With a couple of days of cancelled classes, a nice long weekend for me, AND the warm weather, I got so much reading done! Words can’t express how happy sunshine and books make me me! Anyone else? Side note: today is ALSO the first day of Spring.. so that makes me even happier.
Neal Shusterman has a fan in me. I’ve read a few of his novels and loved them, so I figured another one wouldn’t disappoint me. Challenger Deep is a novel that received the National Book Award in 2016. And since then has continuously been read by young adults, and people like me!
Challenger Deep goes above and beyond any expectations I had. I’ve never read a book where the main character suffers from Mental illness… which is sad and highly problematic in its own way. But that’s besides the point because in this novel we get to live in Caden’s (main character) mind. We get to suffer with the illness that he suffers with. Shusterman does a great job at portraying reality and Caden’s reality with his illness. And because of this we experience the emotions that go through Caden’s head when he is taken far away into his hallucinations. Overall, I think it’s a great read for anyone interested in experiencing a novel with mental illness. Rather than sugar coating the symptoms of mental illness, they’re made real.
The Serpent King
The other book that I read this week is The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner. He received the Morris Award on this book, and I do believe that it was well deserved! This is the story about three different teenagers about to graduate high school. I mean really different… who all occupy living space in the same small town. They fight for what they believe in no matter what every one else is telling them. They fight to make a better future for themselves. The teenagers don’t let family or religion or any outsiders get them down when they’re minds are made up.
I would say this is an interesting read! I really loved the way Zentner was able to write about three very different people creating a friendship. We get an entire year to be with them as they go about their daily struggles of having issues of faith, messed up fathers, and bullying encounters. I couldn’t help but care for Travis, Lydia, and Dill. They stood for a lot of teenagers that struggle today in small towns. Coming from a small town, I know the small town standards that often times pressure kids into conforming to its ways instead of letting them live the way they desire with their own thoughts. I’d recommend this book for sure!
So this is the story about a boy who thinks he loves a girl and tries to make things work. He spends one night with her and thinks she’s the greatest, but notices that she has only left him with clues. Quentin, goes on an adventure to find this girl, Margo, and maybe even find himself along the way.
John Green has never disappointed me before. BUT this novel wasn’t for me! I really didn’t enjoy the story of Paper Towns, but that’s probably because I’m not a fan of mystery. That’s something that has always separated my sister and me from our reading habits – she loves mystery and I don’t.
I struggled with this book not for its mystery alone, but also for its characters. They weren’t connecting with me, or something was off. Margo seemed a bit too much involved with herself to even notice Quentin. But this didn’t stop Quentin’s obsession to find her. Which this whole deal just annoyed me. No one does this in real life (that i’m aware).
Maybe there’s a teen out there that loves this book. However, I don’t think it’s realistic and I just couldn’t find myself enjoying anything after the first half of it, which really disappointed me. Maybe it really is great, it just didn’t compare to the other two novels I read this week.
Sorry to end on a bitter note, but happy reading!