getting through it.
2. As Avi said, Amy may have caused her death but she was just trying to look out for her. When we see people everyday we think of the flaws they have or how they harm us, but once they're gone it's best just to think of all of the great things they've done, so I know she was just trying to get through her death but she should remember her friend in the best way that she can.

Laura P 7-8 said...

1.) I believe that writing letters to her friend may have been her way of receiving closure. And since everyone copes differently with tragedy it was her way of handling it.

Heather B. 1-2 said...

1.) I think writing the letters is a good idea and most likely beneficial because it would be a way of admitting feelings that Amy was hiding, possibly even from herself.

2.) By coming to terms with Julia's mistakes, Amy might have been able to forgive her for things that might have made her angry when Julia was still alive and in doing so that could lead to remembering Julia in the best light.

Mia G. 1-2 said...

1. writing the letters could've been both good and bad. good because maybe they can be a form of slowly letting go and saying goodbye because she wasnt quite ready yet before. bad, because if the letter writing continues on too long she can become addicted to writing to her and become unhealthily attached to someone whos not here anymore.

2. i dont really see a need to analyze julia's life, shes lived and died, remember her as you will.

Josh R. 1-2 said...

1. I think that writing letters was a good way to solve her grief because it gave her time alone to clear her head and think about her grief and make sure her head was on right, even though in the post it sounds like that didnt help and the guilt got the best of her.
2. Yes, because Amys guilt could go away by taking julia out of innocence by telling what she did wrong. Then she wouldnt feel the guilt anymore.

jessica b 1/2 said...

1. I think that it could be a good way for her to cope with the pain since she was not yet ready to say goodbye yet, but it also probably kept her from moving on by lingering in the past.

2. I think that she does not need to work through Julia's life. It was her life, and now she's gone, so let Amy remember her for the best.

Renae G. 1-2 said...

1. I think writing letters was a great way to deal with what happened. It was a good grieving method because it helped Amy deal with the accident and that is all that matters.

Spencer P. 1-2 said...

1. I think the letters were helpful for moving on because some times before you move on you must find closure.
2. I believe by remembering some one for only certain things they did tarnishes their memory, the beauty of being human is that the good always comes with flaws that make us human.

Abby M. 1-2 said...

2. I think that Amy needs to admit and come to terms with the fact that Julia was a human being and made mistakes. Remembering her as perfect would probably cause Amy to blame herself even more for the events that led up to her death, which were partially but not entirely her fault.

Freddy B. 7-8 said...

1. I think this prevented her from moving on. It seems like she did this because she didn't totally accept that her friend was gone.
2. I think this is beneficial. If she realized Julia made mistakes then she'll come to accept her own.

Sevgim A.1-2 said...

1. I think writing letters is a good idea to cope with grief. It would be a more private way but I think it could help someone.

Millie W. 7/8 said...

1) I think writing the letter was good, because it allowed her to express her emotions. Usually pent up emotions are even worst for people, because they keep on festering.

Josh R. 1-2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Josh R. 1-2 said...

1. I think that writing letter may have been good for Amy. It may have helped her get over the hurt of missing Amy opposed to just forgetting about her. Although, at a point it hurt her progression towards her recovery.

Jacob C. 1-2 said...

1. I think it may have been an effective method of grieving for a while, but after a time she needs to move on.

2. I think that having a good memory of a friend helps to cope with the loss, remembering them as a person that did wrong will taint your view of how they lived their life.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

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