Book Review – Fangirl

fangirlTitle: Fangirl

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publication Date: September 10, 2013

 

 

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

 

Review: Fangirl is undeniably the BEST book I have ever read (better than the best)! I have so much to say about this book, but at the same time I’m speechless. There will never be another book in my heart that can dethrone Fangirl.

The book is about two girls, Cath and Wren, who are best friends, sisters, and twins. Their mother had left them when they were eight-years-old and to get through it they devour everything Simon Snow. They watched the movies, read the books, chat on the forums, read fanfiction, write fanfiction, and dressed up as the characters.

Now, they are eighteen-years-old and in college. Cath thought they would both stick together throughout their college years, but Wren wants to do her own thing and meet new people. She wants the same thing for Cath, but Cath isn’t willing to change; to leave her comfort zone. While Wren meets new people, date, drink, and go to frat parties, Cath stays up in her dormitory working on her fanfiction Carry On, Simon (or either back at home for the weekend, in Omaha, to check on her dad since he can be crazy at times and need to be taken care of from time to time). She’s usually in her room by herself most of the times since her roommate, Reagan, is out most of the time probably with some guy.

She soon befriends a guy named Levi, who she assumes is Reagan boyfriend since he is always around. He’s always teasing her, nice to everyone he comes across, and always have a smile on his face. He becomes interested in Cath’s fanfic and wants her to read it to him every chance she gets. He always is there for her when she needs the help.

Then there is her Fiction-Writing professor, Professor Piper, who believes that fanfiction is useless and won’t get anyone anywhere in life since people can’t make a career out of it. But she believes Cath is a worthy writer and wants to help her with her future. That is if Cath is willing to take the chance.

When I think back to the beginning of the story and to the end I notice that Cath grown as a person tremendously. She came from being the shy girl who sits in the back of the class with no one knowing she exists to being the one who stands up for herself, for what she believes in, and becomes a young, independent leader.

I can honestly say that I am like Cath (both her old self and new self). I’m the type who prefers to stay in my room either reading, writing, or watching anime or something instead of going out to parties with a bunch of strangers, afraid of my friend leaving my side, leaving me with a bunch of strangers. I hate stepping out of my comfort zone because of my self confidence, plus the fact that I’m introverted. It’s hard for me to make conversation with someone since we don’t have many common interests (because I’m a complete nerd). But I have close friends who I can talk to and trust and have fun with, I stand up for myself when I need to instead of staying quiet. I stand up for what I believe in whether others like me for it or not. But I’m not that independent nor a leader (at least not a great leader) yet. Still working on it.

I just feel very relatable to Cath which is my biggest reason for loving this book as much as I do (plus, I freaking LOVE fanfiction! I write fanfic myself at times.). That’s what attracted me to the book in the first place, one, the title. I’m a HUGE fangirl. Mostly of video games and anime. Secondly, the mention of fanfiction. I read and write fanfiction and while reading this book I was surprised by the amount of fanfiction! I expected a brief mention of fanfiction through the book, but the book was loaded with fanfiction! Simon Snow is a lot like Rainbow Rowell version of Harry Potter. She wrote the Simon Snow series and Cath’s Simon Snow fanfiction so well that I actually thought that the Simon Snow series was an actual book series (I searched on Google)!

There is absolutely nothing is dislike about this novel. Someday I’m going to re-read it and I’m definitely going to tell all my friends about it as well. This book can be considered both YA and NA since there are teenagers, but at the same time we have some characters who are adults and their all together in college and constantly handing situations that can be considered YA or NA. The point is, I will always be fangirling over Fangirl.

 

Verdict: 10/10 = EPIC!!

Book Review – The Mind Readers

tmrTitle: The Mind Readers

Author: Lori Brighton

Publisher: Lori Brighton

Publication Date: January 11, 2011

 

 

Book Description: Cameron Winters is a freak. Fortunately, no one but her family knows the truth…that Cameron can read minds. For years Cameron has hidden behind a facade of normalcy, warned that there are those who would do her harm. When gorgeous an mysterious Lewis Douglas arrives he destroys everything Cameron has ever believed and tempts her with possibilities of freedom. Determined to embrace her hidden talents, Cameron heads to a secret haven with Lewis; a place where she meets others like her, Mind Readers.

But as Cameron soon finds out some things are too good to be true. When the Mind Readers realize the extent of Cameron’s abilities, they want to use her powers for their own needs. Cameron suddenly finds herself involved in a war which her idea of what is right and wrong is greatly tested. In the end she’ll be forced to make a choice that will not only threaten her relationship with Lewis, but her very life.

 

Review: The Mind Readers was the first book I’d read by an indie author and I wanna say that I am very impressed by Lori Brighton. She kept my eyes glued to the page (or screen since I was reading on my Kindle) and left me wondering what would happen next. I would be at school in the middle of class counting down the time when I could go home so I could continue reading. The book was not the best, neither was the worst but it was interesting, enjoyable, and worth the time.

