Flowers for Algernon (Review)

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This is a review of the short story. I have not read the novel, but plan to do so as soon as possible.

It is sad to hear that classic short stories such as this one are being taken off the required reading school curriculum and being replaced with stories that are nowhere near as good.

Flowers for Algernon details, in the form of journal entries (progress reports), the life of a mentally retarded adult named Charlie Gordon, who is subject (willingly) to different tests and eventually an operation which will triple his IQ. Daniel Keyes puts the reader in the protagonist’s shoes like no other author can, and describes a startling yet-unexperienced life event: that of going from stupid to smart in the period of a few weeks.

Flowers for Algernon, even in its at-times simplistic and grammatically incorrect writing (remember, it’s entirely written by Charlie), manages to paint an incredibly descriptive picture of Charlie’s life but also manages to craft a mystifying and interesting yet also heartbreaking story, something ostensibly very difficult to do.

Flowers for Algernon is an absolute classic and it will make you rethink your perception of life, the human psyche and intelligence, and mentally retarded. It’s a monumentally inspiring story and should be read by all young adults, either in school or not.

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Paper Towns by John Green (a Review)

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Paper Towns, by John Green

Few books can keep you up reading till midnight, but those that do are the ones to be saved and cherished.

Paper Towns is one of those books.

The novel is set in Orlando, Florida. It follows Quentin Jacobson, the main character in his attempt to find his long-time neighbour, friend, and crush, Margo Roth Spiegelman. She has disappeared, just when he thinks he is closer to her than ever, and feels he has to find her. Throughout the journey he discovers more about himself, her, and the connections between people.

John Green does a remarkable job of capturing adolescence and the feeling associated with it and writes an incredibly moving and gripping novel. The story, while an entertaining read, also provides food for thought on the matter of how we perceive others and ourselves.

Those of you who wish to find out more about John Green should check out youtube.com/vlogbrothers as well as www.sparksflyup.com. He has written two other novels, and maintains a very popular video blog with his brother Hank (linked to above).

Paper Towns is an incredible read, one that you’ll never forget. I heavily recommend it to anyone, teenage or not.

To those of you disappointed by the quality of this review, I apologize. I had an appointment with procrastination. Oh, and it’s my first review.

NaNoWriMo

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NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month is an event held annually from November 1st to November 30th. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel. The idea is to challenge yourself, and to write without restraints. I’m unofficially participating, and I admit that I expect to fail. Although maybe that’s not such a good attitude. In any case, I am trying, and I know that I’ve inspired someone else to try, so I’m hoping I’ll inspire someone else. I’d like to hear from you, for any reason. Lemme know.