Tag: Looking for Alaska

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish Could Have Had Sequels

Posted August 6, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Top Ten Tuesday / 0 Comments

toptentuesdayI think I might be addicted to Top Ten Tuesday, I like joining in and having a set topic to work with. Top Ten Tuesday is a book blogger meme that is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week the theme is: Top Ten Books I Wish Could Have Had Sequels. This was a little tough but decided to divide the list and tell you five worlds I’d like to return to and then five stories I would like see been continued; these are normally characters I really enjoy reading about and wonder what happened to them after the book (I know, I know they ceased to exist).

Five worlds I would love to return to;

  1. Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
  2. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  3. The City & the City by China Miéville
  4. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  5. The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

Five stories that I’d like to see continue;

  1. Gentlemen & Players by Joanne Harris
  2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  3. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
  4. Looking for Alaska by John Green
  5. The People of Forever Are Not Afraid by Shani Boianjiu

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Posted August 18, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Young Adult / 0 Comments

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyTitle: The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Goodreads)
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Published: MTV Books, 1999
Pages: 224
Genres: Young Adult
My Copy: Paperback

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

I’ve wanted to read The Perks of Being a Wallflower for the simple reason that the synopsis reminded me of John Green’s Looking for Alaska, and let’s face it, John Green writes some great books. Stephen Chbosky’s debut novel is a real knock out; I’m not sure if he will write another one but judging by this book, I hope he does. Charlie is a wallflower, who is writing letters to an unknown friend as a therapeutical way to express his feelings about his life. His only friend is his High School English teacher who keeps giving Charlie great books to read. Charlie’s life changes when he becomes friends with some seniors; Patrick and Sam.

This book is third on the American Library Association’s list of the top ten most frequently challenged books as of 2009 for a few different reasons which I will look into one at a time.

Drugs: Alcohol and Drug experimentation is an issue teenagers have to deal with. While I don’t agree with the use of drugs, banning a book because of drug use is just avoiding the issue at hand.
Homosexuality: This should never be an issue, why do we want to hide the fact that some people have a same sex attraction? I kind of feel like avoiding this issue is a primary cause for the hurt and mistreatment of homosexuals. We should be accepting of everyone.
Sex: If a young adult book isn’t dealing with the issue of sex then you are just saying that teenagers shouldn’t have hormones.
Suicide: This book is not promoting suicide, it is exploring the hurt and the effect of a suicide has on the people closest to the victim.

It is true that I’m opposed to censor and banning books, if we don’t talk about the issues and just avoid them, who will teenagers turn to if they have an issue? We need to allow people to express their feelings and create a world where it is acceptable to have a dialogue about the issues they are facing. Banning a book like this would never have a positive effect except for maybe make teenagers want to read it more.

Now that I’ve had a vent about challenging a book like this, I want to talk about what I love about this book. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a series of letters and I felt like I was having a sneak peek into the life of a struggling teenager that reminds me a lot of myself when I was in High School. The novel covers so many interesting aspects involved with being a teenager from depression, loneliness, sexuality, friendships, relationships and even music and literature.

Charlie is such a great character and I loved peeking into his life. Sam is adorable but I never fell in love with her like I did with Alaska but she still really helped the story. But my favourite character was the English teacher. I like that he encouraged Charlie to read books like The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Stranger and even Naked Lunch!

When I think of YA novels, these are the types of novels I really enjoy. John Green is a master at this realistic contemporary young adult novels; The Perks of Being a Wallflower is definitely another highly recommended one. I’m yet to read a David Levithan novel, but I’m looking forward to experiencing more books that are similar to this style.

While the writing did feel very basic, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is driven by the quirky life of Charlie and his letters. I never wanted to stop reading, I felt myself always wanting to know what will happen next. I really enjoyed this book and I’m excited about the coming film adaptation. Author Stephen Chbosky wrote the screenplay and is directing the adaptation so I think that it will be faithful to the novel, I just hope doesn’t lose the charm found in the book.


Monthly Review – July 2012

Posted July 31, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Monthly Reading / 0 Comments

How did everyone enjoy Life of Pi? What were your final thoughts? As you can see by my review, I didn’t think much of this book but I was pleased to see so many others enjoying the book. If you go the Goodreads forum you can see some interesting discussions about the book, zoology, religion, philosophy. This book was a great pick for a group read because of all the elements in the book worth discussing. Next month we are reading a book I’m really excited about; have you got your copy of The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov yet?

July has been a great month for me, mainly because I was on vacation for most of it. Luckily I had plenty of scheduled posts to keep people entertained and I hope there were some enjoyable posts for you. Because of the vacation I feel like my reading dropped off a little, but realistically it does seem to be about the same. Highlights for me this month include The Passage; a book I’ve been putting off but a wonderful and refreshing look at a post-apocalyptic world and the people struggling for survival. My local book club were reading Gold by Chris Cleave and what a wonderful novel this one is; the book follows three Olympic racers through their life leading up to London 2012, the characters really made this book. Lastly, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a YA novel that reminds me a lot of Looking for Alaska by John Green, it’s a brilliant and addictive read into the life of a high school wallflower.

