Book Musings: Comfort Reads

I have talked a lot about comfort reads. I think I’ve asked every single reader friend of mine what their comfort reads are...and mostly they’ve stared at me with a blank expression. That’s probably because I made up the term. But the feeling towards a comfort read is universal.



Comfort Read: A book you keep going back to, again and again, especially when your whole life turns upside down.

I have had two comfort reads from my childhood: The Room on the Roof by Ruskin Bond and Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster. I go back both these stories because despite whatever might be going on in my life, they give me the strength to hope for a better tomorrow. At the core, both stories are about orphans who are trying to find their place in the world. They both share the sentiment that they crawled out on to the surface of the world but they don’t truly belong to it.



Rusty’s friend Kishen helps him realize that if he feels as though he belongs nowhere, it could also mean “you belong everywhere.” That is one beautiful way of looking at things. And I used that very situation when I talked about my novella, When Our Worlds Collide’s Zayn Banerjee’s feeling of rootless. Akriti tells him the same thing, citing The Room on the Roof as an example. When you grow up shuffling through cities it is difficult to feel connected to one place. As opposed to that, when you grow up and stay in the same place forever, your roots are so deeply buried into the ground that it hurts to even dream about leaving the familiarity behind. It is during this time when you’re at war with yourself that these very books give you something to hold on to.

A classmate of mine had gifted me the copy of Daddy-Long-Legs that I own. I say classmate because I don’t think we were ever friends. In fact, I don’t think I made any real friends till I was quite old. But this book is special because it’s one of the only things the classmate had ever given me, and sadly we can never be friends now because she’s no longer here on Earth with us. But I’ll always be thankful to her for gifting me the story of Judy Abbott and her Daddy-Long-Legs. I was fifteen when I read that story (already into the world of Harry Potter), and I could relate to Judy so much. Not the fact that she was an orphan but the fact that she felt that she didn’t belong to the world and that she was struggling to be a writer.

I identified with Judy’s love for writing and her constant realisations that she wasn’t good enough to be one. In the end, of course, through hard work and determination, she became a wonderful little author and she found her happily ever after. The thing her story taught me was that sometimes happy ever afters don’t get handed to you. Sometimes, you need to go after it with a club.

So, what are the books you turn to when you’re down? What’s the one book that you just have to read every single year? Let me know! Maybe I’ll have a new comfort read added to my list based on your suggestions.

Book Review: 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Book Name: 13 Reasons Why

Author Name: Jay Asher

Publisher Name: Razorbill

No. of Pages: 336

Year of Publication: 2011

Book Buy Links: Amazon|Kindle|



About The Book:

Thirteen Reasons Why is a young-adult fiction novel about a guy named Clay Jensen who discovers that he was one of the thirteen reasons why his classmate and crush, Hannah Baker, committed suicide.
The book begins with Clay getting home from school one day to find a package on his porch that is addressed to him from an anonymous person. He opens it and finds a shoe box with seven cassettes recorded by Hannah, in which she reveals names of all the people and the reasons for her suicide. From the cassettes, Clay gets to know and feel the pain Hannah that went through. he finds out how, unintentionally, a bunch of people including himself led to her taking her own life.
About The Author:

Jay Asher is a 39-year old famous American author who is popular for his teen novels. He went to college in Cuesta Community College, where he wrote two children's books for a class called Children's Literature Appreciation. These were his first attempts at writing and though he had decided to become an elementary school teacher, he later made up his mind to become a professional writer.
A few of the books he has authored and coauthored are the Future of Us, Positive: A Memoir, Love in Progress, Brighton Beach Murder and Gay Experiences 4 Short Stories, 4 Plays. Jay Asher has been married to Joan Marie since 2002.

Author’s Social Media Links: Twitter|Blog




Review:

I read 13 Reasons Why a long time ago and never really got around to reviewing the book. This was mainly because I have just been too caught up with my own little world, trying to come up with the perfect story. When I reminded that no story is actually perfect. And with every story I read, I seem to lose a piece of my soul. I don’t quite remember how to stumbled across the YA genre but it’s a genre I can never outgrow. Even if I pick up novels targeted at adults, I will always keep coming back to this genre.

If I remember correctly I read 13 Reasons Why almost two years ago, when I first got my Nook Book and I decided that I simply had to binge watch the novels that had been suggested by my fellow bookworm, Debdatta Dasgupta Sahay.

I loved the concept of using a cassette player because that was something which we’d grown up with. Somehow the whole impact of story would have been lost had Hannah tried to record podcasts. I loved how the whole story takes place over the course of one night and in that one night, Clay’s perspective of the classmate on whom he had had harbored a crush is completely destroyed and build back up again.

The book reinforces the idea that it is very easy to kick someone when they’re already down and that to group together and bully someone isn’t an act of bravery. It’s an act of completely cowardice. It touches upon important subjects such as teen suicide and how one of the leading factors of this decision is peer pressure and bullying: both mental and physical.
It is a very well told tale and it has been picked up my Netflix to be made into a 13-episode series. Given that it is called, 13 Reasons Why, I’m very excited to see it. Aren’t you?
In case you have not read this book yet, do pick it up! You don’t be disappointed but you will be heartbroken for quite some time.