I usually hate reading. Or at least that’s what I thought.
When I was still in primary school, the books I read consisted of pre-teen or teen fiction books like Dork Diaries or Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Nothing wrong with reading them especially as a kid, but I wouldn’t call them works of art in regards to literature.
Eventually, I got sick of reading these simplistic novels and I tried branching out a little. That introduced me to Percy Jackson, which everyone raved about for years. At the time, at the peak of my loneliness in 2015, the series and Heroes of Olympus gave me something to invest in and a source of happiness. Truthfully, I was just relying on it for personal gain and I really didn’t enjoy the novels as most did. Still, I do commend Rick Riordan’s work, especially with the plot of his series. I had a few issues with characters and development, in my own personal opinion.
As someone who struggled sitting down and focused on over 100 words on each page for several hours, reading didn’t generally interest me much. So a lot of books never really struck a chord in me. Majority seemed either boring or seemed superficial. I’ve tried reading several books that were commendable in the Teen Fiction section, such as The Girl on the Train, which was a good book but it didn’t motivate me to pick up another one.
So I just stopped reading altogether. This year, when I had to read 3 books for English, I was only able to read 1 fully. And that one book was really boring, in my honest opinion. It did have an important message but it didn’t strike with me. For the past few years, I’ve just ended up reading mangas or fanfictions, which might explain why my English skills have declined considerably.
But anyways, next year they added new texts to the English curriculum for year 12. Since my results come out this week, I thought I might as well busy myself by forcing myself to read, if I want to do well next year.
The two texts were Extinctions and Station Eleven. I had one look at the blurb for Extinctions and decided Station Eleven seemed slightly more appealing in terms of visual and blurb, so I started on that today at the library.
What I didn’t expect was to be so invested and interested in the book. This book was apparently a New York Times Bestseller, and a modern piece of literature (I suppose), so I kind of assumed it to be boring since I have the attention span of a hyperactive toddler. Yet somehow I found myself reading the first 5 chapters in one sitting.
It’s been a really long time since I’ve enjoyed reading so much. There’s something about the way the author strings words together and how her characters are flawed and different ways, but not in a way we’re they’re evil or anything. Heck, the setting for this story is an apocalyptic world, but the lack of cliche and originality of it makes it so refreshing.
I don’t know how you can make a setting like that not cliche yet the author does just that, and in a really interesting way too.
This was probably also not the intended impact but there were some small sections in a chapter where I laughed, like when the main character for that chapter wheels 7 packed trolleys into his brother’s apartment.
I’m no reviewer (especially with my poor English, according to my BIOLOGY tutor) but I don’t know, reading something like this where there is no overused plotlines or cliche romance or superficial characters and shock factors is just really refreshing. I should probably stray away from the Teen Fiction secion of the bookstore from now on.
But yeah, I’m only 5 chapters in yet Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel is a gem. And this is coming from someone who usually hates reading.