Saturday, August 18, 2012

Reading: Holes by Louis Sachar

Holes was one of those books like Harry Potter when I grew up…you only read it because everybody else was.  Me being me, I was skeptical and didn't pick it up but my 4th grade teacher read it to us.  I don't remember liking it much.  I don't remember if I even knew the basic plot of the story.  I must have daydreamed a lot!  The movie came out when I was 12 and I saw it in the theater but it wasn't until a few years ago that I began to appreciate the literary magic that lived inside the pages.  Since I haven't read it since 4th grade, I figured now was the perfect time to read it again.  And of course, I loved it – as I love most of the books I read as a child.

The plotline of Holes is anything but basic.  It is a complex storyline that goes from the present to the past, connecting the story of Stanley's great great grandfather, who broke a promise to a wise woman who cursed his family because of it, to why Stanley's family has such bad luck ever since.  The story also focuses on a side story about the camp Stanley resides at for most of the novel, Camp Green Lake, and how it used to be a town before the lake dried up.  In the beginning, Stanley is falsely accused of robbing a famous baseball players shoes and is sent to Camp Green Lake to dig holes and build character.  "If you take a bad boy and make him dig a hole every day in the hot sun, it will turn him into a good boy."  At Camp Green Lake, Stanley befriends Hector (a.k.a Zero) and goes on a journey toward his destiny by, essentially, doing the right thing even when times get hard. 
Holes is a very poignant representation of human character and spirit.  The emotions are raw and heartbreaking and you can feel Stanley's pain through the pages and you can relate to all of the character's that somehow affected his life whether he knew about it or not.  Like most books, the events are all pieces of a puzzle that comes together beautifully at the end and really hits home the saying, "the night is darkest just before the dawn".  If I had anything bad to say about the story, I'd say Kissing Kate Barlow was a very cheesy character.  I'm not saying I didn't like her story or her part in the novel, but I found it cheesy that because of her circumstances she just went insane. 

I give Holes a 4.5 out of 5 stars.