September 07, 2012

"If a body catches a body coming through the rye": books that embody the tortured teenage spirit

If you're an angsty teen trying to comprehend the purpose of your existence while dealing with the pressures of fitting in and finding your identity, then these books are for you! If I could ever give anybody a piece of advice, it would probably be to just read. A lot. Even if you're dealing with a problem that requires advice completely irrelevant to reading STILL DO IT. These books I have the pleasure with presenting to you today are always relevant and extremely quotable in everyday situations so you can show off. I have a tendency to get really intense and carried away with synopsis's and end up giving away the whole entire story so I will keep it to like one sentence of each book so I don't do that thing where I ruin everything.
  1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower: Social outcast and high school freshman, Charlie, narrates his experience of being befriended by two eccentric seniors through a series of letters to a complete stranger. This book deals with: identity, first love, peer pressure, the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and an adorable quirky shy boy. We really like this book at my work; notice the plethora of staff picks--->  *THIS BOOK HITS THEATERS AT THE END OF THIS MONTH AND IS STARRING THE LOVE OF MY LIFE (Logan Lerman adfjghlaekhrger) AS CHARLIE. WHO'S COMING WITH ME?? WARNING: I WILL SQUEAL AND CRY*

2. The Catcher in the Rye: After his expulsion from Pencey Prep, sixteen year old, Holden Caulfield, skips town to New York City just days before his expected return home for Christmas break. During his stay, Holden finds himself in situations that lead him to swear, drink a lot, call up old phony girlfriends, and question his own identity (again). Salinger's prose channeled through Holden is unique and very relatable to his youth audience, which consists of bad-asses and girls who can only read about such rebellious-but-actually-very-intelligent-and-down-to-earth-but-doesn't-show-it boys that they could use to make their fathers angry.

3. Submarine: Oliver is a very awkward, nearly 15 year old British boy who loves Jordana, monitors his parents sexual activity by the light dimmer in their bedroom, and is just trying to lose his virginity. He's like a quirky, outspoken Holden Caulfield and there is definitely a resemblance to The Catcher in the Rye in the way that after you read, you begin to become more aware (I don't even know what I'm saying anymore). Joe Dunthorne fills each page with hilarious teenage anxiety and adorable British words like "jumper" (pronounced "jump-ah", obviously, and is a sweater, obviously) and "mum" (which is YOUR MOTHER!! I don't know if that was a joke or not), and phrases like "God alive, I feel supple" (I have no idea what this means and honestly felt really uncomfortable typing it). This book will make you laugh and cry. But only from laughing so hard. I hope...if the case is otherwise please seek help.                                                                        
4. The Virgin Suicides: On a more serious note, The Virgin Suicides focuses on the five Lisbon sisters: Cecilia, Lux, Bonnie, Mary and Therese, through the first person plural perspective of the neighborhood boys who try and put together the pieces of the girls' lives up until their shocking suicides. This book is literally poetry for me... Every sentence flows so beautifully with descriptions so vivid it's like you are there with the boys watching Lux on the roof, and slowly becoming obsessed (in a nice way...if that's possible) with the beautiful Lisbon girls. I saw the film, directed by Sofia Coppola, before I had read the book, and the low saturation coloring with soft, angelic lighting perfectly embodied the dream-like, milky atmosphere that is created as one reads this book.                                                                                  

5. Never Let Me Go: I debated putting this book on this list because it doesn't exactly deal with the same subject matter as the last four, but I figured LET'S GO CRAZY and this one is too good not to mention. It's a dystopic novel set at first in a place called Hailsham boarding school, where children are taught no basic life skills, other than some art classes, and are kept in isolation at the school until they are 16-18 years old. The reason for this is the children there were only produced as clones of less important people into this world to be organ donors for normal beings in need. A good chunk of the beginning of the book focuses in on the childhood of the three main characters, Kathy (the narrator), Tommy and Ruth, as they grow up in Hailsham, and then follows them into their lives as Carers and Donors and the ongoing conflicts between the three of them. This time, this book will make you cry REAL LIFE TEARS FOREVER. Kazuo Ishiguro, the author, writes in a style unique to his own and really brings you into the life of Kathy as she struggles the reality of her existence, love, and loss.

SoOoOoOoOoOoOoOo there we go. Read them all. At the same time. Great.

Basically all of the books mentioned here...yeah pretty much all of them... have been made into FANTASTIC MOVIES, with the exception of Perks which I haven't seen yet, and Catcher which I don't think should be touched, with FANTASTIC ACTORS. Seriously each one of these that they turned into a movie has become one of my favorites! I will link the trailers to each book to watch as well because I'm such a sweetheart!!
  1. Perks: (OMG HE'S SO BEAUTIFUL)- Logan Lerman, Emma Waston, Ezra Miller, Paul Rudd (!!)
  2. Submarine: (EVERYONE HAS TO SEE THIS)- Craig Roberts, Sally Hawkins
  3. The Virgin Suicides: (LITERALLY JUST GOT CHILLS)- James Woods, Kathleen Turner, Kirsten Dunst, Josh Hartnett
  4. Never Let Me Go: (oh hey guise just crying already nothing to see here except my favorite person in the world Carey Mulligan, and not me crying nope)- Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Keira Knightley
That took a lot out of me. I'm emotionally exhausted and unstable now. Well, more than I was before.

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