Book report 6: “Paper Towns”

In the book “Paper Towns”, written by John Green, we learn about how actually doing what you want in life will lead to far more enjoyment overall. Also, don’t get too caught up in the little things, as that will only stop you from properly enjoying things. John shows this in the book by having a girl come and take the main character(Quentin) out on a fun little adventure one night, and through out it, she explains her way of life, and how she thinks. But that is only the beginning. After that, she suddenly leaves home without telling anyone. She left a series of clues that can be followed by someone who truly cares. And so Quentin, who just so happens to have fallen in love with this girl, decides to track her down. To do this, he has to change the very way in which he lives his life, and how he treats different aspects of it. He actually gets out there and has a fun time. Then he finally tracks her down, only to discover that she isn’t planning on coming back. And yet he makes the best out of an unfortunate situation, with a new mindset on life.

The reader understands this message as John makes certain to include multiple with interesting lives, while the Quentin has just one thing. Because of this, at no point do we see his friends not have an interesting, and fun-filled life. They each have nicknames, and things they are known for. But Quentin has nothing but an ‘ordinary’ life. Until the events of the story unfold. It changes everything for him, and shows him how you can have a fun time, and experience great things, no matter who you are, or what you did before. He goes on an adventure to hunt down the person he loves, and at the end learns that the end goal is great and all, but he should really enjoy the journey too. It’s all quite fun if you learn to look at it right.


Book report 5: “Made You Up”

In the book, “Made You Up”, written by Francesca Zappia, we learn that reality is a difficult thing to understand, and that everything around you could literally just be your imagination. Francesca shows this in the story by having the main character(Alex) be schizophrenic. That means she can’t tell the difference between reality, and her delusions. We get to experience her life as, for the first time, she goes to school. Alex meets boys, and girls, and other new people. Then she discovers a huge plot between a girl, her mother, and the principle. Alex then attempts to figure it all out. She gains friends while doing this, and a new understanding of everyone around her, particularly her sister. Then she discovers…none of it is real. The very way we are introduced into the story means that we don’t realise this until she does. And so the shock is quite great for her and us. Like realising she had completely misunderstood the plot. That her sister died 5 years ago, but her parents didn’t want to say so. Also, that boy she thought she imagined was real, but then she continues to think, and realises she might just be imagining that too. Also the fact that the girl’s mother had died years ago, and that the principal had in fact being making the girl do stuff she didn’t want to do. In the end, she goes to a mental hospital to seek help for her problems. And by the end of it, as it turns out…the boy was real, but by then we aren’t particularly trusting of her view of reality, and so it is left up to us, the reader, to decide if what she experienced was real, or not. 

The reader learns about the message the book tries to portray, by experiencing it in a way for themselves. Since we can only see the story unfold through the main character’s view of the world, we only ever know what she knows. So when Alex believes something to be real, then it is real. And when she says something isn’t real, then it isn’t real. But this reality we create is completely broken multiple times. By doing this, Francesca shows how reality really is, and how at any moment, it could turn out to be completely-false, or partially-false, or in fact, real when we believe it couldn’t be. And that understanding this reality for what it really is, is extremely difficult, and even impossible for some people.

Book report 4: “Ready Player 1”

In the book “Ready Player 1”, written by Ernest Cline, we learn about a few things. Like, don’t judge a person based on their appearance, or, always try as hard as possible if you want to achieve your dreams. Ernest shows this message to the reader through the use of many different people. Each one of them is different, but they all created a false avatar of them selves on the OASIS, a virtual reality game that is basically like another universe. Besides it being a way to escape their dystopian reality, when they enter the game they can create a new life image for themselves. This is really well shown when we see one of the main characters friends for the first time outside of the game. They are a white, straight, male inside the game. But outside it, they are a black, gay, female. This is an example of how different each person is, and that judging them in real life based on how they look would be incorrect. The other moral is shown due to the fact that for the last 5 years in this world, people have been hunting down the ultimate Easter egg, 200 billion dollars, and the ownership of the OASIS. The first to find it wins that. It is the main characters dream to win it, but is unlucky with how poor he is. Yet he continues to work hard to achieve his  dream of finally winning it, and proving himself to the world.

Ernest Cline keeps the story real, yet uses enough of the OASIS to keep people interested. He does this by having moments of reality, showing how bad the world has become, and how difficult it is to survive it. Then there is the fact that it also shows how greedy and overpowering other people can be, and how much of a challenge it is to go against these people. In the end, these people are defeated, with help from a large group of people, each one quite useful in their own way, proving that looks don’t mean anything. It also proves that the determination to continue with your dream, no matter how hard it gets, will allow you to succeed and defeat whatever is in your way.

