With hectic college routines and the never ending flow of exams and important assignments, many may find innumerable reasons for why they cannot give time to fictions and some good reads. But there are many reading enthusiasts who find the time to read no matter what. Reya Shreya Rai spoke to some teenage girls, each with different tastes and inspirations, to learn about their favorite books and writers and what they think make these works unique.
Kafka on the Shore
When I come to think of it, what has influenced me the most until now has been ‘Kafka on the Shore’ by Haruki Murakami. I feel that of all the books that he has written, this book is by far the best. It is filled with characters so weird that only Murakami can properly justify their weirdness and make it look absolutely reasonable. It’s not the type of book that makes you want to race through the pages or want to foresee the end, but it takes you on a slow, steady journey through a slightly bumpy road. It’s said that good books compel one to reread one’s own soul and I came to experience it while reading this one. What got me was the characters struggle to accept and overcome every obstacle in their lives with patience and resilience. ‘Kafka on the Shore’ was not just a book for me, but a reflection of the desires and trials that I face daily. Reading the book, I felt understood.
The Kite Runner
The one book that I really love has to be ‘The Kite Runner’ by Khaled Hosseini. I have never looked at Afghanistan or friendship in the same way as I did before reading the book. The love Hassam possesses for Amir is one of the purest form of love that exists. His love and devotion for Amir is no less than that of a mother to her child. The story is set in Afghanistan during its peak moments of destruction and it’s amazing to see both sides of a country that people seem to comprehend as a warzone. There are serious issues involved in the daily life of Amir and Hassan and seeing it unfold makes you feel like you are watching it happen through our own eyes. It’s beautiful to witness a bond so strong between so called upper-class and someone from the pit of the lower-class society. Despite the privileges that Hassan could seek through Amir, he holds only love for him in his heart, and this is what moved me so deeply; a love so selfless and naïve at the same time. ‘The Kite Runner’ talks about war, struggle, death, friendship and love in the most beautiful ways possible.
The Stolen Children
My most recent read is probably the best I have come across so far. ‘The Stolen Children’ by Carmel Bird is a book about how Australian children of mixed race were separated from their families as a part of a long-term government plan to assimilate Indigenous people into the dominant white community by removing the children from their families at a young age, separating them from their own cultures, traditions and identity. This book really inspired me because these kids, separated from their families at tender ages of under five or so, still remember what wrong took place in their early lives and yet they strive hard in what they do as they work as slaves. They never complain about their sufferings whilst working at such young ages. It made me contrast the easy life of teenagers of our generation who make it a habit to complain about everything that they come across and give up hope in the first sighting of an obstacle. After reading Bird’s work, I felt motivated to work harder and love life more than I did before.
Me Before You
My current favorite read is ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes. I actually borrowed it from my best friend because the cover looked attractive so in my context, I judged a book by its cover and came to fall in love with it. The protagonist is a 35 years old man named Will Traynor who has had an accident and become a quadriplegic. Then there’s the simple-minded 26-year- old women by the name of Louisa Clark who’s hired by Will’s mother in hopes that she might boost his morale and show him a reason to continue his life. “Shoved up so hard against someone else’s life,” she reflects, “forces you to rethink your idea of who you are.” The book is filled with the struggles that Will goes through, how the society still has trouble accepting differently-abled people, the love that blossoms slowly but surely between the two and finally, the bitter reality that life puts forward. I personally loved it because it’s not just a chick-lit but it’s got a titanic of morals and it really makes you reflect on life as you get immersed in the story.
Perks of being a wallflower
I cry with the protagonist every time I read the ‘Perks of Being a Wallflower’ by Stephen Chbosky because I understand how it feels when everybody keeps leaving, when you’ve got a tragic incident in life that haunts you every single day. This book taught me that other people might have worse problems in their lives but we’re still entitled to our own grievances; we don’t need to compare the intensity of other’s problems with our own; fret over how we accept our sadness. It gives me a consolation that it’s all right to fret. It also made me realize that people waste their love on people who are in no position to return it. When you reach the end of the book, you feel as if nothing will ever be right in Charlie’s life, yet Charlie manages to keep a calm façade, explains to the readers that everything might not be right in the current situation but it will turn out fine eventually. If he can hope for better things, I feel as if I can too and that is why I simply love the book and would read it a thousand times over.