SummaryDarcy Pennington hates her life. She is an insufferably average teenager with no real friends, crushing social anxiety, and an indescribable sense of not fitting in anywhere. A change in her dad’s job forces her to attend Cedar Cove Family Camp the summer before her eighth-grade year, and Darcy once again finds herself on the outside of a social circle of teenagers, with her only advocate being an awkward girl named Samantha Palm. The only problem is, Darcy has no desire to be friends with her, but as the hostility from the other teenagers increases, she decides to return the friendship.
When Darcy begins to experience strange magical occurrences, she comes to believe she’s either losing her mind or on the brink of a discovery that could give her purpose in life. After unwittingly stumbling through a magical gateway to a new world called Alitheia, she convinces Sam and the other four teenagers to travel there with her, and despite their earlier hostilities toward her, they eventually concede leadership of their small group to Darcy. Once there, they learn the “arrival of the Six” was prophesied hundreds of years before, and that they must expel an ancient evil from the land. In the end their lives, and the fate of Alitheia, will hinge upon Darcy. Will she have what it takes to fulfill her mysterious purpose? Or will she fall prey to a deadly foe?
Guest PostFinding out who you really are is difficult for most teenagers, especially those going through the early teen years. I should know! I spent several years thinking something must be seriously wrong with me because I didn't think I was all that strange of a person, yet I could never make friends easily. I spent years trying to conform to this group or that, always afraid to just be me. The error I think that most kids going through these struggles make at this age is both external and internal: Trying to conform to others, and spending too much time dwelling on their own problems (which leads to self-centeredness and depression, among other things). My main character, Darcy Pennington, embodies this perfectly, I think, and I tried to use her to show the folly of these things. On the external, she doesn't want to be friends with Samantha Palm because Sam is not cool at school, and Darcy thinks that if she allows herself to be friends with Sam, she will forevermore be labeled as "not cool" too. Better to be a non-entity, she thinks, than someone who is looked down on. On the internal, Darcy spends way too much time in her own head. She is often moody and depressed, thinking that everybody just simply doesn't understand her, while the great irony is that she doesn't really understand herself. In taking a character like this and removing her to a fantasy world full of magic, I could, essentially, take Darcy outside of herself. Over the course of the story, she has to learn to trust, to have compassion, and to think of others over herself. She screws up a LOT in the story, but every time she falls, she rises a little wiser than before. I think this is very true to real life, and I've certainly seen it in action in my students (as I'm also a teacher). Teach a young adult to put other people’s needs ahead of his or her own, and in return they become more secure in whom they are as a human being on this planet. The cool thing for Darcy, too, is that as she learns to do this, she also comes to realize that many of the things she thought were flaws about her life here on earth actually have purpose and perspective in Alitheia. And the same thing is true for the other five teenagers who accompany her to the new world. Darcy's growth is far from complete at the end of The Six, as there are still five more books to get through, but she is well on her way. Her greatest accomplishment, probably, is that she finds a true friend in Samantha Palm, and realizes that, had she just allowed herself to open up to Sam before, she might have already been a little more comfortable in her own skin.
I think that the author's really right. A lot of people mess up, it's just a part of life. That's mainly why I wanted to do this guest post. So what do you think about this guest post? Does it affect you in any way? Oh, and don't forget to check out my review here.