This was the first book I've read AND completed for pleasure all year long. This book built me up emotionally and then tore me apart.Well, I'm crying.
This was the first book I've read AND completed for pleasure all year long. This book built me up emotionally and then tore me apart. Over and over. This is the fastest I've taken to read a book in as long as I can remember (3 days). The characterization, dialogue, thought process, everything, it's so realistic and lovely. I really felt like I was back in 2006 in high school, noticing people on the bus and wishing I had the guts to say something. I remember feeling everything both Eleanor and Park felt about each other and their families and the world. I didn't think an author could bring me back to high school so vividly and so delightfully. I'm not crazy about the ending because I'd prefer NOT crying, you know, but because of this book Rainbow Rowell is my new favorite author. She should be the one with recommending quotes on John Green's books. ...more
**spoiler alert** This book was a roller coaster of feelings. I of course found myself relating most to the bitchy roommate, Reagan, because that was**spoiler alert** This book was a roller coaster of feelings. I of course found myself relating most to the bitchy roommate, Reagan, because that was me freshman year in so many ways. This book was so much like my life that it's a little eerie and tough to think about critically. Cath starts her first semester at college in August 2011, which is when I started my freshman year. She's obsessed with fanfic, like I am, and her ship - Simon/Baz - is almost identical to Harry/Draco, which you'd have to be plain silly to not realize was Rainbow Rowell's intention. You all should glimpse my marginal notes.
Starting with positives: Rainbow Rowell is a great author. I admire her short sentences, her way of getting to the point, the thoughts she chooses to italicize, her characters' realistic reactions to everyday situations, and her settings. Her descriptions are fantastic, her characters are vivid - I especially liked the dad character - and plus, the cover art is just really pretty.
I appreciate this book much too deeply to simply summarize it in any kind of review because it speaks to me so much. I've spent years of my life defending fanfic to people and sticking up for myself and others who both read and write all kinds of fanfic. I started reading it when I was about 9, and since coming to college especially I've heard a lot of "it's such a low form of entertainment" or "it's stealing" or "write your own gay shit." So when Rowell addressed those reactions in the book and had Cath fight against them, and write her own original story, I cried with happiness. Just - yes. Fanfiction is so powerful and deserves to be written about in this light.
Another thing that killed me was the sister/mother relationships in this book because it hits close to home and Rowell executes it perfectly. I can see this book having a sequel because of that, but that leads me to my next point about this book which isn't as positive - I just didn't feel like it needed to be as long as it is. Obviously, college - and freshman year alone - is a HUGE experience, and it's so hard to sum up in under 459 pages. But I feel like it could've been more easily executed in this case. The third time someone needed rescuing as a plot device, I felt a little frustrated. It seemed to drag the story on in a way that was disappointing because it could've been so much more fast paced and lively. Which brings me to my next point - I didn't really feel the Simon Snow excerpts were totally necessary. Like, there could've been half as many (or less) of them and it would've worked. I just didn't feel the impact of the quotes selected and the passages that Cath was reading out loud - why did they need to be so long? And the Simon Snow story seemed a lot more childish than Harry Potter - which is what it's supposed to emulate - which kind of irked me like, why is Cath so obsessed with something where they're literally hunting bunnies? It just seemed kind of odd.
I also didn't really fall in love with the idea of Simon/Baz and just didn't really care about Simon Snow very much. I wanted to care more about Cath, but I ended up more interested in Levi's character than hers. Some of her reactions to things - like turning in fanfic to her professor - kind of pissed me off. I wanted to relate to her, and I did at times, but I think she was just a tiny bit underdeveloped as a character. However, she did have amazing lady balls in the end when telling Nick to fuck off.
I would definitely recommend this book, but it just wasn't as intense and impactful of a read as Eleanor & Park was to me. E&P will stick with me; Fangirl was kind of... I'm just not sure how to describe it, but it just wasn't as **groundbreaking**, you know? But as usual, I feel so grateful to Rowell for her lovely words. (And I can't wait to see her in Arlington tonight!)...more
This was a pretty good young adult version of a Jane Austen bio. Easy to read, not too long, nice pictures, glossy pages. I liked it a lot. The only tThis was a pretty good young adult version of a Jane Austen bio. Easy to read, not too long, nice pictures, glossy pages. I liked it a lot. The only thing I wasn't a fan of was the recapping/lengthy summarizing of all of Austen's popular novels. I haven't read them all yet so I didn't want spoilers, and the ones I did read, I didn't feel the need to rehash....more
I love Daniel Handler's work and grew up reading Series of Unfortunate Events, so I was extra bummed out when this book didn't impress me very much. II love Daniel Handler's work and grew up reading Series of Unfortunate Events, so I was extra bummed out when this book didn't impress me very much. It was just a typical story about a typical boy who treats a quirky girl like crap and basically my face was just ":l" or worse the whole time I read it. It's not that the writing itself is bad - although there were certain scenes where I questioned what the hell was going on and still am not sure why certain parts were important - it's simply a boring storyline and not worth it. The first scene itself takes up around 70+ pages I'm pretty sure, and throughout the book there's about 100 negative mentions of "gay" and probably about 10 "fags." Like, enough is enough, Handler. Also, the book is so damn heavy. You're gonna grow muscles lifting this thing.
I dunno, I just kept questioning why this relationship meant so much to Min in the first place and it's not like I don't have any past relationships that can't compare, it's just... I never felt very emotionally attached to the characters, and breakups are nothing if not emotional. If you're going to write a break up story, I feel like I should miss the breakup-er as much as the breakup-ee does, which she does; she's described as being "La Desperado" at the end, and like... I just didn't care about any of them. ...more