Holes by Louis Sachar
Book Reviews

My Top 5 Favourite Books – Part 1 – Holes

Hooray! First ever blog post!

I was inspired to write about my top 5 favourite books when filling in an internship application recently.* The employer asked me to list my top 5 books, which was actually quite refreshing to come across in a job application, as most just ask for a CV and cover letter, which gives you minimum scope to really get your amazing personality across to them. However, the application didn’t ask me to specifically talk about why I liked them, so I thought I’d do that here. So, without further ado, these are my top 5 favourite books (part 1), in no particular order, as of September 2018… (also don’t judge me for my slight obsession with YA fiction haha)

* Update! I’ve actually got an interview for this internship position and am super excited for it! And in case you’re wondering, yes, I will be asking the interviewer for their top 5 books too.

 

  1. Holes
  2. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
  3. Tuesdays With Morrie
  4. Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters
  5. Ink by Alice Broadway

Holes by Louis Sachar

Okay, so if you haven’t heard of the modern masterpiece that is Holes, you must be living under a rock (or in a hole..ayyyyyyy). But for those of you who aren’t so much in the loop, the story is about Stanley Yelnats who’s family is apparently cursed with terrible luck and is sent to an all boy’s reformation camp, Camp Greenlake, for ‘stealing’ a pair of shoes, despite being innocent. When he gets to the camp he is made to dig a hole every day that’s 5 meters wide and deep and while he’s there he meets fellow camp mate Zero and this is where things get interesting. The book is great because it flits between three…or is it four different story lines? As well as Stanley’s journey, we also get an insight to what his family at home are up to – his dad is trying to create a spray that eliminates foot odour, we also get a peek into what Camp Greenlake was like back in the day before it became a boys camp. We see the lives of the townspeople who used to live there and are introduced to Miss Katherine and Sam who share a forbidden love, due to Sam being black and Katherine being white, its here where we get an insight into what the land was like before the lake dries up, and see the origins of Wild West outlaw, Kissin’ Kate Barlow. The third? Fourth? Story line we see, is about Madam Zeroni and Elya Yelnats, Stanley’s no good dirty rotten pig stealing great great grandfather (try saying that super fast five times in a row), who makes a deal with Madam Zeroni and breaks it, enacting the Yelnats family curse.

 

So, so far, without spoiling anything, we have Stanley’s story, Sam and Katherine’s romance and inevitable break up, Elya and Zeroni’s journey and the Yelnat’s shoe-odour-eliminator plotline.

So while this story may appear to be confusing, Sachar crafts the storyline with care so the plot doesn’t feel like he’s trying to be over-ambitious with his writing or that he’s trying to cram in so many characters, individual stories and attempting to tackle themes such as racism into one book. Bearing in mind, he does indeed, do all of these things, but he does them tactfully so that even a child can understand the plotline pretty clearly. I first read ‘Holes’ when I was about ten years old, and then ended up studying it in English 2 years later at school, and have read it many times since then, and each time I read it I always come across something that I’ve forgotten about in the storyline and honestly, I kind of love that.

 

The separate storylines all do tie in with each other in a clever and marvellous way that gives the reader all the closure they need by the end of the novel. It’s smart writing and was probably one of the first instances of good writing and a well planned plot I had come across whilst growing up and would always come back to ‘Holes’. I feel like ‘Holes’ will always hold a special place in my heart, as it was one of the first books I had ever read and was left thinking ‘Daaaaayyyyuummmmmmmmm!’ and that’s rarely happened since.

 

There is also a film adaptation, and I’ve got to say – it’s sticks pretty well to the original story, and I tend to be fussy about that sort of thing. The soundtrack has actually become one of my favourites, although that may be due to nostalgia rather than my actual liking of Shia Labeouf’s attempt at rapping…

 

Read part 2 of my top 5 favourite books: To All the Boy’s I’ve Loved Before.