Book report 3: “Lord of the flies”

In the book “Lord of the flies”, written by William Golding, we learn about how the base of human nature is evil and destructive, and how a collective society is the only reason humans don’t destroy themselves and the world around them. William shows this message throughout the story by having this group of males kids, all younger than 12, try to survive together on this lost island. It doesn’t go well. The kids very quickly begin working together, and making fire. This results in at least one death. Then the reader gets to watch as every single one of the kids begins to go crazy and give in to their animal desires. Only 1 kid(Piggy) on the entire island is apart from this, and that is only because he looks so different, and is the only smart one there. Just to push in the cruel desires of mankind, William has Piggy killed off, by a large boulder being pushed off a cliff onto his head. By the end of the book, the island is burning down, and their original leader is being hunted. Obviously humanity did not do a good job in Williams eyes.

The reader picks up on this message by the fact that all the symbols in the book relate to the idea of humanity being evil and destructive. For instance, the scar(A large area of land destroyed by the plane humans piloted), the conch(A shell that symbolized society, that was later destroyed, and many more). As the reader finishes the book, they are fully aware of the point of view that humanity is destructive and evil, and that society is the only thing that stops us from destroying everything.

Book report 2: “Looking for Alaska”

In the book “Looking For Alaska”, written by John Green, we learn about how death can come at any time, and that dealing with it is quite difficult. John shows this message throughout the story, as every character encounters a death at some point in their life, and we get to see the rather depressing after effects of this. We follow the journey of Miles Halter entering a new high school, and his rather fortunate meeting with some good friends. Then later into the story we get to watch Miles and his new friends deal with the fact that a girl called Alaska died in a car crash, after they got her out of the school to go driving somewhere. Basically, they helped in her eventual death. Then afterwards, they try to figure out why she wanted to go out driving. Miles is depressed and doesn’t want to know why it happened, for fear of what he would discover. But his friend forces him to realise that what he is doing is just wrong, and that he is keeping a false image of Alaska in his head. After realising this, they finally come up with a rather accurate theory as to why Alaska went out driving on that night.

The reader picks up on this message by the fact that John made death a central point in the story. Alaska dying, her mother dying, and Miles fascination with last words. Alaska’s death was totally unexpected to the main characters, as was the death of Alaska’s mother when she died by an aneurism. Both were a surprise, and in both cases, all involved blamed themselves for the death. The reader was the only one expecting anything to happen, as there was countdown per chapter, but even then it wasn’t known what would happen. So the sadness and shock still existed for us. By the end, the reader has realised that death is extremely sad, and sudden, with pretty much no way to deal with it. And the effect into the future of someone dying is huge, as that too affects everyone around them.

Book Report 1: “Mortal Fire”

In the book “Mortal Fire”, written by Elizabeth Knox, we learn about how if you want things to go well in life, then you must remain determined to do so, no matter the risk it might hold for us, and no matter what it means in the short-term. Elizabeth Knox displays this message by writing Canny’s journey through learning magic, and of the learning of the valley’s even darker secret. This being that leaders of the family had created a magic charm that drained all that came there of their magic, and memories of the magic. Once Canny discovers this, and the fact that the longer she stays, the more of her life force she loses, she immediately begins to try to find a way to survive with her memories intact. Determined to find a way, she discovers more about magic than thought possible, and then takes a risk that could mean being lost in time forever. And yet, through pure luck at one point, she survives the great risks involved with her plan. The problem with her plan is that she had no idea if a ‘broken’ her could accidentally happen upon a little magic charm that allows her to remember everything, and regain her old life. In fact, it was such a close call that after 10 or so years, she was about to leave the magic charm behind forever. That is how Elizabeth told us of how even the greatest of risks might need to be taken in order to survive.

The reader picks up on this message as they read through what Canny had to do in order to discover what she was curious about. This is because of the way it is played out. As the reader goes through the story, they gain more and more information, at the same rate as Canny. Elizabeth also uses the language feature of “Atmosphere” where from the beginning she as creating an air of curiosity and danger. By doing this, the reader will begin to wonder more and more about what is happening, and realise how dangerous the things that are happening are. The reader, like Canny, realises that the only way to properly live life and gain anything is to take a risk and then work to make your life great!