Fangirl

Ever since Rainbow Rowell came onto my radar, I have been dying to read Fangirl. The very title screams HALEY YOU MUST READ ME!

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But, for one reason or another, this book has eluded me. The library holds are always astronomical, no surprise there. And of course it is NEVER on a used book store shelf. I mean, who in their right mind would ever give this one up?

No, my only option was to buy new. So when Rowell announced the Special Edition preorders 6 months ago…oh yes. I am pretty sure I ordered my copy that same day.

And a few weeks ago, I received my very own bubblegum pink copy. This was one of those moments when my husband just looked at me like “Why the hell is she screaming?”

This is the same man who gets excited over socks.

But I digress.

WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME THIS WAS DRARRY FANFICTION?!?!?!

I mean, I should have expected it. I do follow Rainbow Rowell on Twitter. But, YES. Now I understand why everyone is so excited for Carry On to come out!

If you can’t tell by all the capitals in this post…I loved this book. You know…just in case. I figured I’d tell ya. Cath–she’s me, circa 2005. Completely introverted, no social skills outside of my small town universe, and a new roommate. I am not sure I was never not anxious in the dorm diners, and parties? Those were terrifying. So yep, I get Cath 100%. I’m pretty sure she even looks like me, with her glasses and her hair always pulled up.

When I write these reviews I’m always overanalyzing the plots and characters…but there’s nothing for me to criticize here really. I am going to have a major book hangover after this one. It’s the kind of book that you’re rereading in your head while you’re cutting melon in the kitchen. I know that, because that happened earlier this evening. I was CRAVING this story after my walk, but I had to get the melon breakdown out of the way first. (Damn dieting.)

I’m sure this is considered New Adult Romance, maybe Young Adult Romance, something along those lines. But it also deals with bipolar disorder, depression, alcoholism, divorce, anxiety. I’m sure I’m missing some important theme on the list. My point is, this is not fluff, though it is a book that is “easy” to read. By that I mean you will be immediately transported into Nebraska and Cath’s world, and you’ll forget about everything else.

Yes yes, yes yes, yes yes yes.

Under the Lights

As promised, I HAD to continue the Daylight Falls saga. There was just no way I could continue with anything else knowing I had that book sitting on my Kindle waiting to be read.

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8 hours later, done. Like I told you yesterday, these are quick, fun reads. For me, I consider them brain candy. However, this second book had a fantastic twist that I definitely didn’t see coming–and I wish more books had.

In Behind the Scenes, there are basically four main characters:  Ally, her best friend Vanessa, Vanessa’s co-star Liam, and his best friend Josh. Ally and Liam hook up in that book, so it would make logical sense that the second book would be the other two getting together right? And, at first, it totally seems like that. To be honest, I was rolling my eyes a bit, and settling in for a boring book. I really didn’t like them together–I though they were pretty shallow characters in the first one.

But, oh nay nay!

I won’t go into a whole lot of detail here about the plot, because I want you to go pick this series up (Under the Lights is due out June 30, so you have a month to read Behind the Scenes!). However, I will tell you that this one includes not only POC characters, but also Gay and Bi characters as well. It talks a lot about how important representation is in the media and on screen, and how hard it is to come out to friends and family.

I was expecting just another New Adult romance novel, but I got so much more than that. I hope Dahlia Adler continues to write these kinds of characters and stories, because they are so important! Go get your hands on book #1, so you can read #2 at the end of the month!

 

NetGalley provided this ARC for an unbiased review.

WWW Wednesday 6/3/2015

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What are you currently reading?

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

The Ramayana by Ramesh Menon

 

 

 

What did you just finish reading?

The Turn of the Screw/The Aspern Papers by Henry James

 Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler

Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler (Review Tomorrow!)

 

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Shore by Sara Taylor

Paula by Isabel Allende

The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury

Behind the Scenes

When I look for ARCs to request, I usually look for new authors or first books in a series. Sometimes it is painful–because I often get hooked on a run that won’t release the second book for a long time! But, it is worth it to discover the next big thing that I wouldn’t ordinarily pick up, or be way behind in a trend (which I always seem to be).

