Ever since the pandemic hit, many have found solace and a sense of escapism in literature, in which you could either enter an entirely fictional universe or expand your breadth of knowledge. Three such books that I had read over that period of time are as follows:
‘An Absolutely Remarkable Thing’ by Hank Green
This debut novel by Hank Green of “Vlogbrothers” on YouTube is a mainly sci-fi novel, which also delves into other genres ranging from horror to political thriller. The novel’s premise is that April May, a 23-year-old art student, stumbles across a statue in New York City, which she names Carl. When she does, she decides to enlist her friend’s help to take a video, and thus becomes an overnight internet celebrity, requiring an agent to book her on news programs as the mystery around “Carl” intensifies. As the mystery continues to spiral, many climactic events, including the growth of political factions and assassination attempts ensue to cling onto the reader’s attention and never let go until the final page.
‘One of Us is Lying’ by Karen M. McManus
This young adult novel was published in 2018 and blends together the hallmark characteristics of a standard young adult novel with that of a classic whodunit mystery. The novel begins with a “Breakfast Club”-esque scenario where five students each get detention, but then one of the five dies from a severe anaphylaxis. After this, the novel constantly shifts its narrative style to allow the readers to follow the perspectives of each of the main protagonists. By presenting many intriguing red herrings and crafting relatable storylines, McManus’s novel is a great book that could easily be read in a single sitting.
‘The Hero with a Thousand Faces’ by Joseph Campbell
This nonfiction piece examines how heroes are created in novels through mythological tropes and literary traditions. One of the novel’s conclusions is that a story is only made interesting when there is at least one character who takes risks that the majority of people would constantly avoid, and who has gone into dark places to only come out with a new unique perspective. “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” also stresses how characters, and stories in general, are made more entertaining when they possess traits that are relatable or that the readers would hope to gain. In this book, Campbell shows how stories can entice readers or conversely push them away. If you want to write books or see how they become so intriguing, this is a novel that will answer all your questions.