  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
  • The Informers by Bret Easton Ellis
  • The Forrests by Emily Perkins
  • Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
  • Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
  • The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
  • Now You See Me by S.J. Bolton 
  • The Passage by Justin Cronin
  • The Trial by Franz Kafka
  • Gold by Chris Cleave
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky 

Question Tuesday: Have You Ever Felt That The Story Ended Just When The Real Story Was About To Begin?

Posted July 3, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Question Tuesday / 0 Comments

There are times when I feel like the book is just getting started when the book ends but then again there are times I feel a sense of closure from a book even if there is more books in the series. I haven’t read the rest of The Hunger Games series because I felt like the book ended at a good place and all I could see is an annoying love triangle if I went any further. But that might be another post; so I will head back to the original question. There are so many books I would love to have seen continued where I felt the story was just getting started or even that there was more of the story to be told. In Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters, Nancy is finally happy and I would like to know what happens next. Or Looking for Alaska by John Green where I feel we can continue Miles story and explore more of his life and the effects Alaska had on him thoughout the rest of his life; even though I think John Green did end the book in a good place. Also speaking of John Green, in Will Grayson Will Grayson, Tiny is finally appreciated at the end, I’m sure there is more of a story to tell there as well.

I know authors finish a story and that’s it, the characters cease to exist beyond that, but it is really hard not to wonder what might happen to these characters that we have formed a bond with. I’m not sure but I think this is why people write fanfic. The fall in love with these great characters and they want them to keep on living in one form or another.


Looking for Alaska by John Green

Posted May 11, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Young Adult / 0 Comments

“How will I ever get out of this labyrinth?” — Simón Bolívar

Looking for Alaska by John GreenTitle: Looking For Alaska (Goodreads)
Author: John Green
Published: Puffin, 2005
Pages: 221
Genres: Young Adult
My Copy: Paperback

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

I don’t think I’ve ever started a review with a quote, but these famous last words really are relevant to this book. Looking for Alaska tells the story of Miles; a kid obsessed with memorising famous last words. He is leaving a school where he has no friends to go to a boarding school. The reason; well according to Miles it is because of François Rabelais’ famous last words “I go to seek a Great Perhaps”. At this new school Miles experiences a lot of firsts, first friends, first cigarette, first kiss, first love and first heartbreak.

Alaska is the beautiful girl that Miles has a crush on and I can see why; she is a great character. She is an outspoken book nerd who, while she can get rather emotional, is the kind of female friend every high school boy dreams of having; obsessed with sex, flirting and teasing but ultimately one of the guys. But the thing I liked about Miles and Alaska (as well as the other characters) is their emotions and the way they act seem so familiar. It is easy to connect and understand what they are going through. It is hard to get the emotions right, and make them feel real; I know most YA books miss this completely but John Green makes it look so easy.

I really connected with Looking For Alaska, and I could probably talk about the awkwardness of the characters (including the awkward blow job), the views on religion and philosophy and even the pranks and mischief they get up to; but I will leave that for the readers to discover. I think the main thing I took away from this book is the fact that John Green wrote a book exactly like the stories I’ve attempted to write when I was in high school. The feeling of loneliness, being a geek, having a crush; Green captured this perfectly and he showed me how an expert writes a YA book about love and lost. I know I’ve been on a bit of a John Green kick lately, I’ve even been watching his YouTube channel constantly but I don’t think this will stop anytime soon, I can’t wait to read another one of his books.


Light Reading?

Posted April 27, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literature / 2 Comments

Recently my mother complained about my taste in books, calling them difficult or weird books to read. This led to her saying that she wouldn’t trust me to recommend her a book because she wants light and frivolous books. I’ve recommended her two books in the past; one was The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón which was not really light or frivolous but it is just a brilliant story and it has something for everyone in it; everyone except my mother. The other book was a lot lighter and easier to read, it was the exciting debut novel, S.J. Watson’s Before I Go To Sleep; which she didn’t like either. So what do I recommend to someone that doesn’t want to think or feel any sad thoughts?

Light reading is an interesting concept. While some people read too many romance novels that it can’t be healthy (Yes, you know who you are but at least you try my book recommendations), others turn to fantasy, science fiction and thrillers in the hopes to escape reality. Everyone has a different concept of light reading. For me; I think I do a lot of light reading but my concept of light reading normally involves pulp fiction or a dark thriller. Then again I seem to enjoy reading all types of books and find great pleasure in reading literary fiction, classics and others books people might think isn’t light.

Which brings me to an interesting article, found on Book Riot about The Problems of Reading for Pleasure, which talks about people’s favourite books and how they are never the type of books they actually read. The author of this article tries to understand why crime and romance novels are so popular but they never seem to on people’s favourite books list. Also he mentions the fact that maybe diversity in reading will lead to a richer and more diverse reading life. I love this article because it pleases the book snob in me and it also raises a very interesting point.

While I hope people are willing to try new genres and willing to listen to recommendations from fellow bibliophiles, I wonder; do people know a reader like my mother? What do you recommend and do you secretly try to help expand their minds with great literature that may also be light and enjoyable for the reader.

I thought about this for a long time and I think I’ve found some books I would recommend to my mother;

  • Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon