Sometimes I read books, love them, and want to write papers about them. These are scholarly books. And I don't always love the plot. Sometimes I even hate the characters and find myself wishing there was someone nicer to read about. But the author's masterful writing keeps me tuned in until the end.
Other times I read books like the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson, and I say, "These books are so superficial. Lit majors should not read these books." And then I laugh because I am not that kind of literature major, and I read the rest of the series.
The best books, in my opinion, read like pop-fiction and are as deep and moving as any serious fiction novel I had to analyze in my many, many literature classes, pen gripped in my white-knuckled hand. Not because of nerves. I write really, really hard. It dents paper halfway through a notebook.
Why use braille? Use my handwriting.
Anyway. The book of the day is Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin. Our protagonist, Naomi, takes a bad fall and in soap-opera-worthy consequence--loses the last six years of her memory.
Instead of being corny, as this sounds, the author takes this as an opportunity to explore what gives us definition as individuals. What makes us who we are? Is it our past, our relationships with others, the way other people see us? And, if we have the opportunity, can we completely redefine ourselves, or will the people around us force us back into being who we were before?
It's quite philosophical. Which is probably why I liked it so much.
Naomi, having lost the last six years of her life, is forced to return to the existence she had before, only without her mother (affair, divorce) and with her father's new fiance. She also has to deal with her new sister. And a host of (former) friends. And some new ones. And her boyfriend (named, shockingly, Ace) and the guy who saved her life, James. And her best friend, Will, who wears a smoking jacket, calls her Chief, and claims to know everything about her.
I refuse to give you anything else, as nothing else was on the book jacket and I believe telling you about the rest of the hurdles Naomi has to overcome will give things away. And I don't want to do that...because it's too much fun reading it for yourself, the way I did.
Also, this is one of those books I liked so much that I went out and bought. So there you are. I'm thinking book discussion on this one...