Teenage dramas: to read or not to read?

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Category Culture, Education, Town
Date November 21 2023
Reading Time 3 min.

Teenage dramas: to read or not to read?

Teachers and parents tell teenagers to read Dickens and Shakespeare but teenage dramas relate better to their world.
Dickens and Shakespeare are unique but many teenagers simply cannot see themselves in the characters of these works. Most children (hopefully!) are not homeless on the streets of London: Oliver Twist has no connection to the luxurious life of Iphones, Instagram and Airpods that teenagers experience in affluent countries. Teenagers need books that relate to their own experiences: believable characters and an intriguing plot that will leave them captivated and interested in reading.
Here are some of them…

A Good Girls Guide to Murder.’- by Holly Jackson.


Although this book may have a daunting and rather dark title
, this is not a manual on how to murder. It is a beautifully written coming of age story of a girl determined to solve a murder case that was closed over five years ago. In her questto solve the case, Pip, the protagonist, while being mocked by her entire community and police force, develops an unlikely friendship with the apparent murderers younger brother, who is treated like and outcast by the village he calls home. Intenton proving his brothers innocence, he and Pip come togetherto solve the mystery. This leads them down a sinister and twisting path towards suspicion and paranoia about the motivations of all those around them, even their close friends and family.

This is not simply a spiral of plot twists; it is also an upliftingtale of the strength of true friendship, and of first love. The story is told through the eyes of a teenage girl. For parents in search of a way to understand their teenagers, this novel should be required reading. It is a captivating novel that is followed by two enthralling sequels –‘Good Girl, Bad Blood and ‘As Good as Dead’.

This series is a perfect choice for parents trying to encouragetheir teenage children to read more: teenagers are likely to discuss the story with their friends, but it delves into important topics, such as toxic relationships that teenagers might not be comfortable sharing with their parents. The book tackles online safety as the text messages on apps such as Instagram and Snapchat are vital to the resolution of the mystery. Such teenage dramas can play a huge part in raising awareness of many contemporary problems such as bullying, toxic relationships, and online safety.  

Forcing teenagers to read classic novels is a waste of time. Instead, they should be allowed to mature at their own pace, developing their reading through books which relate to the dangers, adventures and relationships of their own world.

 

‘The Memory Book’ by Lara Avery is another heart-wrenching drama.


Sammie
, an A-grade student, has high hopes for the future: she wants to graduate top of her class and escape from her small hometown. But her dreams are shattered when doctors tell her that she has a rare genetic disorder.

Her memories will be stolen – and eventually her life too.

Facing the collapse of her world and her own mind, Sammie creates The Memory Book, a journal where she notes down everything – from the mundane, such as where she left her toothbrush that morning, to her darkest secrets, such as how much she misses her childhood best friend Cooper who has now turned into a bad boy.

We grow to love and respect Sammie: she continues living life to the fullest, despite being robbed not only of her future but of her memories of her closest friend, the love of her life, and her beloved family. The seriousness of Sammie’s illness becomes increasingly apparent despite her attempt to deny thedisability. Sammie consistently forgets her friend’s names, leaving her in a confused state. It dawns on her that she is wasting what are quite possibly her last months on earth by studying for a graduation that she will never attend.

This novel delves into many uncomfortable aspects of reality: how life is not always fairand no matter how much you fight it, eventually you will be forced to accept it. It details how friendships and relationships can become unhealthy, no matter how close you still are.

This is an important book for teenagers as it is told from the perspective of a girl – a woman – who has no future due to the unfairness of fate. The book may remind some just how thankful they should be for the wonderful fountain of life that they have – and their memories of it – no matter how annoying they may find their parents and siblings.

We should all value the memories that life gives us, no matter how small and insignificant they may seem at the time, as they may be stolen away by an unlikely twist of fate. We should cherish the people we love, as they could be taken away at the blink of an eye.  We should live life to the fullest every day;you never know when it could be your last.

 

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