For today’s blog post I thought I’d recommend three novels that surround writing. In each book our protagonist is an aspiring writer of sorts.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Part of this book’s appeal is Rainbow Rowell’s gorgeous writing. It’s a book I continuously turn to when I want relaxation, inspiration, entertainment, beauty. Every box is checked; the characters are relatable, the story original, clever, interesting, humorous. It’s also longer than a lot of YA novels, so it’s great when you want to be lost in a story for a while.
The book follows Cath, a twin going to college for the first time. Her identical twin wants more freedom and independence and requests a different roommate, leaving nervous Cath to navigate meeting new people on her own.
I love how the book captures many aspects of life. The reader doesn’t just get a perspective on student-life, we get the full picture of family, relationships, writing, study; every part of Cath is explored. The way the book is real without exaggerating things is what stands out to me, and the beauty in her living a life she’s just getting used to.
The writing aspect is explored as Cath writes fanfiction (and is internet-famous because of this) and studies writing and literature at college. The battle between these two worlds is so well done in this novel; as Cath prioritises fanfiction whilst being told to find her own voice rather than taking someone else’s characters. It’s a fresh take on something intriguing, and allows character development and proves educational for the reader.
My rating: 5/5 stars
The Green Wind and The Wind is Silver by Thurley Fowler
These are actually two books, with The Wind is Silver being the sequel. They are short and easy to read, being designed for a slightly younger audience than my 22 (!) years of age.
Unfolding is life for the Robinson family starting in 1948. The time is hard for Jennifer’s (eleven years of age) family as they live on a farm and struggle to get by at points. The sequel sees Jennifer in her mid-to-late teens, still living on the farm but thinking about her future.
These books are the very simply, but incredibly poignant and wholesome. As I’ve said before, a well-written book should be enjoyed even as you age. Nothing drastic happens to Jennifer, but watching her grow up and gain confidence in her writing is an absolute joy. There are times when she is made fun of for her writing (her style is very poetic, and other kids at school laugh at her for caring about her essays and education), but she rises as a character and embraces her passion for words.
The portrayal of balancing real life circumstances with a passion for writing is realistic and captivating; the wrestle of needing to look after her family and growing up very quickly in a difficult time whilst being true to herself.
My rating: 4/5 stars
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
Many of you know the movie of the same title, featuring the amazing Audrey Hepburn. It was a few years after seeing the movie for the first time that I realised it was a book first of all, a shock to the system when the endings were not the same.
On the first page of the story, we read that our protagonist has decided to write about Holly Golightly, a girl he knew who lived in the apartment below his a long time ago. The reader learns of our protagonist’s adventures with Holly; our protagonist is writing their story to the reader. In that sense, this novel isn’t particularly focused on writing. But I like that she has prompted such a reaction from him that he needs to write it down.
In the movie, Audrey Hepburn’s Holly is a glamorous, charismatic, quirky character. In the book we go deeper than that, and see many aspects of a woman we probably didn’t want to. She’s rough, emotional, flawed; a wild thing. Similar to ‘The Great Gatsby’, the characters aren’t likeable, which conflicts with the beauty of the writing itself.
My rating: 4/5 stars
There’s something so joyous in finding a novel surrounding the world of writing; it’s like being surprised by a friend you were looking for.