It is with much excitement I begin writing this post: I have finished a haul before the end of the month! Yay for small victories! I wish I could credit my success to an increased reading speed but no. It is because my haul was small and primarily from the teen fiction section. But still, I count this as victory and credit my success to choosing a responsible number of books and learning to manage my time better. I did a surprising amount of soul searching this month and racked up all sorts of personal development. I took a delve into figuring out why I’m drawn towards material meant for teens, new directions I can take my writing and this blog, and how all of this circles back to where I’m headed as an adult. Here we go!
Divergent, Veronica Roth Have you seen this movie? Have you seen Theo James?? I’m not even going to pretend that he’s not 100% the reason I needed to read the book, so that I could keep the image of him in my mind until the sequel hits theaters. Since I’m in this series purely for the mental image of his hot bod, my review is that…. Four, played by Theo James, reads just as well on paper. Divergent is an easy read about a dystopian society. Not the best of the teen dystopian genre, but not bad. I took Divergent with me on a delightful camping trip with a group a friends. The night before the camping trip, I had a terrible falling out with one of my friends so emotionally, I felt pretty shitty. While I didn’t hit my existential stride of analyzing my teen self versus my adult self, this book set those wheels into motion. In other news, my dear friend Sarah is reading this series along with me. Ahh yes, people are jumping on my book club bandwagon. Looking for Alaska, John Green My least favorite of John Green’s work so far. I initially thought it may have been because I was getting burned out on John, which was a depressing thought for me. I started to really recognize themes in John’s stories. Looking for Alaska has the dorky protagonist teen that starts out a little withdrawn but comes into his own through a series of hijinks and adventures, largely inspired by a free-spirited girl who has amazing looks, fierce intellect, but some character flaws that cause her to be emotionally detached (by choice) and reckless. The main character Pudge, says to Alaska (the girl), something along the lines of ‘you’re a mystery sometimes,’ to which she responds, ‘that’s the point.’ Damn, if that doesn’t echoes my reviews of Paper Towns! I think I started getting tired of hearing John write from a teenage male perspective that focuses so much on a female character. But during this novel, I really started to delve into that my existential stride of analyzing my teen self versus my adult self that I mentioned above. In these teen fiction novels, I read about these characters having these huge philosophical internal monologues. I read as they develop their outlook on the world. These teens of fiction make major decisions of personal mentality and I can vaguely remember doing the same things. I tried to take myself back to a time before I had been permanently marked and changed by experiences and people, some good and some bad. I tried to think back to before I had so many tallies of hurting other people and being a piece of emotional baggage they have to carry around. Look forward to a blog post about returning to my teen roots soon. Also, the version of this book had a FAQ with John and discussion questions from him too. If you can, I suggest finding this version! The Fault In Our Stars, John Green I’ve watched this movie countless times and have cried countless tears each time. I resisted reading the book because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to feel the feels as intensely. I WAS WRONG. I was delighted at the added depth of the book compared to the movie. I was excited to see how John did writing as a female character. He didn’t do bad, but he also didn’t take me to that teen place in my heart. But lord, did he write some absolutely beautiful words. The universe demands to be noticed. Pain demands to be felt. Some infinities are bigger than others. Gah, read the book watch the movie trust me. Note to Self, Samara O’Shea I thought that it would be fitting to read a book about journaling while reading all these teen books. I foolishly thought journaling went hand in hand with being a teen. Oh yeah, I still keep a journal as an adult. Oops. O’Shea offers really great tips on how to journal with suggestions on style, to subject, to frequency of entries. She shares her own journal entries from her teen years to late twenties. It’s a really insightful and practical read. I got some great advice on stream of consciousness writing, documenting personal experiences/emotions and am revisiting the idea of keeping a handwritten journal. I have been journaling since I was in middle school but stopped keeping a handwritten journal after high school. Still toying with that idea because I always get ideas of things I want to write down in the most random of places (AKA places other than when I’m in front of my computer). Get ready for the new haul…………….
As always, I want to hear your thoughts! And your book recommendations! Bonus Question: Do you journal? Do you diary?