Now it may not come as too much of a surprise that I like to read, and I read a lot. As such even my bookshelves are starting to overflow, piles of books are appearing around my bedroom and even I feel the books around my bed may soon become a tripping hazard.
Yet I can never feel the urge to give away, throw away or even lend out my books. I’ve invested too much time into each page, learnt to love or hate the characters and been, for a while, part of their story. Most of the time I revisit these books, wishing to be drawn back into various worlds and escape into a story.
I’m currently re-reading a vast array of my favourite novels, getting through a story week after week. It may be from the freedom of university, that once again I have the choice to pick up any book I please. I want to read stories that I’m certain I’ll enjoy – novels that are well-written, plots that are complex and character’s that I know. I don’t want to be disappointed by the next book I pick up.
I’ll continue picking up my books full of well-thumbed pages, and enjoying each story again, and again.
I may have picked up Station Eleven without a clue of what I was about to read, yet it held a twisted tale and collision of events that had me gripped throughout.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the tale follows the survivors of the Georgia flu virus from their first encounter at a King Lear production to year twenty of the new world. Whether it be the Travelling Sympathy, who spread music and Shakespeare to the lost civilisaion, or the community stuck at the Severn City Airport; small communities continue to exist in an empty world.
It’s a clever collection of the stories of survival, it shows how we prioritise what is left from a community to allow a new civilisaton to grow. I enjoyed seeing how these tales were woven toegther, the switch between the present and the days leading up to the epidemic to show how life was lost while hope remained.
Once started its a book you’ll struggle to put down, and you’ll begin to question what matters most to you in life.
Alongside many peers of my own age, I’m constantly looking for role models; people who inspire and influence me. Those who appear to have a slightly better grasp on life then I currently do, who can offer advice, recommendations and aid us along our path.
Carrie Hope Fletcher’s debut half-autobiographical half-advice book does just that, it’s a friendly guide, a chat with someone a little older then yourself. Her message is clear, we’re not facing our problems alone, they’ve been experienced before and they’ll be experienced once again. Whereas if we talk, discuss and open up ourselves things will get a lot simpler. Fletcher’s friendly tone follows through her writing, from friendship to bullying, optimism to reality and everything in between. Her guidance is perfect, approachable and easy to navigate through; certainly something I would have found very relatable through my early teenage years.
With my teens nearly behind me, there are of course aspect of the book that I found slightly irrelevant, but five years ago would have hung on to each little word. It’s a book that fills a much needed gap in the market, someones advice full of care and considerations with a clear audience in mind. Her incorporation of anecdotes fully reinstates that we all experience the same things, maybe not being chased by a bear, but we hit the same milestones at the end.
Her talk and Q&A session followed perfectly from her book; friendly and approachable, overly positive and eager to please her audience. We got to sing a long, giggle at the mishaps with the microphone and see her warmth and passion for what she’d written down. Fletcher reinforced her message, her positive approach to life and from that, it’s a book all ages can relate to; but if you’re in your early teens its an essential part to growing up.
All I Know Now is published by Little Brown, I visited her book tour event in Manchester. Find Carrie on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/carrie
Let me know your opinions on All I Know Now!
It’s been a little while since my last post and the main reason for this is not really a valid one; I didn’t think the books I’ve been reading (or rereading) recently would be viewed as valid for a post. They may not be addressed for adults or win numerous awards, but I feel they cover much deeper topics then most adult books. Young Adult fiction allows its readers to grow up and experience its stories within themselves. They manage to encapsulate an aspect missing from most adult fiction; a mixture of emotions and challenges echoed into a new world, yet relatable to most teenagers.
So with my literature module set texts turning to the holocaust, I needed some lighter relief. Characters I’d met before, enjoyed their adventure and wished to reimagine their story. I’ve spent the last week rereading The Hunger Games to escape my current world and fight Katniss’s. From this, revolution clearly plays a large role of overcoming a repressed world, highlighting the lucky position we currently live in, a chance to acknowledge our past civil wars which led to the Britain of today, or the two world wars that brought harmony back to Europe and the world surrounding it. These are certainly not the first books to introduce such topics, not even the first Young Adult or children’s books to do that too; look towards Harry Potter, The Book Thief, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas or Divergent each oppressing strict regimes and war. However each of these brings a new addition to the themes they introduce, allow us to live through world so different yet so similar to our own.
Without these adventures, stories and challenges, would our generation be one that advocates peace over violence? I feel our literature plays a gigantic role in the generation of its time and time to come. It may be a marxist viewpoint, but I’m certain it’s true. We learn and develop through this literature, so I will not advocate that children’s literature is any less then adults. It is in fact what forms ourselves and something we should be grateful for and pass on for years to come…
What books have defined you from your childhood?