Fangirl was some moments all I expected and then at others like plunging into an ice bath of realization and transference. I've always said my favorit...moreFangirl was some moments all I expected and then at others like plunging into an ice bath of realization and transference. I've always said my favorite genre of lit is YA because it's transformative, and this book truly fulfills that need I have for characters to grow, realize, and become stronger. Fangirl made me laugh and cry a bit, revived long-dormant emotions and memories--everything a book should do. But perhaps the reason I enjoyed it the most--more than the playful but symbolic asides into Simon Snow fanfic (and the first time I've seen in a book the phenomena of Internet friendships and fandoms illustrated as they truly are)--was the SO important human, real depictions of anxiety, agoraphobia, bipolar disorder, narcissism, and other mental issues. Rowell so skillfully incorporates these into sympathetic characters and situations that I really felt I saw the world through the characters' minds. The characters' actions are so true to themselves, no unexplainable emotional shifts or worse, characters omnisciently explaining themselves as you often find in chick lit. And in the end, it's not a story about fanfic vs. real life or anxiety keeping someone from achieving success. It's about what Cath needed to grow and the people who helped get her there and how she gave support back in turn.(less)
Persuasion is one of only two Austen books I hadn't read (though I've seen every film adaptation there is), and I kept returning to the story in my mi...morePersuasion is one of only two Austen books I hadn't read (though I've seen every film adaptation there is), and I kept returning to the story in my mind, so I picked it up. I had the best time reading this book--maybe more enjoyable than any other JA, though I wouldn't say it's better overall. Maybe it's due to my age, but I found it much easier to read. I enjoy the supplementary characters of Mary, Sir Walter, Elizabeth, Mrs. Smith, Benwick... JA is so unsympathetic toward them, and their flaws are so laughable and relatable to contemporary times. I guess I feel they're the most layered supplementary characters in any Austen? And Anne's overcoming her flaws and learning to speak for herself is so endearing.
A favourite quote: "She had been forced into prudence in her youth, she learned romance as she grew older: the natural sequel of an unnatural beginning." I love Anne.(less)
While I usually love Ms. Klassen's books, this one fell a bit flat for me. I was kept entertained by the twists and turns of a fairly predictable plot...moreWhile I usually love Ms. Klassen's books, this one fell a bit flat for me. I was kept entertained by the twists and turns of a fairly predictable plot. The book felt like a mash up of Northanger Abbey (even down to some character names) and Jane Eyre (tons of plot elements), and perhaps that is why it felt predictable. I don't always mind a somewhat predictable, albeit entertaining, novel, but I couldn't shake my annoyance at the main character's stupidity. Emma is meant to be an intelligent book-learned woman who's spent her entire life surrounded by adolescent boys, and yet she fails to read Rowan and Julian right, falls for many tricks it seems her background should prevent her from falling prey to. I also was hoping for a bit more plot resolution or reconciliation for some of the minor characters. However, there are some very thoughtful plot details and some interesting history of the Cornwall coast. All in all, not my favorite Klassen offering, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend any of her other works to interested readers.(less)
This book is such a departure from what I usually read, I don't have a GR shelf to add it to, but so many people's reactions piqued my interest. If yo...moreThis book is such a departure from what I usually read, I don't have a GR shelf to add it to, but so many people's reactions piqued my interest. If you're looking for sympathetic characters, you won't find them here. What you will find is enough markers for Cluster B personality disorders to fill an entire college psych notebook and a really gripping mystery. I totally understand people's reactions now--I thoroughly enjoyed this book and its WTF moments. ^_^(less)