Broken Pencils
by J.R Rice

"Within the darkness, I was never fully living, but rather just killing time."

Jonah Tarver had been eagerly looking forward to his prom night for a long time. He was excited to celebrate with his friends and turn eighteen in just a few hours. Unfortunately, things worsened when he argued with his girlfriend, Taniesha. As if that wasn't enough, that day also marked the anniversary of his best friend, Keon's, death, which had been an extremely traumatic experience for him. On top of all this, Jonah also received the news that his parents were getting a divorce. With all these things weighing heavily on his mind, Jonah's mood became increasingly sour, and what was supposed to be one of the best nights of his life quickly turned into a nightmare.

In this literary work, Rice boldly explores the profound impact of losing a loved one and how parents' constant fighting can disrupt their children's happiness. The character of Jonah magnifies this theme, as he is deeply troubled by his past and present. He frequently takes out his anger on others, including his friends and family, and is always in a bad mood. Rice fearlessly delves into Jonah's psychological state while providing each character with a unique voice that sets them apart. Through dialogue, the author masterfully reveals the characters' personalities. The book underscores the vital importance of seeking help to heal mentally and find inner peace, as carrying pain for too long can impede progress. Furthermore, Rice boldly exposes the issue of racism and how black people are often negatively perceived, bringing much-needed attention to this critical issue.

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