For me, the greatest treasure of all has always been reading. The fact that I can carry a different universe; full of people and places around in my bag, is literally the best thing ever. If I could save one thing from my burning down house- it would always be a book. It isn’t always about just the words either- some books have special meanings, stories behind them- and that’s what makes them treasured. Despite me seeing my books as children, (in a totally non weird way), some books are just better than others. So now I’ll tell you about a few of my favourites- and desperately try to persuade you to read them. I promise that if you have a beating heart you’ll love them*…
*Also, if you don’t have a beating heart you’ll probably still love them. They really are that amazing.
1) Matilda by Roald Dahl.
So lets do this chronologically, spanning over my great 14 years rolling around being largely insignificant. Matilda is the first book I ever remember reading, and along with Harry Potter (I couldn’t review that because everyone ever alive has read those books, right?) it inspired me in the best sense of the word. Matilda is the extraordinary girl who has read Dickens, Steinbeck and Hemmingway all before she reaches five years old. Her parents are annoying and insolent- they just don’t get Matilda’s complete awesomeness. The book focuses on Matilda coping with her family, her evil headmistress and her superior intellect. Oh, she also has magical powers. This book told me that reading was cool and that one day I would definitely contract magical abilities. Don’t disregard this book because it’s for kids either, if you’ve read it- read it again- this time you’ll pick up on Roald Dahl’s sparklingly witty lines that you probably missed out on the first time… This book is a massive part of my childhood and one of the greatest treasures of my bookshelf.
2) The curious incident of the dog in the night-time by Mark Haddon.
If the title hasn’t already made you want to go and buy this book right now, then hopefully my little description/review/shameless begging will. This is probably the first ‘adult’ book I read, but it’s an amazing read no matter how old you are. The protagonist and narrator is fifteen-year-old Christopher Boone, who has Aspergers syndrome. The book deals so well with this, without making it a book about a disabled boy whom you should feel sorry for. There are also lots of interesting elements to this book centred around Christopher’s love for lists and maths. It starts of as a book about a murdered dog, but it becomes so much more than that and leads Christopher on a journey that turns his life upside down. The curious incident is a really interesting read, with amazing character development and plot twists but it’s also a book that doesn’t require too much attention. It’s one of those ‘omg I cannot put this down I will die holding this book if I have to I must find out the end’ type things and worthy of the term ‘treasure’ any day.
3) The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugendes.
My original plan was to have a classic as my third review, then it would be a sort of journey through my reading choices growing up- but then I saw The Virgin Suicides on my shelf and I knew I had to write about it. If you’re a fan of Rookiemag and Tavi, then you’ll probably be aware of The Virgin Suicides. It’s become a cult thing with a great fan base, largely thanks to the late 1990’s Sofia Coppola adaptation. But in case you aren’t up to date with your nineties pop culture; this book is about the five Libson sisters, their lives, deaths, and the legacies they leave behind. Despite the harrowing premise, this book is really a modern day fairytale in the way it is written. Eugendes manages to write about regular American life in a way that is so beautiful and image provoking. He turns things like tree houses and make up into the stuff of mythology. The beautiful writing is really what makes me think of this book as a ‘treasure’. It has such an original feel, that makes you think it should be buried in a chest for people to dig up in a hundred years time. The Virgin Suicides is a mesmerising novel and if you’re into tragic fairy tales, you’ll adore it.
Jen is 14 and lives in the tiniest, most insignificant of villages in the north of England. She spends her time moaning along to The Smiths, writing angsty haikus and reading rad books. She really want to be ginger; but it hasn’t happened yet so you’ll probably find her in my bedroom,ruining her hair with luminous fire colours.