To go a little more in depth than the book description it’s basically about a girl named a Cameron Winters who’s father apparently died. She also was abandoned by her mother and lived with her grandmother. She and her grandmother both have the power to read minds and there not allowed to let anyone know or find out about their supernatural powers, but if it happens they have to move, again. Cameron doesn’t want that to happen especially because it’s almost the end of her senior year and she wants to graduate with her friends. But as soon as Lewis Douglas shows up at school he changes her life by telling her that he can read minds, that he knows about her father, and that he knows someone who was close to her father that can take care of all the Mind Readers and will help strengthen her powers. But things doesn’t go all good and well for Cameron out there as she expects it to be when she finds out a secret they’ve been holding.

I would say that the characters are credible, but at the same time undeveloped. There isn’t much you’ll learn about them other than their background and how they were brought up where they are now, but I guess it’s because this is book one of the series and the author will go in depth about them in her next couple of books. Anyways, the characters are credible and they seem very much like your average teenagers. Wanting to be independent, falling in love, self discovery, making decisions, and so on. At times there can be unrealistic moments (which I’m not going to mention because it will sorta kinda be a spoiler for some). I will be honest, but sometimes Cameron can be very annoying because of her stubborn ways. I mean I understand where she’s coming from at times but then again it’s like…ugh! But she is a pretty cool girl and I can say that we all are like her, very curious. And while she learns new things about herself and other people, she always stands up for what she believes in.

The pace of this book is a comfortably quick read and the story isn’t confusing nor complicated which I like. I finished this book in about a week or so, but I believe many of you can probably finish it in a day or less than a week (I’m not a very fast reader). There are a couple of spelling and grammar mistakes but it isn’t going to bother you at all (just simple mistakes).

This is a great read and something you can just snuggle up with in your free time. It’s a more polished and decent indie book than most. It’s mix of YA, fantasy, and romance. I really don’t know the price of the book for those of you who read on the Nook or want a hardback/paperback (since prices vary), but if you’re a Kindle user then lucky for you the book is free! I recommend giving this book a chance if you’re into the whole supernatural stuff.

 

Verdict: 7.5/10 = GOOD

Book Review – The Fault in Our Stars

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Title: The Fault in Our Stars

Author: John Green

Publisher: Dutton Penguin

Publication Date: January 10, 2012
 

 

Book Description: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars brilliantly explores the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

 

Review: A sixteen-year-old girl named Hazel Grace Lancaster, struggling with lung cancer, meets a handsome young man named Augustus Waters, who battled with cancer in the past himself. They quickly hit it off and become close friends, mostly because of a book called “An Imperial Affliction” that Hazel cares for dearly. Hazel has many questions for the author dealing with the fact that the end of the book ends in the middle of a sentence. Augustus reads the book, by Hazel’s recommendation, and admires her curiosity, so he decides take her to meet the author in Amsterdam, using his last wish. Their adventure is full of romance, plot twists, and suspense.

The main characters, Hazel and Augustus, both seem like pretty credible characters. By their thoughts and decisions they seem to handle their situations more like mature teenagers throughout the story. They are both incredible and inspiring people in many ways. My favorite character would be Augustus Waters because of his positive vibe, humor, ambition, and confidence which makes me wish I was more like him (minus the cancer though). I believe we all have felt at least one thing that the characters felt, which is fear. Many of us fear losing someone we love, fear of death, and fear that we’re not going to be remembered. Many of us wish we could live forever and hope to leave a mark of this world. This book doesn’t just teach us about love, life, and death, but that everyone, every single one of us, have faults and that we need to realize that some infinities are bigger than others. That’s just life.

Of course, I loved the book! I read this maybe three or four times just to relive in their world. Other than the life lessons they portray I also like the fact that it’s diverse. This is the first novel I have read with characters who are diagnosed with cancer. Speaking of cancer, cancer isn’t really talked about a lot in the book. It’s probably mentioned a couple of times in the beginning when Hazel tells her story, but other than that this is a story about a girl with cancer who falls in love with a boy (who also have cancer), but this isn’t a book about cancer. Other than that I got to look into the eyes and thoughts of a girl with cancer and how our life differs. One thing I hate for Hazel is that she haves to carry that tank everywhere she goes, poor girl. I also hate it that her lungs aren’t strong enough like an average person. She can’t play sports, sprint, or even climb up stairs without running out of breath…it’s horrible!

This book is full of life lessons, young love, adventure, suspense, and tragedy. It will leave you full of unanswerable questions (and maybe even tears swelling in your eyes) and wanting more. I absolutely recommend this book to everyone. This book should be enjoyed by all and praised highly. I believe anyone can at least learn a little something from it and treasure their story in their hearts.

 

Verdict: 8.5/10 = AWESOME!!