What are you reading?

Exit Here. by Jason Myers.”

Tell me about it.

“It’s kind of his life story. He was in Minnesota, and instead of following the dream that his dad has laid out for him — which was to go to USC and follow in his path... His dad was a businessman; he owned this town in Minnesota, and he wanted to leave the town to his son. But the son gets into drugs and messes up everything. It’s kind of a life-experience thing; he has to hit rock bottom before he can actually decide to move on. There are things that happened in the past that he has to go back and get over. Like, one summer vacation, he went to Hawaii. He had gone to a party and this girl had overdosed and he had intercourse with her and stuff. She ended up dying the next morning, and he left — he thought it was his fault. He didn’t know what really happened until later in life, when he went back and her family told him.”

Is it a novel?

“In the back, the writer says it was based on his life, but the names of the people aren’t real.”

Who is your favorite character?

“The author, because of the transformation that he goes through, how he learns from experiences. Also, because of how strong a person he is, standing up to his dad.”

Can you compare it to other books you’ve read?

“No, I just found it randomly at Barnes & Noble.”

Who is your favorite author?

“I don’t really have one, but there was a series I read a year ago by Scott Westerfield — The Uglies, The Pretties, and The Specials. It’s science fiction set in the future, with a lot of biochemistry. When you’re little, you’re called a Little. From 6 to 12, you’re an Ugly, and you live in Uglyville. Then, when you turn 13, you get this procedure done to your body to make you pretty, and you become a Pretty. It made me think about how things are characterized — how things depend on social class or how much money you have or what you look like. Materialism.”

What book has been most life-changing for you?

“The main character in Exit Here. is similar to somebody in my family that I’m really close to, so… And there was another book I read last year called Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse. It was about the journey of a young man as he finds his spiritual beliefs — what he wants to believe in. I probably wouldn’t have picked it up if I just saw it, but somebody asked me to read it. I’m a spiritual person — I go to church and everything — and it made me open my eyes to other kinds of beliefs. It’s about Buddhism and stuff like that, stuff I’d never learned about and was never interested in learning about.”

Do you read any magazines or newspapers?

“No.”

Do you talk to your friends about reading?

“Yes. We recommend books to each other that we think the other person would like.”

Name: Jessica Sanders | Age: 16 | Occupation: Student | Neighborhood: College Area | Where interviewed: SDSU campus

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