6 January 2013

A - Z OF PEOPLE WATCHING: H IS FOR HOPE

As we celebrate the New Year, lots of us will be thinking of the year to come, what we hope to achieve, and possibly even making New Year's resolutions.

H is for Hope

Sadly lots of people I know in work scorn resolutions as a fad and a waste of time. I completely understand this; sometimes we might want to change something, but just don't have the desire or drive to do it. And this often leads to failure, and in turn to despair. But I always make resolutions. Yes, I really want to succeed and achieve the goals I set myself. But I also don't mind failing, because at least I will have tried.

Most people making resolutions will probably hope to lose weight, see family more often, get a new job or quit smoking. Mine are to grow my nails (not 'stop biting my nails' - as with hope, a resolution should be positive); finish writing a dystopian short story I started a while back; and travel more. Whilst hope is a key concept in lots of fictional writing, and is often a motivating force for change in the key characters, it's not often you read about characters in books wanting to achieve mundane goals like quitting a bad habit. (It's just not that interesting to read about.) But more common themes in YA are new relationships, being accepted by peers, or surviving life threatening situations.

If I thought people might read them all, I would give quotes from lots of books, including Debutantes by Cora Harrison, which is about four young sisters in the 1920s, each hoping and striving to escape their humdrum life and fulfil their career ambitions. Or from Whisper by Chrissie Keighery, which follows 16 year old Demi as she copes with becoming deaf. The whole story is wrapped up in feelings of hope and despair, fear and courage, and the emotional journey Demi goes through, from hopelessness to hope, is completely heart warming and touching.

The book I'm going to quote though is Partials by Dan Wells, because it looks at hope, not just to live, for the whole human race to survive. Set in the future, the human race is near extinction. Even the remaining survivors of a genetically engineered virus, RM, are unable to have babies that live passed a few days. Despite the government's attempts to find a cure, through enforced pregnancy (the Hope Act), there is little to be hopeful about. Yet, Kira wants to fight for the future and go out into unchartered territory to find a Partial so they can create a cure. There is no certainty that anyone will survive, but Kira has hope on her side. And if you don't have hope, what do you have?
"Of course it's worth it," said Kira. "Say that it's stupid, say that it's impossible, but never say that it's not worth it. We know full well that we might not be coming back alive, or successful, and I recognize that, and I wouldn't have suggested it if I wasn't ready to accept it. But Haru is right -- trading any of us, even trading all of us, for the chance to start a new generation of humans is more than worth it. If we can actually pull this off and use a Partial to cure RM, we're not just saving Maddy's baby, we;re saving thousands of babies, maybe millions of babies -- every human baby ever born for the rest of time. We're saving our entire species."
This was one of my favourite books of 2012, and I would definitely recommend reading it!

Do you have any hopes, aspirations or resolutions for the new year?

3 comments:

Book Angel Emma said...

To stop hiding out and move on with my life. It's not where I thought I would be at my age but I am going to count my blessings and work toward the other stuff ((hugs))

Raimy Greenland said...

I love these posts Hannah, you are awesome!
My hope is to live life to the full, get out there and enjoy it and hopefully make more money so that I can start saving for the future because I have a lot I wantto acheive in that future :) I wish you luck with yours!

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