Self discovery is complicated. There are so many standards set by society that make it hard for us to figure out who we really are. When we do find out what that is and it isn't deemed 'normal' in societal standards, then we try to find ways to hide it. This forces people to fake who they are or even hate who they are. It can drive people towards mental health issues and impact their way of life. It can get so bad that people feel that the only way they can survive is to not survive at all. Sometimes, all we need is to hear that there is someone out there who has gone through it too. When we find out there are others like us it can provide support and ease. This is why Finding Nevo by Nevo Zisin is so powerful.
Here is a story about a person who has gone through life trying to find out who they are. In this journey, they have discovered many aspects of their life that don't fit in to society's standard and they have had to fight to find happiness and acceptance. It is the story of Nevo Zisin. Born female, they lived a life full of gender dysphoria and later transitioned. This story take us on their journey. It provides us an insight into the emotions felt by Nevo and the fight between what society deemed 'normal' and how they identified themselves. It's a powerful piece of literature that gives people going through a similar journey something to connect with, and it is a story that has opened my eyes to just how suffocating society is.
'Thomas Major, the boy who didn't die, but didn't truly live either.'
Thomas Major is travelling to Mars to be the first man to lay his feet on the planet. He's a scientist but that's not the reason why he's got a one-way ticket to a holiday destination millions of kilometres away from humanity. You see, he's fed up with Earth and the people on it. He's not interested in making amazing scientific advancements that could change the way the world sees space. He's not interested in sticking a flag in the dirt and claim first prize in the race to the red planet. All he cares about is never seeing another human-being again. He's had enough of the cruelty of life on Earth and is on his way to a lonely and peaceful solitude.
This story focuses on the question 'why do people do what they do?'. Why would someone with no experience in flying or space travel be rocketing to Mars on a one-way trip? Why does a young high school girl work three different jobs? Why does the man in space help a desperate family millions of kilometres away from where he is? A general fiction tale, Calling Major Tom by David M Barnett explores the terrible circumstances that lead people to make tough decisions… and also how a guy travels to Mars.
A writer knows the importance of their characters. They need to be relatable and believable. Although fictional, they need to be alive in the way they act, speak and respond. They have aspirations, jobs, families and more. At times, an author will create a character based on themselves or will draw on their personal experiences and opinions to create them. However, what happens when the writer’s reality and the protagonist’s reality begin to mould together? When is it fiction and when is it real? These questions are explored in Sulari Gentill’s Crossing the Lines, a story where a writer’s imagination and reality become crossed.
This book is a crime mixed with mystery mixed with psychological fiction. It stars two protagonists who are writing one another’s stories. It begins with Madeleine d’Leon conjuring up Edward ‘Ned’ McGinnity, a crime fiction writer just like her. However, as she writes her story it becomes apparent that Ned is also writing hers as it happens. In Ned’s world, he is in love with his best friend, Willow, who is married to someone else. At her art exhibition, he begins to tell her about his idea of a story, describing his protagonist Madeleine to her. Then, a murder. In Madeleine’s world, she is dealing with an emotional past and a strained relationship, and in coming up with Ned she finds a place to escape. The worlds are blurred and it is the reader’s task to figure out who the real writer is.
Charlotte is a reading and writing lover who has completed a creative writing intensive course at the University of Oxford and is a current university student studying a double degree in journalism and creative writing. If you are curious to learn more, check out the 'About' page.