1. Emily is at the “Lifelong Learning Center”, with Lucas. The director, Elaine, is telling them their options for volunteering, even though she and Lucas aren’t there voluntarily. Lucas still won’t talk to her, not even glance in her direction. They both decide to take the class called “Boundaries and Relationships” on Wednesday evenings, it was that or office work on Saturdays. Boundaries and Relationships class was for young adults with different disabilities. The following Wednesday she and Lucas come into the place and Mary, the teacher, tells them how the class works and asks them a few questions. Mary tells them to sit in the waiting area before class starts; they both sit there awkwardly until Emily finally speaks. She tells him her name; he does know her name just chooses not to talk to her. Then she brings up Belinda, and he doesn’t say anything after that. Elaine summons them so the class can begin; she introduces them and lets people ask one question each. After, she pairs them with two people who each interview each other and are supposed to introduce each other to the class. Emily is paired with Harrison, a blind man, and Lucas is paired with Francine. The interview didn’t go very well for her, but for Lucas it was better. Belinda has been watching Pride and Prejudice instead of going to school. She remembers her first day, the excitement of her last year at Westchester High School, but she mostly stays home now. Something bad happened to her at school, which is why her Nan lets her stay home, even though her mother thinks she should go back. Belinda doesn’t mind though, she likes it at home, where she can swoon over Collin Firth, from Pride and Prejudice. It goes back to Emily’s point of view. She wonders if Lucas feels guilty about what happened to Belinda as she does. What happened to Belinda was complicated and she didn’t want to admit that, especially to her friend Richard. She talks about Richard and his personality. Then she talks about the football game where it all happened. A person that she thought she was flirting with was at the football game with a sophomore, she felt poorly and decided to go under the bleachers. As she was under there, she heard whimpering, and saw two dark figures. Emily recognized the whimpers to Belinda. She wanted to say something but she stood there frozen. Suddenly, she ran out from under the bleachers to tell a teacher. Her team was now ahead and as roars erupted from the audience, the teacher couldn’t hear her. Emily saw a football player, who she would later learn was Lucas, go under the bleachers, she assumed he would take care of it and sat down. He came out and she thought nothing of it. A few moments later police cars are heard. Within the next few days she was informed that no one saved Belinda, Belinda saved herself. Lucas and Emily had to meet with their counselor to decide their punishment for not helping Belinda. Emily didn’t bother defending herself and pretending like what she did wasn’t wrong, even if her parents wanted her too. They were told their punishments at the end of the day. They were also informed of Belinda’s state ever since the incident. Therefore, she and Lucas had to do volunteer work at a place for young adults with disabilities. Lucas has the same punishment but was also benched from the next three games, which he thought was unfair.
2. There are three main characters, Emily, Lucas and Belinda. Emily is honest; when she was asked about Belinda, she told them everything without hesitation even if that’s not what her parents wanted. On page thirty-three Emily’s mother is trying to convince her that she shouldn’t be punished for not helping her, “Emily, please. I don’t see why the school should create more victims from this one dreadful incident. This is your whole future here.” Then on page thirty-five, she doesn’t try to act innocent, “I am guilty.” Her internal conflict is that she feels guilty for not helping Belinda the night she was assaulted, and hearing how poorly she was doing. Emily didn’t help Belinda because she in shock of what she was seeing. “I should have screamed anything to make it clear this didn’t seem right. I knew Belinda, but my brain couldn’t process what I was seeing: her pressed against the fence like that, powerless behind him.” Lucas is respectful. When he is told his punishment, he doesn’t argue and instead says he is okay with it. On page thirty-eight the counselor says, “’We’ve met with Coach Anderson. You may continue practicing with the team on a regular schedule, but you’ll be benched for the next three games.” “Finally he opened his eyes. ‘Okay,’ he said. ‘That’s fine.’” His internal conflict is that he felt guilty inside and thought his punishment wasn’t fair. Belinda is shy and traumatized, in the story she doesn’t talk very much ever since the incident. On page thirty-seven, the counselor tells Lucas, “Her grandmother says she’s hardly spoken since it happened. She’s also not eating much.” Her internal conflict is that she doesn’t know how to deal with what happened to her and just stays home and watches Pride and Prejudice. Belinda also doesn’t go to school anymore. Belinda’s motivation to stay home and watch Pride and Prejudice is her Nan telling her mother that she is safer at home. “Now Nan is trying to help me forget. Instead of going to school, she lets me stay home every day and watch Pride and Prejudice. If Mom asks her when I’m going back to school, Nan says, ‘For God’s sake, Lauren, let her be. At least we know she’s safe here.’”
3. The setting is mostly at Westchester High school and the Lifelong Learning Center, involving Lucas, Emily, and Belinda. The high school is where Belinda was assaulted and even though they saw, neither Emily nor Lucas helped her. At the learning center, that is where the story begins, with Emily and Lucas’ punishment. Eventually leading into learning why they were there and what happened to Belinda. During a football game at Westchester High School, Belinda was assaulted underneath the bleachers. On page nineteen Emily says what she saw what happened that night, “Belinda Montgomery, a girl I’d known years earlier in a children’s theater program, was pressed against a fence with a boy standing in front of her.” Both Emily and Lucas saw what happened to her but neither of them helped her. Their punishment for not saying anything was to work at the Lifelong Learning Center. The counselor informs them of their punishment on page thirty-seven and thirty-eight, “Since you has such trouble helping someone as vulnerable as Belinda, we’ve decided your punishment should include some education in working with people like her. We’re going to ask that both of you put in forty hours of community service at the Lifelong Learning Center, which runs classes for young adults with disabilities.”
4. The point of view changes from Emily’s point of view to Belinda’s point of view. The story starts in Emily’s point of view, “At our first meeting in the Lifelong Learning Center, Lucas doesn’t speak to me once. “On page eleven, the story is told in Belinda’s point of view, “Lately I’ve been watching Pride and Prejudice a lot. Even though Lucas an important character, the story is not told in his point of view. The overall point of view in the story is first person. The tone of the story is serious because the story is about Belinda being assaulted, Lucas, and Emily not helping her. The mood of the story is depressed and anxious because of what happened to Belinda, and it is affecting everyone. The author is trying to tell the reader that it is better to help someone rather than do nothing. On page thirty-seven and thirty-eight the counselor says, “Since you had such trouble helping someone as vulnerable as Belinda, we’ve decided that your punishment should include some education in working with people like her.”
5. While reading, I noticed that the story revolves around Belinda, if the incident never occurred then Emily and Lucas wouldn’t be volunteering at the Lifelong Learning Center. I like the way the author uses the different perspectives of the story to show how everyone feels about the problem. The phrase “I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time,” stands out because it shows the different emotions someone is feeling at the same time. This book could be better if everyone’s point of view was shown, not just Belinda and Emily.