Friday, January 11, 2013

“When I look at my room, I see a girl who loves books.”

Looking for Alaska , John Green (10)
The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald (6)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, JK Rowling (4)
Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen (2)
A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Wide Window, Lemony Snicket (6)

When listing these five books, it took no time. I looked at my personal home library and smiled, knowing exactly which ones I wanted. It was easy to pick out. I knew where they were on my book shelf and the exact number of times I'd read each book (which is included for your enjoyment). When I finally finished with my list and looked it over, I noticed something interesting. All of these books were narrated by either third person or males. This was something interesting to me. Sure, I'd read Twilight and the FSoG series, but I never really enjoyed those. Now, I'm not saying that I DON'T enjoy female narrators, but there's something about getting inside the mind of the gender of the opposite sex and seeing, "Oh, so that's what they would do in that situation". Of course, this scenario doesn't work for all those novels, but I digress.

The amount of characters range with each book, but from that, there is a set "gang" in each novel. For example, Harry Potter of course has Hermione and Ron. In Gatsby, there is Nick, his cousin and her husband, Gatsby and of course, Tom's girl in New York. Lemony Snicket and his incessant need to ruin the Baudelaire's. John Green normally keeps to about a number of three, but for this book, there was a quite a larger gang than normal for him. And Water for Elephants had Jacob and Marlena, oh and of course, Rosie the elephant. I think, because I am this way myself, that I like books with a smaller "gang" feel. I like to be able to see a person's name in a story and know exactly what is going on with them, just as I do with my friends.

It's all about relating the story to my own, if you're noticing. 

These stories all have the struggles of friendship and love. I believe that, even a work of complete fiction, can show moral values. In Looking for Alaska, the protagonist "Pudge" meets a crazy girl named Alaska and learns about friendship and heartbreak. He learns what it's like to be rejected by someone you supposedly love. These stories also have to deal with losing someone, which everyone has had to do. It shows the wrong ways and the right ways to deal with losing someone. In the Wide Window, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny lose their Aunt to the leeches in the lake. Hell, the whole series they learn to deal with deaths. Their parents, first and foremost. Also, these stories teach you about good vs. evil. The most obvious example is Harry vs. Lord Voldemort and the most minuscule example is Pudge vs. Death. 

The universes that are presented in these books are very vast. From Hogwarts to a little traveling circus during the depression in America. But, they all teach you something about yourself. From each and every single one of these books, I have learned more and more about myself. I have learned that love ISN'T the most important thing in the world. There's courage and friendship. Standing up to your enemies is important, yes, but it's even harder to stand up to your friends (God, Dumbledore is incredibly quotable. I love it.). 

I think what is MOST important about seeing these books and reading them is developing a relationship with your characters. Alaska, from Looking for Alaska, is probably the most relatable character I've ever read. Alaska is a girl that named herself because her parents let her. She wanted to be unique and stand out, from the time that I was a kid, that's all I've ever wanted. A voice. Not to mention, Alaska had this mountain of books she wanted to read. Let's just say that I may or may not have a mountain in my room.

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