Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Just Like That By Marsha Qualey

Just Like That, by Marsha Qualey, begins after Hanna, the 18 year old protagonist, dumped her boyfriend of almost a year. Upset because her friends are all asking her why she would break up with him, Hanna decides to take a midnight walk. She ends up by a frozen pond, sitting on a bench. A couple on skis approaches and warns her not to go out on the ice because the it gets too thin to support any weight in some spots. A little while later, another couple appears on a snowmobile. They are about Hanna's age and are happy when they arrive, though they quickly begin arguing. They ask Hanna for directions to the 24 hour diner they have heard about and mention it is their one year anniversary. She points them in the direction of the diner, which is across the pond and does not warn them about the ice. The next morning, Hanna is watching the news and it is announced that the couple fell through the ice. The boy got trapped under the ice and drowned. The girl froze to death on the shore, crawling for help. Hanna must now decide if she should tell anyone about how she was the last one to see them alive and that she could have prevented their deaths. She must also decide if she should tell their friends and families that they were not the happy couple the mourners believe they were, in fact, they seemed on the verge of a break up and most likely would not have wanted to be buried side by side as they were. While dealing with all these conflicts, Hanna befriends Will, the boy who discovered the girl's body on his morning jog, though he is keeping this a secret to protect his family. Hanna also becomes tied to the rest of his family, including his politician father and very troubled famous sister.

1. Hanna must decide if she should let out a big secret that is causing her to feel guilty. Have you ever known something no one else did that made you feel guilty? Did you tell anyone?

2. Hanna finds closure for the events that happened by becoming friends with Will. If you were Hanna, would you have done this or would it have served as a constant reminder of the couples' death? What would you have done instead?


Sydney C.13-14 said...

The book sounds very interesting. I don't know how I would handle a situation as extreme as Hanna's, but i have withheld information that later on made me feel very guilty. About a month ago I was having problems with my car, so my Dad came from Cleveland to pick up the car and make a few repairs. I noticed something looked a little funny with the hood, but didn't think much of it. I didn't say a word as he sped out of my driveway, and about 5 minutes later I got a call from my dad explaining that my hood flew up on the highway and cracked my windshield. My dad was okay (thank goodness), but I'm still getting over the fact that I could have prevented the accident. Since the accident, I have tried to make a point of letting people know anything that makes a red flag go up in my mind. It is much better to ask a stupid question than be on the receiving end of the phone when something goes wrong. Unlike Hanna, I was lucky to learn this lesson before anyone got hurt.

Courtney R 5-6 said...

I cannot say that i've known or kept anything from people that made me feel guilty. But I do feel guilty about certain things I've withheld about myself, that do not concern others at all, so it is a different situation. This book sounds intriguing but I don't think it would make me happy if I read it at all. I do not agree with the way Hanna acted at all, and if I had done something like that, I would not be able to live with myself, though it could be extremely hard to own up to something like that after they had died.
I don't think that I could ever find closure to something like that, regardless of whether or not I had owned up to it or befriended Will, or even kept it to myself. I don't know what I would have done instead because there is no way I'd ever let something that simple go; I would have told the couple right away.

Ashley A. 11-12 said...

I personally loved this book, it definitely made me think. I think that although hanna should have orignally told the couple, the way she handled it afterwards was understandable. i cannot imagine the guilt she must have felt though, and i don't i would ever find closure either.

Megan D. 11-12 said...

I have never felt guilt like Hanna must of. What she did was wrong- she should have warned the couple. Although her actions were wrong, she cannot change what happened. She should try to escape from her guilt and turn it into a motivator to do something good. Wallowing in guilt gets one no where. She should always remember what happened and what she did, but she should not let it prevent her from living her life.