Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Books That We Relate to the Most

We're doing something slightly different today.  Don't Ask is really directed at Alex and I's age group (21-30), people just out of college who are still trying to figure out what they're doing with their lives (Hint: Neither Alex, nor I, have completely figured this out yet, and we're getting closer and closer to that 30 mark.)  It's a book we can relate to in a lot of ways.

Sooo, we decided to talk aobut other books we can relate to.

I loved Paper Towns by John Green.  I have never connected with characters more than in this book.  Why, you might ask?  Well, for one, all the kids in it were band nerds (or our main character, who hangs OUT with band nerds.)  I was in band since the fourth grade and completely understand the band culture that Green portrays in the book.

The other thing that really made me relate to it, is the humor of everyone in the book is incredibly similar to my friends.  In an uncanny sort of way.

Probably the best example is, while they're driving up to NY, they almost hit a cow.  I think Q is driving, and Radar is in the front seat and moves the steering wheel so that they miss the cow and hit a fence instead, doing minimal damage to the car.

So why do I like this scene?  Because Radar's friends continually go on and on about how Radar saved their lives, though Radar insists he wasn't thinking about them at all; just himself.  When they finally get back on the road, everyone is silent for a moment until Ben says, "Hey, remember that time, ten minutes ago, when Radar saved our lives?"

This is EXACTLY the kind of thing my friends would do.  It's the funny, kind of obnoxious humor.  My friends never let things go (We tease a friend of mine once a year about something she said and we ALWAYS wait for that same event to do it.)  Q and his friends are exactly the same way.  I love it.  I love how easily I can relate to it and how I can see my life in these characters.

I have a little less literal connection with my "book I relate to the most," but it's more of a feeling thing.

My choice is Feed by M. T. Anderson. This book is set in the future, where everyone has the internet (or the evolved version of it, I guess) in their heads, the environment is destroyed, and school is a trademarked corporation that mostly just teaches kids how to use the feed (the internet in their heads) instead of facts or concepts.

No, I don't identify with any of that stuff. The part I identify with is the way Titus sees things. The book opens on him and his friends taking a trip to the moon (which turns out to totally suck... his words, not mine). He has a moment of disillusionment with the moon: it was cool when he was a kid, but now he sees it as run-down and lame. I think everyone has probably had one of these epiphanies, where they realize something is no longer how it was when they were younger.

There are several other scenes in the book like this; not about disillusionment (although there are several more of those). I feel like I also share characteristics with Titus's girlfriend Violet (who wants to change the world for the better but isn't exactly empowered to do it) and ex-girlfriend Loga (who is the grounding voice of the group).

On top of all that, Anderson is excellent at dialogue. The way Titus and his friends speak holds a mirror up to how my friends and I speak (or, at least, spoke in college) with some adjustments for development of new slang in the future.

No comments:

Post a Comment