Friday, November 2, 2012

YOUNG ADULT READS: The Silver Linings Playbook



by Kate Wilson
When I first saw the movie trailer for The Silver Linings Playbook, I thought it looked like yet another mediocre romantic comedy, yet as I started reading and researching more into this upcoming film, I discovered it was actually garnering quite a lot of Oscar buzz. Naturally, I got much more interested in this film that features such talent as Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert DeNiro.
What excited me most about this yet-to-be-released movie is that it's an adapted screenplay, based on the novel "The Silver Linings Playbook" by Matthew Quick. Since I'm an avid reader, I decided to go ahead and read "The Silver Linings Playbook." After finishing the book in a day (it's a quick read), I can't express enough how much I've fallen in love with this heartwarming, comedic story.
Quick introduces us to Pat Peoples, a former high school history professor who has been in a mental institution for four years. One afternoon, Pat's mother Janice decides to check Pat out of his mental health facility and take him back home to start his life over again. Although Pat seems quite normal on the surface, as readers venture deeper into the book, they soon discover that Pat is battling a number of mental trials and tribulations.
For one thing, Pat is devoted to winning back his absent ex-wife, Nikki, who seems to have cut off Pat entirely. Secondly, Pat's hopeless optimism and belief in happy endings and "silver linings" seems to always be defeated by the endless difficulties and realities in life. Lastly, Pat is trying to reconnect with all the people he has lost touch with in his life, including his father, younger brother, best friend, mother, and all the new people who have entered those character's lives. As you read along, you'll find yourself rooting for Pat – hoping that his optimism and faith are enough to overcome the endless obstacles he faces.
Quick has crafted a beautiful story that captures the difficulties we all face in life, including heartbreak, divorce, emotional abuse, depression, and numerous other important topics. Quick is known for creating great young adult novels, and although this one isn't specifically classified as a young adult read, I'd say it's definitely one every teenager should check out. The book wonderfully captures how difficult it is to comfortably come into one's own unique identity, especially if that identity isn't well received by those around us.
No matter what age reader you are, make sure to read The Silver Linings Playbook before it hits theaters on Nov. 21. You'll be grateful you did!
Kate Wilson is a blogger for Collegecrunch.org. She specializes in literature, distance education, and the latest in the blogging world. Please share comments with Kate below!