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I Should Switch to Decaf This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By Lindsey T., Cincinnati, OH

I was immediately drawn to the title of the fiction piece “I Should Switch to Decaf” by Mercedes B. It was catchy and sounded humorous and interesting. As I read the story, I found myself relating to the main character; it seems like all of us have tried something new in order to please someone else. Her concern about becoming a stereotype was also quite familiar.

I laughed at the frantic thoughts of the girl who probably doesn't need coffee; the reader is able to learn so much about her from a few moments of nervous thought as she waits for a boy. I felt like I knew her, even though, of course, I'd never met her. The lines “Be strong. Don't be clumsy or shy. Be strong. Strong like coffee” show how intimidated she was in a new environment, waiting to meet a boy she didn't know. Yet she found a way to calm and comfort herself. The character's sense of adventure was inspiring. I found myself cheering for her, and hoping that I could someday be as willing to try new things as she was.

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