[Feel-Good March] 5 Books to make you crack a smile

by Ho Mei Yin

This post goes out to all the hardcore readers out there (like yours truly). If your idea of fun is snuggling up in your bed with your latest wallet-bleeding book haul from Kinokuniya and spending three hours finishing your book instead of studying for that math test, then this is the post for you! In the spirit of #feelgoodMarch this post will be introducing 3 books to make you laugh, cry and reconnect with your inner literary feels, preferably all at the same time.

 1. Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

ready player one

Ready Player One will definitely appeal to any geeky soul out there, with references from 80’s pop-culture littered throughout the book. Even if you are not very well-versed with the era of hippies and retro video games, the book manages to explain them pretty well so you won’t be too lost.

A summary of the storyline from Amazon.com:

“In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. 

But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.”

I would say it revolves around the classic good guys versus bad guys storyline (no spoilers to who comes up on top though!) And the quest-like story structure allows readers to progress through the adventure with Wade as he puzzles out the various “easter eggs” hidden. Definitely a great read if you are looking for an epic adventure story to brighten up your otherwise mundane school life!

 2. The Sherlock Holmes series  – Arthur Conan Doyle

sherlock

If you are a fan of BBC’s Sherlock series starring the ever-glorious Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes himself, why not check out the original stories? While you can purchase the stories in actual book-form, online versions are also available for free on the Appstore, which bodes well for those who are too broke to spend another dime to satisfy your literary cravings.

If mystery novels are up your alley, then this series is practically made for you. With puzzling and often sinister plots woven seamlessly into each short story, it is always amazing how the brilliant Holmes can easily deduce the mannerisms and habits of victims and villains alike. Fans of the BBC adaptation can also read the original stories the episodes were based on and fawn over obscure references from book to show!

Most of the Sherlock Holmes short stories can easily be read in about 45 minutes to an hour. While taking a break from memorising all those chemistry equations and history dates, why not spend some time in the world of 221B Baker Street in the company of the great detective himself and his trusty assistant, Dr. John Watson.

3. The Fault in our Stars

fault in our stars

John Green’s breakout novel of 2013 definitely earns its place on this list, with the ability to make you cry and laugh at the same time. Many compare the love story of the two main characters, Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters, to the age-old Romeo and Juliet, except with less suicide and no family drama.

“The Fault in Our Stars is a love story, one of the most genuine and moving ones in recent American fiction, but it’s also an existential tragedy of tremendous intelligence and courage and sadness.” —Lev Grossman, TIME Magazine     

 The themes within the book make readers ponder about much deeper topics such as morality, death and the inevitable dissolution of human existence. Despite some rather depressing moments, the characters’ witty dialogue and the humorous undertones throughout the story does make the book an engaging read and unquestionably earns a place on our #feelgoodMarch’s book list!

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