Sunday, 19 May 2013

Sunday May 19, 2013 YAC (Youth Advisory Council) Book Reviews

This week, our column features content by members of the TBPL Youth Advisory Council. Read on for local teens’ thoughts on some literary classics, and visit the TBPL teen blog or Justin’s Comics Corner on the Teen Zone website for more reviews written by local youth!

Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne: Verne’s telling is full of suspense with small events leading towards the challenge of following a journey that could be impossible. The narrator, Axel, is full of doubt when his uncle professor Otto Lidenbrock finds an old book with a cryptogram message left by an Icelandic scientist. The note states that this scientist had taken a journey to the center of the Earth and gave simple directions on how others can reach the center as well. The professor sees this as an opportunity for fame and decides that he, along with his nephew and an Icelandic guide, will follow this journey. Verne gave great descriptions throughout the novel. Although there were many terms of different rocks and prehistoric species, there’s no need to know more than what Verne describes. The narrator Axel, who would rather stay at home with his young love, allows himself to be dragged around because of his uncle’s temper. But Axel is shown to have some humour during the adventure.Journey to the Centre of the Earth is a good, short read that anyone can enjoy and will most likely love. – Review by Shayla Hickerson

This Side of Paradise by F Scott Fitzgerald: While The Great Gatsby is on everyone’s mind due to the Baz Luhrmann version, we should take time to remember Fitzgerald’s other great books, such as This Side of Paradise. The book follows the rich dreamer Amory Blaine as he goes through life and love in the 1920’s. Amory and his mother travel the world together attending parties and socializing. Eventually, he decides he wants to attend school and starts to find out about girls and love. Amory begins ‘courting’ a young, rich girl in his class, but ultimately his lack of real life love experience renders this experience a dud. As his school experience progresses, Amory becomes a typical All-American football playing boarding school boy. But still, Amory wants more so he plans to attend Princeton and make it in the big leagues. It is at Princeton that the story begins to get real. Amory’s story mirrors that of a kid with big dreams who loses what he really wanted and who he wanted to be along the way. This novel isn’t a love or a coming of age story, in my opinion, but it is realism and it makes me think about the way society looks at love and romance and makes me question things, which I feel is always a good thing while reading. I would recommend This Side of Paradise to readers who enjoyed The Great Gatsby, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, or the movie 500 Days of Summer. – Review by Karol Sekhon

Laura Prinselaar

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