What Doesn't Kill You . . .

One moment your life is the way it always is with all of the normal people it always. It is calm and peaceful without any worries regarding what tomorrow may bring. But then . . .

it it’s not. Loss. Betrayal. Ruins. Death. Nonexistence.

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And you can do absolutely nothing. Despite the harsh obstacles and scarring conflict, the characters in the books Before We Were Free by Julia Alvaraz, The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages, and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, were able to pull through and become strong individuals. Anita de la Torre, Dewey Klarrigan, and Amir agha discovered the true key to surviving their tough worlds by putting the past behind them, staying focused, and learning that you can rely on those around you for support. Before We Were Free by Julia Alvaraz describes the story of a young girl growing up during a time where you had remain quiet about politics in the Dominican Republic and how she suffers through the terrible combination of conflict and life. Anita de la Torre began to notice that her life was taking a turn for the worse when her classmates started to leave and her father spent hours on end discussing “adult stuff” with her uncles.

During the terrible years of secrecy and the troubles of growing up, Chucha, Anita’s nanny, was her reliable buoy to keep her afloat. Chucha’s kind, optimistic personality was enough that Anita could continue to survive the terrible struggles she was forced to face, especially when Chucha consoled Anita when her cousins left the island for America. Anita was positive she would never be happy again, but Chucha helped her find the better side through her disappointment. An example of when Anita must stay focused is after her father and his crew murder El Jefe, their president, and Anita and her mother must resort to hiding in their friends’ closet. Imagine staying in a cramped, claustrophobic closet for months without sunlight or entertainment only at age fourteen . .

. It was a wonder how she kept her mentality and remained calm even when she felt there was no hope. When Anita and her mother are rescued from the Dominican Republic, they are moved to New York City where her entire family is living. The news of her father’s death is delivered as soon as she arrives, which makes Anita struggle coping with what she has suffered through. But she realizes that she must move on and forget what has happened because in New York, she can begin anew. Dewey Klarrigan from The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages is an extremely intelligent young girl who recently moved to New Mexico with her father to a top secret government town nicknamed The Hill.

When Dewey arrives, she must fit it amongst the other children in a world of war, friendship, and loss . . . and sometimes that can wear a person down. Dewey is living through World War II while her father works on “The Project” that can supposedly end the war with the Japanese, and must cope with the hardships that it brings with it.

During her experience on The Hill, she makes friends with a girl her age named Suze who originally hated Dewey. Suze found her to be a strange little know-it-all who wears weird shoes all the time, but when Dewey’s dad went to Washington D.C. to celebrate the completion of “The Project”, Dewey must sleep at Suze’s house for the time being. Both girls gradually forgive and forget and come together to share their similarities. A few months later, the news is delivered to Dewey that her father was killed in a car accident.

Officially she is an orphan and has no living family members to stay with except Suze’s family. Her best friend is the only one whom Dewey can rely upon because she trusts no one else. In the end, Dewey pulled through and found that friendship is the true key to surviving. Amir agha of Afghanistan in the book The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini can never seem to find peace in his life of insults and bullying. His father wishes he would be more interested in sports rather than literature; boys make fun of his face and limp; he is neglected by many friends and family.

He lives in a cramped basement infested with rats and unspeakable disgust. Even though he is tortured, he must continue on because signs of weakness will only result in more hate. When Ami moves to America he meets the love of his life, Soroya, where he lives in harmony. But, he still remembers his terrible past, and it haunts him forever. The only way to leave it behind is to put it behind him.

Gradually, the nightmarish background turns into a faint line that dims every so often. Forgive and forget, and live life like there’s no tomorrow. The three characters Amir, Anita, and Dewey need to move on despite the hatred, conflict, and fears in their previous lives. They put the past behind them, stayed focused, and relied on those close to them because they were resilient and were able to come back. Sometimes, that’s exactly what you need to do . .