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Tuesday 6 September 2011

The Beginner's Guide to Living by Lia Hills

Title:- The Beginner's Guide to Living
Author:- Lia Hills
Publisher:- Text Publishing
First Published:- January 1, 2009
ISBN:- 978-192152007-5
Genre:- Young Adult Fiction

Seventeen-year-old Will is in turmoil after the sudden death of his mother. His father drifts and his older brother, Adam, stays away from home. Isolated and angry, Will begins a search for the answers he craves. He uses his mum’s old camera to document the experience and scrambles to find an idea for which he can live and die. And as if things weren’t complicated enough, he falls for sixteen-year-old Taryn. His final exams are looming, but how will he get through the tangle of grief and philosophy, sex and love?

As some of my readers may have noticed, I normally create my own synopsis for my reviews. However, I'm struggling to keep up with reviewing the books I've read as it takes me forever to write my own synopsis. I've seen many reviewers using the Publisher's synopsis so I'm going to take this route and see how it goes. Let me know which you all think is better. I wanted to make special mention once again to Lisa from Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me for being my Blogger Fairy Godmother...Thanks Lisa!

The Beginner's Guide to Living" is a powerful and plot driven book, that must become a permanent in my book collection. There are few single books (not part of a series) that I feel worth buying.
This is a story of Will, a 17 year old boy in his journey to finding his reasons for living and understanding life, death, grief and love. The story begins with Will telling us his thoughts, what he was listening to, and things he remembered from that day... the day his Mother died. Will in his confused and angry state, begins to search for the meaning of life and death through philosophical books so the readers are immersed into these wonderful quotes and the revelation each of it brought.

"The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven." 
John Milton

"There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved."
George Sand

"Perhaps the feelings that we experience when we are in love represents a normal state. Being in love shows a person who he should be." 
Anton Chekhov

"The key to finding a happy balance in modern lives is simplicity." 
Sogyal Rinpoche
The writing technique was amazing! Hills wrote what was currently happening as well as putting in memories from his life before his Mother died. It's like how we live our lives, we do things and sometimes as we do something we recall a memory from the past...this was how this book was written. I would imagine that it's hard for Authors to write books like these, with some sort of continuity and for it not to get confusing but Hills did this splendidly. I can only think of another Author that has done this well, Melina Marchetta, in the "Jellicoe Road". 

This book is an amazing debut novel, one that will be in your thoughts way after you have turned the last page. It is a thought provoking and very emotional story and the words within are poignant and lyrical.




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