Quaranthings: 5 classic & young adult novels to read for the rainy day
By Jimcy Labio
While social distancing drags on, Hong Kong has been under a hefty amount of rainy days, which means getting out to enjoy the sun has been a rarity. Luckily, the rainy days usually make for the best bed weather, which means snuggling in your favorite blanket with hot cocoa and a good book. Not being able to physically travel shouldn't stop our minds from traveling not only the different corners of the world, but in time and beyond imagination as well. For fellow bookworms, here are five reads you can easily get through on a rainy day - not too stressful of a read, but nonetheless every bit as insightful, meaningful, and impactful (especially to the heart). All selections also come with a quote right off the page that might just convince you to give it a try or re-read!
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
A tale-as-old-as-time classic, The Little Prince is a great read year-round. The story follows a pilot who crash-landed in a desert and meets a curious little boy, who asks him for a drawing of a sheep. From there, the pilot and little prince forge an unlikely bond and friendship as the little prince shares the planets he visited and the adults he met. If you've already enjoyed the little prince's adventures and antics, re-reading the piece will leave you discovering new depths of the fable's elements.
"And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
Lord of the flies by William Golding
William Golding's bleak satire tells the journey and experiences of shipwrecked boys on an uninhabited island, and goes as far as showing the realities of what young boys can be capable of. Boys ranging from 6-13 years of age- all strangers to each other - find themselves basking under the island sun with no adults telling them what to do, but this surreal joy eventually turns to fear as shadows and unforeseen threats in the jungle loom in the night. If you want to further work on your classic novels list, this is also a great book to get you started.
"Maybe there is a beast… maybe it's only us."
― William Golding, Lord of the Flies
The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare
For fantasy-loving bookworms, Cassandra Clare is one of the genre's best-selling authors with her Mortal Instruments series which was also adapted on the big and small screen. Her latest completed trilogy, The Dark Artifices, are also worth the read. The books take place after the Mortal Instruments Series (Post-Dark War), with the plot centering on the Blackthorns and Carstairs. It's a world of nephilims, demons, and angels. PS. The books provide enough context when referring to events that happened in the Mortal Instruments, so the series isn't necessarily a prerequisite to enjoy The Dark Artifices.
"There is truth in stories," said Arthur. "There is truth in one of your paintings, boy or in a sunset or a couplet from Homer. Fiction is truth, even if it is not a fact. If you believe only in facts and forget stories, your brain will live, but your heart will die."
― Cassandra Clare, The Dark Artifices: Lord of Shadows
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
An unconventional love story, this novel introduces two very different and intricate characters who formed a touching friendship which eventually evolved into star-crossed lovers. It is also Rowell's debut novel in the young adult genre. Eleanor is tenth grade's new student with red hair dressed in men's clothes and unusual accessories, which meant her appearance stood out as "big and awkward." She meets Park Sheridan on the bus to school. It's a tale of comic books, 80's music, and lots of mixtapes, but also tackles the thematic issues of abuse, poverty, and racism.
"Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn't supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something."
― Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park
The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan
As with all of Levithan's prose, The Realm of Possibility is a collection of short poems - in free verse - told by 20 narrators. It's a young adult novel that will give your bookworm heart a light, yet meaningful read as the narrators turn into unforgettable voices that echo the halls of high school. Some anecdotes express unrequited feelings, seemingly happy relationships, friends, enemies, same-gendered love interests, and many more. This book will make you fall for all the unique voices and make you relive all the quirkiness that comes with coming-of-age experiences.
"The word I think of is precarious. I am struck by how precarious it all is. How the things that hold us are only as strong as the faith we have in them."
― David Levithan, The Realm of Possibility
Take your pick and enjoy the day getting lost in the story! Got another favorite book of yours in mind? Say it in the comments and we'll add it to our book-it list!
Jimcy tells stories of "Home Kong" in the eyes of a non-local. Outside the 9-5, she can be found exploring with friends, trying something artsy, or randomly bopping to a tune.