Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I’ve been meaning to read another book written by Rainbow Rowell because I really enjoyed Attachments. But you all know how it goes, so many other books in the TBR pile kept me from doing this. I finally decided to try Fangirl when my friends Angie and Michelle recently gave it such glowing reviews. I just had to know more about Cath and Levi and see whether I’ll like them just as much.

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

FangirlCath 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?

I don’t really read, let alone write, fan fiction. The main reason for this is because I feel like I’ll get confused between the events of canon vs. fanfic. It’s funny because I’m not big on fanfic and my college experience was very different from Cath’s, yet I could still relate to her. I think every person who is a fangirl or fanboy of fictional worlds will be able to relate to Cath. I love her definition of what a nerd is:

“To really be a nerd, she’d decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one. Cath would move into the World of Mages in a heartbeat.”

Using that definition, I’m definitely a book nerd. I wouldn’t even be able to choose what fictional world I would want to live in. There are so many fantasy settings that I would love to visit and book characters I would love to meet. I also understood how plugged into the online world Cath was because I’m like that as well – I could stay holed up in my room for hours just browsing, staring or typing into my laptop. Aside from being able to relate to Cath’s nerdiness, I also really liked how the book focused on Cath’s relationships with various people in her life – her twin sister Wren, her dad and mom, her roommate Reagan and of course, Levi. These relationships are all complicated, with dialogue and banter that I really enjoyed reading about. I liked that I was able to get most of the references that they used. I feel like I keep saying this but I adore slow burn romances and oh boy, Fangirl had a really good thing going on in that department. I also liked the Nebraska college setting because otherwise, I wouldn’t have found out that there were courses related to farming. I thought it was great that their school also offered writing and young adult literature classes, I certainly wouldn’t have minded taking up those courses if those were available in my own school. One thing that I love about of Rainbow Rowell’s books is that they are all standalones. As much as I enjoy reading books in a series, there are times when I’m in the mood to read something that is wrapped up nicely in one installment. I am now definitely a Rainbow Rowell fan and I look forward to reading Eleanor and Park, I already have the hardcover waiting on my bookshelf.

Just a note on the cover, I feel like Rainbow Rowell has been really lucky when it comes to the cover design of her books. Fangirl’s cover is such a good fit for the story. I also like the artist’s style, here’s another Noelle Stevenson artwork that I think matches Cath’s personality well:

The Upside of Being an Introvert

Other reviews:
See Michelle Read
Angieville
Book Harbinger
Random Musings of a Bibliophile

WWW Wednesdays: September 11

WWW Wednesdays

WWW WEDNESDAYS… is a weekly event where you share (1) What you’re currently reading, (2) What you recently finished reading, and (3) What you think you’ll read next.

I’ve seen WWW Wednesdays around the blogosphere but this is the first time that I’m participating. You know when you feel like publishing a post on the blog but don’t have the energy to write a review? I think memes like WWW Wednesdays are a good idea for times like these.

Butterfly SwordsWhat you’re currently reading: I’m currently in the middle of Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin, a Chinese historical romance. I’m enjoying it so far and I find it interesting because this is the first time I’ve read an Asian historical romance.

Blue Sword

What you recently finished reading: I just finished rereading one of my favorite novels, The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. It’s this month’s pick for our book club discussion. It was just as lovely as I remember it and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of rereading it. I need more books like that in my life.

Eleanor and Park US

What you think you’ll read next: I haven’t read any contemporary novels, both adult and YA, in a while so I’m thinking I can read either Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell or Paper Chains by Nicola Moriarty next. Or any other contemporary book in my TBR pile.

What about the rest of you, care to answer the three questions above?

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

There were several things that made me curious about Attachments. First is the premise, I had a feeling it would be something that I could relate to. Next is the author’s name, I thought Rainbow Rowell is a pretty name. The title is also very fitting and a nice play on words – Attachments both in the sense of email attachments and also emotional attachments between individuals. And last but not the least is the gorgeous cover. I’m so glad I was able to get the Orion edition because I think it’s perfect for the story. So these are the reasons why I read Attachments as soon as I could.

