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The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas


The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas


The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas


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May 17 Daily Update
May 17 Daily Update
Karina Grokhovskaya, WTV Executive Producer • May 17, 2024

WTV's Ryan Shapiro, Karina Grokhovskaya, and Sadie Johnson bring you a few last words

Every Book Has a Silver Lining: The Waning Age

Christina Huang
In this weekly review, Every Book has a Silver Lining, staff reporter Christina Huang takes a look at books to find their silver lining.

The dystopian novel The Waning Age by S.E. Grove presents a world where children ‘wane’ or lose the ability to feel any emotion around the age of ten. It’s an ambitious yet interesting premise, but is it one that can be pulled off neatly? Waning is natural; it’s expected. So when Natalia Peña’s eleven-year-old brother, Calvino (Cal), doesn’t wane like the other children and is taken under the custody of RealCorp for testing, she’s determined to get him back.

RealCorp is a corporation that distributes doses called ‘synaffs’ of false emotion. As a result, only the richest can afford to ‘feel’ something enjoyable, something untampered with. The book touches on heavier topics, with some characters choosing suspicious synaffs to make them feel negative emotions such as fear rather than nothing at all. 

Readers begin to see Cal’s ‘tests,’ as they’re written in between Natalia’s chapters, adding the other perspective while the siblings are separated. Cal is instructed to write essays, which brings an opportunity for worldbuilding and one for discovering the complexities and irregularities of his mind. 

From the start, things don’t add up. Natalia’s commitment to her brother, for instance. She notes multiple times that despite knowing emotion is impossible for her, she’s convinced she loves her brother and mentions being able to read people’s expressions. The perspective further complicates the story. Written in Natalia’s first-person perspective, eliminating any emotion behind an action becomes much more difficult. 

On the other hand, some readers felt that it brought philosophical questions to light, displayed a strong sibling bond well, and the clear-cut imagery Grove uses—which is especially shown with the description of fake versus real emotions—helps bring the story to life. However, just as the story revolved around a lack of emotion, even though the book progressed and the stakes became higher, a lack of an emotional response may have been felt by readers.

The Waning Age provides an uplifting story of familial love and philosophical questions from what empathy is, to questions exploring the line between emotion and instinct. But just as the characters of this narrative were meant to be, readers may reflect a lack of emotion toward the story itself, impacted by the loss of a strong emotional connection to its characters. This apathy inevitably cemented the book’s position as a story more easily neglected in readers’ minds. 

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About the Contributor
Christina Huang
Christina Huang, Staff Reporter/Interactive Media Editor
Christina Huang is a sophomore in her first year officially with Wingspan. She enjoys reading, writing, playing the piano and viola, and finding/creating wallpapers for her phone which she will likely never use. She’s looking forward to the opportunity to better her writing and find the good in scorned books this year through her book blog: Every Book Has a Silver Lining. Contact Christina:

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