Fangirl Book Review

fangirl

Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press – an imprint of MacMillan
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 445
Format: Purchased Hardcover

“Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell is a story about a girl named Cath who loves Simon Snow – a fictional character in a bestselling book series in the book (wasn’t that confusing?). She writes fanfiction about Simon and his nemesis, Baz, in their world and setting, and by doing this she has thousands of views on the website she posts them on. When she and her twin sister, Wren, go off to college, things couldn’t be more difficult for Cath. She’s much more recluse than her sister and prefers spending time on the Internet than with real people. And then her new roommate, Reagan, has this guy over all the time: Levi. He smiles way too much and is way too nice, and Cath doesn’t really know why he’s over so much. And then she and her sister grow distant… Her first year of college is a mess before it turns around one day.

Now, with all of that being said, I really wanted to read a lighthearted book, and I believe I found that in “Fangirl.” Rowell’s writing style has been difficult for me to transition into because she has a unique style, but as soon as I was comfortable, I flew through the story. It only took about two days’ time to read the book – which I’m very proud of myself for.

As the book progressed, I found that it was very much like a typical lifestyle of a college freshman: people partying, exploring new places, hook ups, drama, classes, worry, stress. It’s a big ball of mush and I could really connect with how real a lot of the views and opinions expressed by various characters were. Some of the views I obviously didn’t agree with because of my own experiences when I was in college, but I know that a lot of people have similar views, especially when it comes to fraternities and sororities. But that being said, I’m glad the sole focus wasn’t on the school aspect – not completely – and I’m glad that it focused more on Cath’s writing and online world at times.

It also focused a lot on family and issues such as divorce, alcohol addiction, mental illness, and togetherness. It wasn’t just a romance or a school story; it was a family story and about how the members of the family dealt with the situations at hand.

But that’s not to say that I didn’t love the romance in it. The love interest and romance of the story was too adorable. I love how it progressed over time, and that there was even plausible drama in it. It wasn’t fast, wasn’t sudden, and that’s what I like about Rowell’s writing, but I still wish there was more.

I liked the installations of Cath’s fiction writing throughout and how they actually played their parts as a precursor to the chapter ahead. I thought it was clever and it was also fun to read a story within a story (storyception!).

Overall, this book was highly enjoyable, fun, engaging, but also serious at times. It didn’t make me bored or keep me guessing.

I rate this book 5/5 stars and highly recommend it if you’re looking for something lighthearted.

August 2014 Wrap-Up

August has come and gone in a flash, just like every month this year, and I have concluded some books, as well as done some book hauls and tags. I haven’t listed all the tags I did, so I’m going to list them here (be prepared for a larger post).

So in the month of August I have read and reviewed “This Star Won’t Go Out” by Esther Earl and “Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell. These two books were fantastic reads and I highly recommend them to anyone looking for sentimental, down to earth reads. Here’s my reviews for each: TSWGO // E&P

Both books received high ratings for the types of books they were and how well they were represented by their respective authors.

That was pretty much it for my wrap-up, though I did include a small snippet about how I’m enjoying “These Broken Stars” by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. Though I’m still in the process of reading this book, I just wanted to include it in my wrap-up to let you all know what I’m currently reading and that I am enjoying it. A review will be up on it, hopefully, by the beginning of next week, if not the end of this week.

Moving onto the haul of “creepy” books, here’s what I got:

  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer” by Michelle Hodkin. This book tells the story of a girl, Mara, and how she was the only survivor in a car crash with her friends. She starts seeing their ghosts and strange things keep on happening.
  • The Merciless” by Danielle Vega. This book includes a lot of blood, demons, possession, and scary things.
  • Asylum” by Madeleine Roux. Some kids with special gifts end up in a dorm that used to be an insane asylum and strange things start to happen. They learn they might have a connection with the asylum’s dark past.
  • The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman. A boy is raised in a graveyard by ghosts and things that are dead – or not so dead.
  • Stardust” by Neil Gaiman. A guy would do anything for this girl, including going beyond the wall that separates their village from the rest of the world. What he finds beyond is something he didn’t expect: the world of Faerie.

Each of these books sound spooky and enchanting in their own way, and I’m intrigued to find out what happens in them. Great reads for October, in my opinion, but we’ll see when I read them (TBR box, you know).

Now, if you’re into doing fun “tags,” then these are the questions to the three that I did (videos and answers linked below):

Booktube Newbie Tag

1. Why did you start this channel? I wanted to share my own thoughts and opinions about books with others, plus it looks like a lot of fun!
2. What are some fun/unique things I can bring to YouTube? I think I can bring more discussion type videos to the table because I enjoy deep, engaging, thought-provoking conversations with others.
3. What are you most excited for about this new channel? I’m excited to just be part of the BookTube community and share with everyone else my love for reading.
4. Why do you love reading? I’ve always loved reading. It helps me to escape reality and enter new worlds – even if the books themselves take place on Earth.
5. What book or book series got you into reading? I’m not quite sure, but one of my favorites as a kid was Stellaluna by Janell Cannon,
6. What question would you ask your favorite Booktuber? What is the best experience you’ve had since becoming a BookTuber?
7. What challenge do you think starting a Booktube channel will be the hardest to overcome? Not getting wrapped up in how many views or subscribers I have or don’t have.

Summertime Madness Tag

1. Show a book with a summery cover. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
2. Pick one fictional place that would be the perfect summer vacation destination. Hogwarts. Do I even need to explain?
3. You’re about to go on a flight to your summer vacation, but you want to read a book that lasts the whole flight. What novella do you pick? Four by Veronica Roth
4. You have a case of the summer time sadness – what happy book do you pick to shine a smile on your face? Vampire Crush by A.M. Robinson
5. You’re sitting at the beach all alone – which fictional character is your beach babe/hunk? Tobias from the Divergent series. He’s just… yeah, he’s a hunk.
6. To match your ice cream, you want an icy cool sidekick! Which fictional sidekick do you pick? Alice from the Twilight saga by Stephanie Meyer. She’s fun, sassy, and can be a great bff.

Social Media Book Tag

Twitter: Your favorite short book. The Life of Saint Margaret, a thirteen page story of a woman martyred for her faith and the man she would not give herself to.
Facebook: A book everyone pressured you into reading. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Tumblr: A book you read before it was cool. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Yeah, that’s right, I read it before all the hype went down.
Myspace: A book you don’t remember if you liked or not. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Instagram: A book that was so beautiful you had to Instagram it. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews. I love the simplicity of it and how colorful it is.
Youtube: A book you wished would be turned into a movie. Firelight by Sophie Jordan. People turning into dragons? I mean, c’mon.
Goodreads: A book you recommend to everyone. The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. Faeries, fantasy, adventure, romance. So good.

So yup, that pretty much wraps up August. It’s been a productive, fun, busy, long month, but it was totally worth it.

Accompanying videos: August 2014 Wrap-Up + Creepy Haul // Social Media Book Tag // Summertime Madness Tag // Booktube Newbie Tag

Eleanor & Park Book Review

eleanorandpark

Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin – an imprint of MacMillan
Publication Date: This edition: June 2014 (originally published April 12, 2012)
Genres: Young Adult – Contemporary
Pages: 336
Format: Purchased Hardcover Collector’s Edition

I recently read “Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell, and I really enjoyed it.

This would be classified as a teen fiction novel, and it fits the category quite nicely. It’s about two teenagers who end up falling in love over the course of one school year and is told from both Eleanor’s and Park’s points of view.

There’s a lot more to the characters than first meets the eye, especially for Eleanor. When we are first introduced to her in the book, she is wearing weird clothes, has giant red hair, and is on the pudgy side. Of course she’s made fun of from day one, but that’s not all that’s tragic with her: her home life is a wreck. She has a stepdad who hates her, a mom who is abused, and four younger siblings who are just trying to survive day to day life.

When we’re introduced to Park, he wears dark clothes, listening to rock/punk music, and reads comic books. You’d think he’d have the same kind of story, but really he has an average life, with two parents, one younger brother, and a nice house to live in.

As I read the book, I could definitely see and feel the chemistry between the two grow, and it was nice to see for a change that it wasn’t just love at first sight (or first lust) and it wasn’t a relationship at the last twenty pages. Their love grew over time and it grew more and more.

One of the few things I didn’t really like was how unconnected I felt toward Park. I felt a much deeper connection with Eleanor, but maybe that’s because we’re similar in some ways? I’m not sure; I’m still trying to pinpoint it.

I liked the way each chapter/section was separated by saying either “eleanor” or “park” before each section, and Rowell definitely utilized both characters and their personalities in each.

Overall, I thought it was well written, definitely realistic in terms of language (oh no, swears!), and was a great romantic story. It’s heartwarming, funny, serious, and heartbreaking.

I rate this book 4.5/5 stars, only because I couldn’t really connect with Park.

Accompanying video: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell Book Review

Have you read the book? Tell me what you think about it in the comments!