October is an exciting month for any YA lit fan, because it includes Teen Read Week! In honor of this annual celebration of young adult literature, YALSA invited book-loving teens all over the world to apply to share their enthusiasm for reading in a guest post for The Hub. Thirty-one talented young writers were chosen, and we’ll be featuring posts from these unique voices all month long. Here’s Anjalika Chalamgari from Virginia.
Let’s just imagine that your super awesome blogger (whom you adore immensely) stops by the library, one of her usual hangouts, on a crisp Tuesday morning. Upon arriving, she decides to open a book near the Young Adult section whose cover seems quite interesting to her. (As we all know she never follows the expression â€œDon’t judge a book by its coverâ€ when it really comes to books- a hater of all things extremely literal). She flips to the first page of the book and begins reading the long narrow text inside. Then she turns to the next page, and then the next, and thenâ€¦ well, I assume get the picture. The main point is I, the blogger in this instance (who else could it be, really?), become rather engrossed in the book I picked up. Unfortunately, all books come to an end. And this one did too. (Why, oh why?)
Like most people, or at least most crazy book-loving people at least, I become inconsolable for quite some time and my mind drifts away to the adventures I took in that book. To the extreme where I call my mom the name of the main character’s mom. Yes- it did happen. All I really need is to do before I end up stuck in a ward for the insane, is extend my adventure for a little more time. So I do that in reviewing books. Reviewing books is like re-telling your stories and your thoughts in your last endeavor. You prolong the story far past the epilogue. It brings that sense of closure in book that the last page really didn’t bring. You’re left without the crazy desire for a sequel to the book- and don’t have to write a huge email to the author about it. Not like I did thatâ€¦ Anyway, the experience is finally complete when you finish up that review. Truly, I might not like to even read some books if I wasn’t able to review them and add my own personal thought to them. I realize that this may not be the case with certain individuals, but I guess an avid writer can’t survive without writing. (I guess I’m being a bit poetic now.)
Sometimes, I don’t just review books because it’s an avid hobby of mine. I’ve read (I do that a lot) that it’s unhealthy for you to swell up any sort of emotion inside of you, so reviewing books lets me release any feeling I have with that books in a more peaceful way. Most of us have some sort of feeling or sentiment with any book we read. I mean, all the books that I’ve read have left me with a certain aftertaste. I can sail through the emotions of inspired, thoughtful, happy, sad, angry, confused, and shocked all in one day of typical reading. I usually swim past the waters of anger more often- which we all do frequently I suppose. I always think at the end of either a really bad or a really good book (that just disappointed me with the endingâ€¦ you know who you are) â€œCouldn’t you have written that better?!â€There’s usually an array of anger levels, from irritated to slamming your head against the book, which I don’t suggest if you’re reading an e-book on a Kindle or iPad. Reviewing books is like releasing all that energy in a very relaxed way. Unless you’re so angry you break the keyboard of the computer you’re typing it up in. Which, I usually *try* very hard not to do.
I also make it my goal to help out the community by informing them of books that are a must-read-to-live and ones that are total time wasters. (I tried putting it on my community service hour log but to no avail.) I review the book, stamp my seal of approval on it, urge (beg) my friends to read it, and receive a warm noble feeling inside. Call me crazy.
I’m not trying to persuade you to take up reviewing books by elaborating my deep and great love for it- I like to think I’m attempting to explain to you, fellow reader, how some inner thoughts should be expressed, all in different ways. (If you didn’t get that from the whole post, it’s okay, I didn’t either.) Especially those you have with books. Because books are your escape from reality, books are your gate to experiencing, perhaps, a life that may teach you a lot. So go! Escape reality! Read to your heart’s content! (Of course, don’t forget to eat and you know, sleep those 9 hours- oh and do your homework.) And, remember to tell me how that book turned out.
The writer of the blog post you may or may not have just read is a slightly crazy, slightly insane individual that is known for plotting her evil schemes (and writing her next blog posts) in a nice, quaint suburban town next to the nation’s capital. If you can’t find her there, you’ll probably find her at the closest library, where she terrorizes innocent librarians to give up all their books. (No, not really, she usually just ask them really nicely (: ) She lives with her parents and is known for eating large amounts of Indian food (You are what you eat, so they say) and typing rapidly on her keyboard for long periods of time. Apart from her blogging, this writer is also a math nerd (well, a nerd all around) and is currently trying to learn as many digits of pi as she can. (She also likes eating pie) Her favorite saying is â€œYou can have this book for free!!â€ (Which is not really a saying, I guess, and she’s never actually really heard someone say itâ€¦ laughs awkwardlyâ€¦ Only in her dreamsâ€¦.). If you’re wondering, perhaps, at this very moment she is most likely curling up with a book or two.
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