Radiant – Ashlee Craft’s New Young Adult Novel Released

Artwork 037 copy

 

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Kindle eBook

Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Paperback: 300 Pages
For Ages 13+

 

They’re all radiant 
Radiant like the sun 
Radiant like the moon that shines above the sea 
Radiant like the stars twinkling light-years away 
Radiant 
Radiant 
But I’m not one of them 
Maybe someday I will be 

I read the poem from the page of my notebook and sigh. How many times before have I read those words? The words are part of a poem from a book I’d read a long time ago, a poem I’d liked so much that I’d copied the words down in the notebook where I saved things that made me feel just a little bit better. I don’t remember how the poem ends because I didn’t like it at the time, so I didn’t write it down.
Sometimes, I wonder how it’s all going to end for me.
This notebook of mine is black and has a worn cover on it. Inside, it is filled with quotes, thoughts that I had, and song lyrics. Anything that cheers me up, even if it is only a little bit. Because that little bit matters. That little bit is sometimes the only thing that keeps me from completely falling down.
Sometimes, that little bit is all that keeps me from breaking.
I cling to that notebook like a lifeline, because in a way, it is.
Those words, those words from that poem written by some poet I could no longer remember the name of, those words make me feel better. Because when I hear words like that, I know I’m not alone. I know I’m not the only one that feels that way.
I am not radiant.
I am not beautiful.
I am not special.
I am not important.
I do not matter.
And I never would be anything different than that.
I am ugly, and stupid, and fat. I don’t deserve to be liked, or cared about; I don’t deserve to matter. Everyone I know hates me, and they think that I am nothing.
But they can’t hate me more than I hate myself.
No one could hate me more than that.
Despite this, despite all these feelings that are bottled up inside of me, feelings that I could tell no one, that poem still gives me a sliver of hope. The hope that maybe someday, some far off day in my unforeseeable and frightening future, maybe I could feel radiant. Maybe I could feel beautiful. Maybe I could be happy.
I laugh at this ridiculous idea. I know it’s never going to happen. An impossible dream. A dream so impossible that it isn’t even worth my time to try and imagine it, and yet, I do. My whole life, I have watched as those around me, those who are prettier, smarter, and better than me, have succeeded in life. I watch as I remain behind, forgotten about, hurting. But no one sees me. They’re all to busy with their own beautiful lives to notice me at all.
Because I am a failure, and I always will be.
Yes, that poem makes me feel a little better, but at the same time, reading it hurts. Hurts me deep inside. The poem reminds me of all the things that I never could be. It reminds me that there are so many people who are better than me, people who are or will be happy. People who actually have a chance.
When I read that poem, I am reminded that I will never be like them.
To be honest, I don’t really understand why I like that poem so much. I mean, if I read it for hope, why am I kidding myself? Why do I still believe that things can work out for me, that things are going to get better? Why do I keep lying to myself, lying that maybe someday things could get better?
Despite the fact that the poem cheers me up, it also makes me feel confused and obligated, like I am supposed to feel radiant, and beautiful, and important, just like most other people around me feel.
So, why do I like that poem if it cannot provide me with hope?
Because it shows me that I am not alone, and for the time being, that is enough.

 

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