Lessons from my reading list…

As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once, was one of the most renowned quotes in “The Fault in our Stars.” Based on my observation, many teenagers and youths adore reading books and novels in their leisure time as it has an immense number of benefits. Here’s a list of a few books I have read and enjoyed thoroughly.

  1. “The Fault in our Stars” by John Green
The Fault in our Stars by John Green. (Photo source: Internet)

This novel reflects the love story between Hazel Grace Lancaster (16) and Augustus Waters (17.) Even though some might say their personalities differ, these two characters share one similarity; they are both victims of an illness. Hazel has had cancer for the past three years, whereas Augustus once had a tumour in his leg. Hazel Grace never experienced the “teenage lifestyle” as she was diagnosed with cancer at the age of thirteen, and as a result, required extreme medical aid to survive. Forced by her mother, Hazel reluctantly joins the cancer kid support group to interact with others who are victims of similar illnesses. Through the support group, she soon gets acquainted with Augustus Waters. She finds his outlook on life extremely intriguing and optimistic, and so begins their journey together.

2. “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

“The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini, mainly takes place in Afghanistan, during the year 1975. The novel portrays the unlikely friendship between Amir, a wealthy businessman’s son, and Hassan, the son of the wealthy businessman’s servant. Hassan, like his father, is a Hazara, which is a minority group in Afghanistan that is a frequent target of harassment. In the novel, Amir receives every advantage, from having a good house, to being exposed to a good level of education. On the other hand, Hassan is illiterate and lives with his father in a small hut on the property of Amir’s father, Baba. Moreover, Amir’s family are Pushtuns, who are considered superior to the Hazaras, such as Hassan and his father, Ali. When Amir often notices that Baba pays more attention to Hassan, it makes him envious and competitive for his father’s affection.

Whenever there are Pushtun boys present or near Hassan and Amir, Amir acts as though he’s superior to Hassan and embarrasses him. However, when the two are alone together, they find themselves often playing games such as kite flying. As a matter of fact, they make an undefeatable team; Amir tries to cut off the other kites in the sky, while Hassan runs to fetch the kite to win the competition. One day, the Russians invade Afghanistan, and Amir and Baba are forced to flee the country and go to America, leaving Hassan and Ali. Years later, Amir realizes he must return to Afghanistan, under the rule of the Taliban, to find redemption and his old friend, Hassan. What do you think occurs next?

3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” was the first book of the Harry Potter series about a boy named Harry Potter, who lives in a cupboard of a house owned by Mr and Mrs. Dursley, on Number 4 Privet Drive. The first quarter of the book highlights how letters were delivered to the doorstep of the Dursley’s house, addressing Harry Potter. However, after Mr. Dursley continuously tries to hide the letters from Harry, more letters start appearing into the house through the mailbox and chimney. Out of frustration, the Durselys decided to move to a location where the letters wouldn’t be able to reach them.

Nevertheless, on Harry’s birthday, a gigantic individual, later introduced as Hagrid, barges into the house and enlightens Harry that he’s a wizard. Hagrid also explained to Harry that he was living with his mother’s sister and that his parents were killed by an evil wizard referred to as “You-know-who.” During this conversation, Harry also found out that he was known as “The-boy-who-lived” as when the evil wizard tried killing him as a baby, he survived and was left with a scar on his forehead. For this reason, Harry is renowned in the wizarding world. Once Hagrid offers Harry the letter that was addressed to him, he is thrilled to know that he has got through the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and could not wait to face the adventures that were ahead of him! 

One must consider reading these novels as each piece conveys a different and unique message, such as friendship, betrayal, and love. Moreover, each of the books solve a different purpose, in terms of the mood the authors would like their audiences to feel.

For example, in the second novel, Khaled Hosseini may want his audience to empathize and feel the pain that Hassan went through without the presence of Amir. I, for one, love John Green’s “The Fault in our Stars” the most as every detail of the story was described extremely beautifully and clearly. While reading the novel, I was clearly able to visualize the interactions between the two main characters, Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters, and learn them better. Additionally, reading, in general, has the ability to inspire and influence people to communicate better. In my opinion, all these titles are recommended for readers above the age of 12, as they contain some amounts of explicit language and inappropriate content.

I believe reading is an extremely productive, relaxing, beneficial, and entertaining activity which may not be preferred by a large number of teenagers due to the existence of other modes of entertainment. However, if you do plan on reading a piece, I suggest you do so with an open mind, and who knows, you may find something unique that inspires and uplifts your spirits!

Zahaan Sabuwala
Zahaan Sabuwala

Contributor: Zahaan Sabuwala

About our Writing Program Student
Zahaan Sabuwala (15) is a Xth Grader studying at Oberoi International School in Mumbai. He’s fond of playing the guitar and is a national-level lawn tennis player. During his spare time, he loves spending time with pets!

Zahaan’s article made it to the Top Post on IndiBlogger!


Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – review

The Kite Runner, Book review by Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media

The Fault in Our Stars. Book review by Tara Jafari Berenji

The Lifestyle Portal

Tanya is a graduate in Sociology from Sophia College, Mumbai, a post-graduate in Communications and Media from SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai and holds a Master's Degree in Journalis & Mass Communications from Chandigarh University. A former writing mentor and a seasoned lifestyle writer, Tanya writes columns on The Lifestyle Portal of life and living.

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