Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Favorite Coming of Age Story

I know that we just reviewed this, but Fangirl made that much of an impression on me.  I loved Cather's character.  I loved how Rowell used Cather's fanfiction to be a parallel to Cather's life and needs.  I love that, even though the two sisters are twins, they each had to figure out college in their own way.

Rowell's writing always seems to just blow me away (I got my hands on an Advanced Reader's Copy of Landline, and I loved it just as much as the rest of her stuff.)  I think that college is a transition time that doesn't get touched on a lot, because you're supposed to be an adult by that point.  But, the truth is, you're not.  You're still transitioning into adulthood, I mean, that's the whole POINT of college, and I think Rowell really shows that.  She makes a point of comparing Old Life At Home to New Life At College.

Really, if we haven't already convinced you to read this, you really just should.

A lot of YA fiction deals with coming-of-age stories, so I have a lot of favorites that fall into this category: Hunger Games, Harry Potter, even Divergent, but also things like Ashes and Starters. But Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is my favorite book that I like because of its coming-of-age-ness.

It's about four sisters growing up. It deals directly with the fact that sometimes even the closest of sisters grow apart, and that's okay because they're still sisters. It shows quite plainly - but artfully - that people who start off very much the same can turn into entirely different adults... but those entirely different adults can still be friends and family to one another.

I think I like this example of a coming-of-age story because it's so positive. (Okay, if you've read it, you know there are some really unhappy times, but I'm talking about the overall message.) There's conflict and arguments and bad times, but the message is really that it will all turn out okay if you put in a little effort. And that part is important... they use the literary allusion of Pilgrim's Progress to hammer that home, that you need to put forth effort and try to maintain relationships; it doesn't just happen magically.

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