The end of school: my best reads

My school life is coming to an end after many many years. I only have a few days left of sixth form and as an A-Level English Literature student, which is scary to say the least! But the many texts and novels I have read and grew to appreciate over the years has piled up beautifully, which has lead me to want to study English Literature at university. 

So my favourite and most memorable reads (which I highly recommend if you haven’t read yet!) are: 

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens: Having studied this novel for my coursework, it’s interesting to find what can emerge and be discovered from the language after a number of reads! Each character has a captivating trait, whether it be the famous Miss Havisham, the loyal Pip or the mysterious escaped convict (Magwitch of course!) Dickens entwines such compelling ambiguity, that when secrets and questions are revealed it drags us into wanting to read more (or read the text all over again to experience that same surprised feeling!) So from studying this novel, I have learnt a lot about how Dickens depicts Victorian life and how the famous characters are portrayed through this canonical text. 

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë: Currently I am studying this novel for my English Literature exam as a Gothic text. Cathy and Heathcliff’s relationship is unique, very Gothic and immensely passionate. Their relationship is in itself intriguing, as well as Brontë’s craft in language and narration. Although a challenging read, with the complex character relationships and the language of strong Yorkshire dialect, this is also one of my favourite reads. 

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: This is also definitely one of my favourite novels and one which I have to re-read after exams! I find the language and romance in this novel so intriguing and passionate, especially the relationship between Mr Darcy and Elizabeth.

Room by Emma Donoghue: Instantly from the title itself, Room oozes with ambiguity from start to finish. The unique narrative voice of 5 year-old Jack creates an interesting perspective of his and his Ma’s abduction and imprisonment. Donoghue’s skill is certainly reflected in portraying such a horrific cirumstance through such a young child. Studying this novel for my independent learning was very compelling and taught me just how interesting it can be to simply change a narrative perspective. Be warned: it’s unlikely you’ll be able to put this book down! 

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe: The rhyme and repetition in The Raven is beautiful, setting such a haunting, ambiguous and macabre tone that effortlessly draws you in (perfect for creating the mood for the Gothic genre in A-Level English). Each time I read it, it seems to stay with me all day… ‘Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”‘ 


Book review: ROOM by Emma Donoghue

I read this novel some time ago and was completely in awe of it. Once again, the language and plot made it difficult to put the book down.

5 year old Jack and his Ma live in an enclosed single room, alone. Old Nick is their deluded and abusive captor. Room only contains basic kitchen appliances, a bed, toilet, bath and wardrobe. To Jack, he knows nothing beyond the walls of the room, believing everything outside to just be TV. Old Nick visits every evening, mainly to visit Ma for the night, while Jack remains in Wardrobe. Ma’s determination, patience and perseverance is admiring. The strength of the mother and son relationship drives Ma to do what’s ultimately best for both her and Jack…

Jack is inspired from Donoghue’s children, making his character all the more special. As the narration is from Jack, an interesting perspective is given to such a macabre situation. All in all, this novel will certainly make you laugh and probably cry! (You’ll need many tissues!)

Rating: 4/5