Been There, Read That: Foreword

Hello, and welcome! My name is Elizabeth (but I typically go by Lizzie) and I am starting my first cycle at Sunset Media Wave. My column will focus on most anything within the category of books, literature, and reading. However, this is a very large range of topics, and it would be best to specify my intentions for this column.

As an avid reader, I love to talk about my favorite books, my bookish habits, and honestly anything that has to do with reading. Although I love most things about books, in this column I plan to focus on the journeys that characters go through, whether that be a literal journey or a metaphorical one. I believe this is an important part of reading books because often the journey a character goes through can define their personality and their future actions. In addition, I will be looking at the literary analysis of certain books (typically classics) and why they teach crucial lessons, represent real parts of society, or can be applied to present-day situations. I believe it is vital to not only look back at what authors from other eras have written—because it is often relevant to societal problems that occur currently—but also to learn from their ideas. Thus, the self-exploration and adventures that represent a character’s journey may be dramatically different depending on the author of the book, the time period it was written in, and the genre it falls under. For example, the journey that The Creature in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley goes through is much more violent and heartbreaking than that which Mary goes through in The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It should be noted that I am most interested in YA novels and series (YA stands for Young Adult, and represents series such as the Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and The Fault in Our Stars) as well as the classics.

In order to understand me better, I think it is essential to know my favorite books. Among them are classics like Edgar Allen Poe’s short stories and poems, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, The Lord of the Rings series, and The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien, as well as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Although I do not read them as often, I feel I should mention my favorite YA novels. This would include the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman, and the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs.

It is my wish that this column be as beneficial to those who are ardent readers as it is to those who do not have as great an enthusiasm for reading, but wish to expand their interests. To all prospective readers of this column, and all readers in general, I say, au revoir, and huzzah!