Thu, September 12, 2013

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell Review

Fangirl book cover

Fangirl book cover

By Rainbow Rowell
Publication date: Sept. 10, 2013
St. Martin’s Press, 433 pages
Source: Publisher

From the author the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

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 of 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?

— description

I adore Rainbow Rowell. Everything about her stories — from Attachments to Eleanor and Park and now Fangirl — feels so FRESH.

Fangirl is a particularly lovely story, taking on the challenges of college in a much more realistic way than any of the other “new adult” novels I’ve read lately. It’s not an easy transition for anyone, and oy does Cath have a rough go of it.

Cath is very…different…but in this book, that’s not a bad thing. I really love that it celebrates her quirk, her wallflower nature and her love of writing and all things fanfiction.

Yes, portions of the story are actual pieces of the fanfiction Cath writes. If you are a geek girl (like moi), you will likely love this. If you aren’t familiar with or down with fanfiction, I do suggest you start with her other books first and work your way here.

As you can tell, though, for me the blend of romance, family issues and friendship challenges worked like a charm! As my friend Shanyn put it, “I wouldn’t mind reading this for forever.”

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Posted by: Anna   •   In: college, family, rainbow rowell, romance

Mon, February 25, 2013

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell Review

Eleanor and Park book cover

Eleanor and Park book cover

Eleanor and Park
By Rainbow Rowell
Publication date: Feb. 26, 2013
St. Martin’s Press , 320 pages
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

“Bono met his wife in high school,” Park says.
“So did Jerry Lee Lewis,” Eleanor answers.
“I’m not kidding,” he says.
“You should be,” she says, “we’re sixteen.”
“What about Romeo and Juliet?”
“Shallow, confused, then dead.”
”I love you,” Park says.
“Wherefore art thou,” Eleanor answers.
“I’m not kidding,” he says.
“You should be.”

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

— description

I read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell right after my friend Magan and thank goodness I had someone to talk to about it because, you guys, it was SO GOOD. It was one of those books that I could not stop thinking about and needed to dissect IN DEPTH. Do we like or hate so and so? What was the deal with the ending? DID YOU LOVE IT AS MUCH AS I DID? Etc.

Like…I tried to write a review, but it was just so fangirly, I had to calm myself down. So, instead of a review, here are bits and pieces of my side of our gChat…I think you will get the gist of my love…

me: ok that book
is why i love to read
i sat down and would not get up for like 5 hours

me: i just really enjoyed being in his brain

me: they were both so fascinating and lovely

me: the whole time i was reading it i felt like somehow rainbow rowell was reaching out and grabbing my heart and that is really emo but it is also TRUE

me: holy mother of mercy magan
was that not the hottest thing ever

me: ugh that slays me
i love it
i love that book so much

me: it’s so hard when a book ends and you just want to imagine what the rest of their lives are like
but will never KNOW

me: can we make everyone ever read this and love it as much as we do?
i’m feeling evangelistic over it

me: oh man what do people do when they don’t have people to dissect books with them

So, basically, here’s what you need to do:

1. Read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. I immediately preordered a hardcover version after I finished my Kindle version. Be prepared to do the same.

2. Then let’s discuss it even MORE. I’d be lost without bookish friends like Magan (mwah. xoxo.), so know that I am here for you too if you need to freak out as much as I did!

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Posted by: Anna   •   In: abuse, family, rainbow rowell, romance

Thu, January 17, 2013

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell Review

Attachments book cover

Attachments book cover

By Rainbow Rowell
Publication date: April 14, 2011
Dutton Adult, 323 pages

Beth and Jennifer know their company monitors their office e-mail. But the women still spend all day sending each other messages, gossiping about their coworkers at the newspaper and baring their personal lives like an open book. Jennifer tells Beth everything she can’t seem to tell her husband about her anxieties over starting a family. And Beth tells Jennifer everything, period.

When Lincoln applied to be an Internet security officer, he hardly imagined he’d be sifting through other people’s inboxes like some sort of electronic Peeping Tom. Lincoln is supposed to turn people in for misusing company e-mail, but he can’t quite bring himself to crack down on Beth and Jennifer. He can’t help but be entertained-and captivated- by their stories.

But by the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late for him to ever introduce himself. What would he say to her? “Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you.” After a series of close encounters and missed connections, Lincoln decides it’s time to muster the courage to follow his heart . . . even if he can’t see exactly where it’s leading him.

Written with whip-smart precision and charm, Attachments is a strikingly clever and deeply romantic debut about falling in love with the person who makes you feel like the best version of yourself. Even if it’s someone you’ve never met.

— description

As we have established time and time again, when my friend Ginger tells me to read a book, I do. It’s pretty pathetic actually. “Read this book, Anna.” “Okay, yes ma’am, whatever you say ma’am.” OK, the language I actually used was more crude, aka calling myself her Book B****. But still, she told me I HAD to read Attachments by Rainbow Rowell and, per usual, I am so glad I did!

It’s an adult book. I don’t usually review the adult books I read, but I made an exception for this one for two reasons:

(1) Rainbow Rowell has a YA book coming out soon that’s getting a lot of buzz (Eleanor & Park)

The book is mostly a romance, the type of romantic comedy I get swept away in. But it’s also more than that: It’s about family and friendship, and it’s highly enjoyable.

Bonus points: It’s set in a newsroom. About three careers ago, I ran the night shift copydesk at a newspaper. Loved all the references to life in the news biz (before it mostly went online)!

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Posted by: Anna   •   In: adult books, family, friendship, rainbow rowell, romance