Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Review: Fangirl

Title:  Fangirl
Author:  Rainbow Rowell
Rating: 5/5


Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow Fan...

But for Cath, being a fan is her life--and she's really good at it.  She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon SNow series when they were just kids; it's what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading.  Rereading.  Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath's sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can't let go.  She doesn't want to.

Now that they're going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn't want to be roommates.  Cath is on her own, completely outside her comfort zone.  She's got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand?  Is she ready to start living her own life?  Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?


I don't believe the summary of this book does it justice at all, but that summary and the title are what initially drew me into Cather's world.  I am a long-time reader and writer of fan fiction (for the better part of the last 10 years).  The fact that this underworld was brought into the world of a published book made me far to excited to pass this book up.

When I did finally get my hands on the book (ebook...), I couldn't put it down for very long.  Cath draws in every introvert (like me!) and gathers us together to let us she how she evolves.  She goes from a scared girl who is set adrift by her twin and is ensconced in the world of Simon Snow, to a young adult who is trying to make the best out of her life.

It's also a bit of a plus in my opinion that Simon Snow was obviously Harry Potter (with Baz being Draco Malfoy in my opinion).  This is one of the biggest fandoms I read and I was just so happy with this.

I wish more people knew about fan fiction, but at the same time I like how it belongs to only us, the fans who want to see where the story could have gone if the author had went there.  There is some truly astonishing pieces out there, and I hope some day their author's are like Cath and they go on to publish worlds of their own.

I can't recommend this to everyone, because unless you love the fan fiction world [and are a bit of an introvert], you won't get the same value out of this book.

P.S. - Rumor has it that "Carry On, Simon" is going to be written as a full book.  Who else is majorly excited about that?!


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Review: Stronger Than You Know

Title:  Stronger Than You Know
Author:  Jolene Perry
Rating: 5/5


After police intervention, fifteen-year-old Joy has finally escaped the trailer where she once lived with her mother and survived years of confinement and abuse.  Now living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in a comfortable house, she's sure she'll never belong.

Wracked by panic attacks, afraid to talk to anyone at her new school, Joy's got a whole list of reasons why she's crazy.  With immense courage, Joy finds friends and grows closer to her new family.

But just when hope is taking hold, she learns she must testify in her mother's trial.  Can she face her old life without losing her way in a new one?  Will she ever truly belong in a world that seems too normal to be real?


I have a thing for books dealing with mental health issues.  It's a personal thing, but it makes a book all that much better when the author gets the feelings right.  Joy deals with anxiety and panic, things that are hard to describe without making the character relatively useless.  The author did a fantastic job though.

Joy breaks out of her shell relatively quickly (and it is a pretty short book), but it doesn't seem rushed.  The fact that the chapters are names clever things that Joy is dealing with just adds to the book's charm.

There were a few times I wanted to put the book down because I was so afraid something lousy was going to happen to Joy just when she was finally getting better, but this book won't let you.  I think I read it in two days, which is a record for me in the last couple years.

I'm also glad it wrapped up where it did, Joy isn't fixed, but she's on her way.

Plus, just look at the cover with the paint strokes, awesome.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Wow It's Been a Long Time!

It's been more than six months since my last post!  I can't believe how long I have let this blog go unchecked.  Want to hear my excuses?  No?  Too bad!

School!  Seriously, I'm one semester away from graduating now (with my final degree) and school has a habit of kicking my ass.  Over the summer I had a very intense internship along with another job so that was funtastic.  My semester started up again this week and my life is in relative chaos, so I decided to try to do this again!

The good news is that in my time off I have read A LOT of books.  Finished my reading goal from last year and am well into the one for this year.  So look forward to new reviews!

I also have a lot of updating (formatting-wise) to do with this blog since most of the things on the sides are out of date now.  Never fear, I shall replace the ones I can and find new fun things for ones I can't.

The plan is to have a new review up by Saturday night.  Sound good to you people?

For now, here is a picture of adorable Avengers: