In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, 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? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
The beginning started out fantastic! I’ve very hard to please with beginnings but I was engaged with the story and read it at every spare moment (and not so spare moments). The writing shone and I really liked Cather and her fanfiction, which, personally I found really fun to read. But then, somewhere around the halfway mark, I realized something but crossed my fingers in hopes that Rowell (I’ve not read any of her other books) would have some fantastic twist that I wasn’t expecting.
I was disappointed. I was *highly* agitated. It stopped. Pretty much left me wanting to throw the book (ebook format mind you, I didn’t dislike it enough to throw my tablet thank you very much) across the room. What. Is. This. It meandered from one problem to the next with little resolution and I just wanted to be done with it.
Clearly I am not in the majority, people have just raved about this book and I was optimistic through the first half. Cather’s cute attempts and non attempts at college life were entertaining as were the glimpses of her writer life. Problems with her father, her sister, romantic relationship, finishing her writing class semester assignment, her mother, it all piled up on her. It was frustrating to see her deal (or not deal) with her problems. I could hardly bring myself to care after a point. At the very least I hoped she’d pull herself together. I was glad that she and Levi could bond together over Simon Snow (oh why didn’t you give us an ending on that string Rowell?) and just reading out loud together. That might have been the sweetest part of their time together.
Still. No ending. I am not sure if I need to commend Rainbow Rowell for her genius or wail at her for the injustice of it all. The ending… (or lack thereof) My dear reader, I will let you decide on your own. I will not take back my two stars though. This just wasn’t my cup of coffee but it certainly doesn’t mean it didn’t have any entertainment value.
I got a free copy of invisible from Amazon, this is Paterson’s first book and while I had a few problems getting into it, once it picked up emotionally and storywise, I was really impressed.
Jazmine Crawford doesn’t make decisions. She doesn’t make choices. She doesn’t make friends. Jazmine Crawford only wants one thing: to be invisible. For Jazmine, it’s a lot easier to take out her hearing aid and drift along pretending that nothing’s wrong than it is to admit that she’s heartbroken. She starts to come out of her shell when she’s forced to be in the school play and even makes friends with bouncy Gabby and chocolate-loving Liam. But can she stand up to the school bully, and is she strong enough to face the truth about what really happened to her dad?
Why did I have trouble getting hooked? I couldn’t tell for sure what age Jazmine was, be it that I wasn’t paying attention or clues weren’t given soon enough. It drove me crazy. I’d pegged Jazmine as upper high schooler but once it was established that she was junior high level, it brought a more profound level of feeling to the story, at least, to me.
Bullying is a hard subject to write about and Jazmine went through a lot of ups that had me grinning at all the cuteness and simple happiness. Then there were moments that she’d retreat and leave me aching in sympathy. The worst part was her journal, kind of predictable but at the same time Paterson made it agonizing to read. Ahh, and I loved how the Secret Garden play (and Miss Fraser!!) helped Jazmine and the ending, just lovely and perfect amount of touching.
I’d recommend this book to everyone who might have a youngster (say 10+) and to those that don’t. It’s a rough ride but also has its inspiring moments. Touching bases with many topics that are sometimes hard to acknowledge such as physical disabilities and depression I did truly enjoy this book for how honest it was. Read it!