“Coming of Age” novels are rather the topic of discussion these days. “Coming of age” novels are usually a term used for novels about growing up that can fall into almost every genre. Here we would like to present our take on this, and list down our top 3 must read coming of age novels.
Anne of Green Gables
Author : Lucy Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables is a novel written by Lucy Montgomery in 1908. The book revolves around the various adventures of young Anne Shirley, who is an orphan girl and is sent mistakenly to two middle aged siblings Matthew Cuthbert and Marilla Cuthbert. The Cuthbert’s had originally hoped to adopt a boy who was to help them around with their farm, Green Gables, in the fictional town of Avonlea.
Anne shares a very interesting dynamic throughout the novel, she loved to read, used fancy words and was extremely imaginative and dramatic. She loved to describe her fantasies and was especially talkative. Marilla considered sending Anne back to orphanage however after much consideration decided otherwise.
We see that Anne rather despised the way she looked and especially did not like her freckles, and her ginger red locks. During the first few months of Anne at the Green Gables we see that she faces an awful lot of discontent and judgemental looks from the villagers, because she was an orphan and did not fit in. She was considered to have a ‘lack of manners’ ; however the Cuthbert’s do not give up on her and stand by her throughout everything.
Throughout the book we keep up with Anne and are introduced to various characters like that of Diana, Ruby Gills, Jane Andrews and Gilbert, who add to the plot of the book. However, at the end of the book, an uncalled for event occurs which causes a huge change in the plot and interests the reader to find out what’s next. Pick this novel up and find it out for yourself!
P.S : This book also has a Netflix adaption by the name “ANNE WITH AN E”
Author : S.E Hinton
The Outsiders is a coming of age novel written by S.E Hinton which revolves around the conflict between two groups with the only barrier between them being their socio-economic status. The working class being ‘Greasers’ and the upper class being ‘Socs’.
We are first introduced to Ponyboy Curtis, a teenager who is a member of the group of ‘Greasers’. We see that while he is leaving a movie theatre he is jumped by people of the other gang, however he is rescued by Darry and Sodapop of the ‘Greasers’. The following night, Ponyboy and his two friends Dally and Johnny meet two Soc girls Cherry and Marcia. Ponyboy ends up speaking to Cherry civilly which is the first time he has spoken to someone of their opponent gang in a respectful way. Later Ponyboy and Johnny and their other friend Two-Bit walk the two girls home where they are interrupted by Bob (Cherry’s boyfriend) who ends up beating up Johnny. PonyBoy runs out and reaches home by 2 which enraged Darry who ended up slapping PonyBoy. Post this PonyBoy runs away and meets up with Johnny and expresses his anger and frustration towards Darry.
PonyBoy and Johnny wander at the nearest park after running away from their house. Here they are surrounded by Bob and four other Socs. They end up into an heated argument which ends in Ponyboy spitting at the Socs and prompting them to draw in the fountain. Whilst the characters are at their peak of anger, Johnny in his range of frustration stabs Bob and murders him. This scares the rest of the Socs away and PonyBoy and Johnny rush to Dally to seek information on what they must do next. Dally gives them some money and some loaded guns and asks them to go into hiding.
With murder in their records, these teenagers are sure to call in some big trouble. Are they caught? How does this entire predicament end? Pick the book up and find it out for yourself!
A Monster Calls
Author : Patrick Ness
A Monster Calls is a low fantasy novel which is written by Patrick Ness. The book revolves around 13 year old Conor O’Malley who struggles to subsist with the consequences of his mother’s illness.
The plot begins with him awakening from a particular nightmare which he has been experiencing for the past few months. A little past midnight, someone called for him from outside his bedroom window. Conor walked through it and meets the monster who called him. The monster is in form of a towering mass of branches and leaves formed in human shape. Against what the monster thought, Conor does not seem to be scared of him which deeply surprises the monster. The monster tells Conor that he will tell Conor three true stories post which Conor must tell a story of his own and if he were to fail in doing so then the monster would eat Conor up.
The monster meets Conor every time at about 12:07 pm and narrated his stories. The stories shared something in common- occasions in which the monster was summoned. Through the stories the monster tries to demonstrate human afflictions which later reveals that Conor’s mother was a patient of terminal cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy. This makes Conor absolutely alone and completely detached as his father was not supportive and nor did he live with them. His grandmother and other relatives were of no good either.
How does Conor keep up with the situation? Does Conor’s mom make through alive or is Conor left to face the cruel world alone? At the end, the readers are often taken aback at the drastic change of the plot. This is a promising novel which is sure to keep the readers tied up and not wanting to keep the book down till they turn the last page over!
If you have read any of the above books, please let us know how you felt after reading them! If you have any recommendations for us, be sure to let us know!
Thanks a lot for reading!
Link to the books :
1. Anne of Green Gables
2. The Outsiders
3. A Monster Calls