Attachments

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now – reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers – not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say…?

I think it’s pretty common for most people to send personal emails using their work mailbox. I don’t do it as often as I used to because I could access my personal mail in the office. But in my previous jobs, when we had restricted access, I would use my work email to send messages to friends and family. Yes, I knew that IT people can track all of my messages but I’m really not worried about it because they’re probably busy with so many other things. I could relate to Beth and Jennifer’s email exchanges because I’ve had threads like that with some of my own girlfriends. Although nowadays, we tend to communicate on social networking sites or communication apps on our phones instead of emails. I liked how Beth and Jennifer are the same age but they’re at different stages of their lives – Beth feels that her relationship with her once dreamy college boyfriend has plateaued while Jennifer is reluctant to have children even though that’s what her husband wants. They’re both witty and intelligent women who are experiencing realistic problems. It’s no wonder Lincoln is fascinated by their conversation. Here’s a little snippet:

Beth to Jennifer: You’re right. I love weddings. I hate my sister.

Jennifer to Beth: Why?

Beth to Jennifer: Basically… because she’s getting married before me. I’m like the petty older sister in a period drama. “But Papa, she can’t get married before me. I’m the eldest.”

Jennifer to Beth: Oh, I love period dramas, especially period dramas starring Colin Firth. I’m like Bridget Jones if she were actually fat.

Beth to Jennifer: Oh… Colin Firth. He should only do period dramas. And period dramas should only star Colin Firth. (One star upgrade for Colin Firth. Two stars for Colin Firth in a waistcoat.)

Jennifer to Beth: Keep typing his name, even his name is handsome.

Aren’t they cute? Personally, I prefer Richard Armitage (with or without a cravat) over Colin Firth. The narrative switches from conersations between these two women to Lincoln’s point of view. I think Lincoln is a great guy – nerdy, plays D&D, reads fantasy novels, still lives with his mother, feels like he’s socially awkward but is a real gentleman. I felt bad for Lincoln because he’s stuck doing a dreary job that he doesn’t really like doing and he’s really lonely. The highlight of his work day involves going through emails between Beth and Jennifer. I can understand his situation, office hours are probably boring if you work the night shift and you don’t have anyone to talk to. I would probably go crazy if I was in his position (or I’d just end up reading a lot of books while waiting for my shift to end). I really liked how the romance developed. Without mentioning any spoilers, I think it’s a quiet kind of love story but also very sweet. I like how the lines are blurred and there’s no clear-cut good or bad guy in this book. It’s just a bunch of people trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives. All of the characters were well-developed and you can’t help but hope that they all get the happiness that they’re looking for. I think what added to my enjoyment was the fact that the characters are about the same age as I am. I’m always on the lookout for contemporary romance with more depth than usual and that’s what I got with this one. Will definitely be pre-ordering Eleanor and Park closer to its release date. I’m also planning to read Rainbow Rowell’s other novel, Fangirl, also out for release this year.

Other reviews:
Book Harbinger
The Readventurer
The Reading Date
The Book Stop
Book’d Out

Want Books: Eleanor and Park

Want Books? is a weekly meme hosted here at Chachic’s Book Nook and features released books that you want but you can’t have for some reason. It can be because it’s not available in your country, in your library or you don’t have the money for it right now. Everyone is free to join, just grab the image above. Leave a comment with a link to your post so I can do a roundup with each post.

Eleanor and ParkI first heard about Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell when I saw Holly review it over at the Book Harbinger. I’ve been curious about the book ever since, especially since another blogger friend loved it. I’m currently in the middle of Rainbow Rowell’s other novel, Attachments, and I’m really enjoying it so far – that’s another reason why I want to get a copy of this book. I saw Eleanor and Park in the bookstore the other day but at SGD29, I felt like the large paperback edition was just too expensive. I’ll probably wait for the more affordable edition to become available here or maybe I can pre-order it from the Book Depository. Also, I’m usually not picky about these kinds of things but the Orion edition will nicely match my copy of Attachments.

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

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.

What about you, what book is in your wishlist? Hope you’re all having a lovely reading weekend. 🙂