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by Lisa McMann
AR Test, LGBTQ
Fear: that’s what Sawyer feels. And Jules can understand why. After all, she is the one who gave the vision curse to Sawyer. Now Sawyer and Jules must decide if they are going to risk their lives trying to stop a tragedy.
Book II of the Visions series adds more involvement from Jule’s brother Trey. Jules loves her brother, and it’s easy to see why. He’s good-natured, loyal, and teases his sister about her love life. The relationship between Trey and his sister adds depth and delight to bang. However, both Sawyer’s and Jules’ relationship with their parents is dysfunctional and full of distrust. Sawyer’s grandfather hits him, in the past, his mother had an affair, and Sawyer lies to his parent so he can spend time with Jules and try to solve the mystery of the vision.
At the beginning of the book, the language is mild with words like “crap” and “friggin.’” However, it doesn’t take long until the cursing (and the make-out scenes) increase in frequency and intensity. Another troubling aspect of the book is Jules’ sisters’ romantic relationship. Her sister decides to fly to New York to stay with a boy she met at soccer camp, all without her parents knowing about the trip until she’s left.
bang loses a lot of the suspense that was contained in the first book, crash. Instead of focusing on the mystery of the vision, bang delves into Jules’ relationship with Sawyer as well as their family relationships. Although Jules cares deeply about her siblings, she is disrespectful and deceitful to her parents. None of the characters consider confiding in the adults in their life. Instead, Sawyer, Jules, and Trey band together to try to stop a tragedy from happening.
- Jules sneaks out of the house where she receives her first kiss which was the, “most weirdly amazing feeling.”
- When Jules sees her boyfriend, he tells her that he’d like to kiss her but only, “runs his thumb across my lips and looks at me so longingly it hurts.” Later Jules presses, “a finger to his lips and watch his eyes droop halfway in response,” and, “his gaze lingers and burns.” When her boyfriend leaves she thinks, “At this rate, we’ll have, like, nine babies by the end of our senior year.”
- There are many scenes where Jules and her boyfriend make out, which involves kissing and caresses each other. In one scene Jules thinks, “I really want to see that chest once more.”
- In another scene, the two make out and they are, “kissing and panting and touching each other, starving and lusty and steamy hot . . . he presses against me, his chest against my chest, our feet finding spaces every other, and his thighs squeezing mine. And suddenly, I realize that what’s pressing against me is not all thigh, and I am secretly amazed and a little shocked by it being there, doing that.” She describes being, “intoxicated by his fervor and the overwhelming electric, psychedelic aching in my loins.”
- While joking with his sister and her boyfriend, Trey says, “I’m not into incest, thank you. However…If you ever, you know, want to experiment.” Sawyer replies, “Maybe I could bang all the Demarco siblings.”
- At school, a girl who likes Sawyer comes up to him and, “sticks her boobs out.” She asks him to Spring Fling and promises they can, “make out behind the bleachers like when we were a couple.” Sawyer tells the girl he is gay, and she gets upset and asks, “I made out with a gay?” and “Were you gay when we made out?”
- Jules father asks her, “What do you want to say that I don’t already know? That you’re pregnant?” Jules is angry that her father, “thinks I’m out there banging people left and right.”
- Jules thinks about her father’s past affair, and she talks about it with others.
- Jules boyfriend talks about how his grandfather used to hit him.
- Sawyer has a gruesome vision of a school shooting where eleven people are shot. He describes the scene of the shooting and how the “faces are blown into bits.”
- A college campus was vandalized and someone spray paints a stop sign so that it reads, “Stop fags.”
- The college campus shooting is describe in detail over four pages. Several people are shot. One of the shooters jabs a gun between a boy’s eyes. There is a fight between the gunman and several others, which is described. “I kick the crap out of her arm that holds the gun, and I whack the shit out of her face with my cast . . . I kneel on her fucking head as she screams.” Trey shows up and is shot. Jules watches as he sinks, “to the floor, leaving s streak of red on the wall behind him.”
- Trey says, “All I can remember is someone screaming ‘Die, fag!’ in my face, which really, you know, sucked. Then I took one look at the blood spurting out of my arm” and he passed out.
- In the hospital, several characters discuss the events of the shooting and the injuries of the victims.
Drugs and Alcohol
- While in the hospital, Trey is given morphine for his pain. He acts goofy and, “a little drunk on morphine.” Later when Trey talks about going to a pricey private school that she knows her family can’t afford, Jules thinks, “there’s always the power of morphine to make your forget about the minor details of your life.”
- Jules, “scared the hell out of Trey when I tell him that he totally threw himself at a college boy while under the influence of morphine.”
- Cursing is frequent. The cursing includes crap, dang, shit, damn it, fucking and pissed.
- Jules uses Oh my God and Oh Christ as profanity.
- Jules wonders when she became an “insecure loser” and thinks, “back when I accepted the fact that I was a total psycho.”
- A character says jokingly, “tell the two-timing lunch whore I said hey.”
- When Trey is frustrated, he says, “for shit’s sake, Jules.”
- Jules brother, Trey, is jealous that both of his sisters have a boyfriend and he doesn’t. When his sister talks about sneaking out of the house and flying to New York to see him, Trey says, “Fuck…Why the hell not. Why the hell not.”
- Jules’ sister jokingly tells her, “You ruin this for me, and I will ruin your face, bitch.”
- Jules talks about, “the vision isn’t a total fix; it’s a chance to change a bad thing to something less bad . . . the vision’s gone. You did what you were supposed to do. Maybe . . . maybe those people needed to go through that experience in order to become the people they’re meant to be, you know? Maybe the experience triggers something inside of them that will help them become great.” Sawyer replies, “And maybe it’ll make them dependent on prescription drugs, or want to kill themselves.”
- Jules asks Sawyer, “You think the vision gods, or whoever, gave us these changes so we can end up watching the people we save turn into drug addicts?”
- One of Jules favorite sayings is, “thank dog for that.”
- Jules finds a newspaper article that reports about a protest lead by a cult preacher who’s been, “shouting about gays taking over the government, and he’s been ragging on U of C lately because their rights group have been picketing the guy.” The preacher has been getting his followers and, “saying God wants his cult to rid the country of homosexuality.” Sawyer asks, “So you think our shooters are some outsider cult followers of the raving lunatic, coming to campus to . . . do God’s will?”
- When Jules talks about the news article she asks, “Who would want to believe in a God like that? If God is not, like, totally in love with all the people he created, why would anybody want to believe in him? Five things a real God should be: Not a hater. 2. That about sums it up.