But…guys, I goofed. I accidentally picked one that was the second in a series. OOPS! Easy fix though–my library had the first book in stock, so I picked it up and took it to town. (Oh darn, I had to read just one more book, right? LOL!)

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Behind the Scenes was a quick read, too. This New Adult fiction novel was instantly addictive, just like the gossip columns that Ally so desperately tries to avoid. She just wants a “normal” life. Go to prom, graduate, fulfill her dream of a Columbia education. But that is impossible with a best friend who just got a leading role in the next big TV drama, and a dad with terminal cancer. Not only that, but the very HOT male co-star is paying a lot of attention to her off camera.

This book is so fun. It’s definitely not something I would normally pick up, but honestly, I loved it. I will say that some parts did frustrate me about Ally’s character. She would be hurting, upset jealous. She’d be thinking about her dying father–and then Liam would say “Come take your pants off,” and she’d come running, no matter what was going on at home or what he’d done to upset her. It made me what to scream at her to stand up for herself and trust her gut.

So, my Mama Bear instincts came out a bit, but that just means I really got sucked in. I am super looking forward to book #2, so I may jump right in to that next! Watch for the review soon!

 

WWW Wednesday 5/27/2015

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What are you currently reading?

The Turn of the Screw, The Aspern Papers and Two Stories by Henry James

The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd

 

 

What did you just finish reading?

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont (Review tomorrow)

 

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne (groaaaaaan…we’ll see if I get all the way through this one)

Killing Jesus by Bill O’Reilly

Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler

The Prince and the Pauper

Sometimes I wonder if kids today still get the same stories that we grew up on. Remember Velveteen Rabbit? That was always my favorite. Or The Little Engine that Could, Babar the Elephant, The Giving Tree? Are those still around? Do kids even know what Aesop’s Fables are anymore, or is it just that Mama Llama book every day?

That is maybe the only thing I miss about not having kids of my own–sharing my stories. I have nieces and nephews, but it’s not quite the same when you aren’t there to read to them every night.

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The Prince and the Pauper is one of those stories I remember hearing at some point. Or maybe it was just seeing the Mickey Mouse version. But I know that story by heart, and as I was reading Mark Twain’s book, I kept wondering if my littles would ever hear this one.

Another thought I had while reading it–I never realized before that this was a legend of Henry VIII’s son. As much as I love his court, I didn’t make the connection. This was apparently Mark Twain’s first attempt at historical fiction, and it’s such a silly little tale, but I quite enjoyed reading the full version. I will say that it is much more…vivid…than the Disney version! Not such a kid’s story, this one.

If you are as in love with Henry’s court as I am, this is worth the read. Mark Twain is so much more than Huck Finn. Who knew?

The Hogwarts Library

I touched a bit on my excitement for expanded series when I reviewed Four recently. JK Rowling is the master of pleasing her fandom with Pottermore. She also put out The Hogwarts Library, as a nod to Hermoine. These three short books raise proceeds for Comic Relief and Lumos. None of the books take long to read, but are a marvelous edition to the original series. For us die hard fans–they definitely tickle our need for everything magical.

Quidditch Through the Ages

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To be honest…Quidditch was my least favorite part of Harry Potter. I think it is mostly because no matter what happened Griffindor ALWAYS won (or almost always). Kind of takes the fun out of the sport, doesn’t it? I mean, high school sports are always full of drama, but there was always so much nastiness in it.

Still, reading about the history of Quidditch was pretty interesting. I have a better grasp on the teams now, when they go to the big cup game, and I am firmly against baskets! My favorite part was reading about the cranky old witch who wrote the first game down in her diary. Damn idiot boys throwing leather balls into her garden!

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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The middle book in the set is pretty much just an encyclopedia of the different creatures in the wizarding world. While the descriptions of some of the beasts are interesting, there’s really not much to it. (Although someone’s been up to some mischief with a quill…) I am curious to see how they will turn this A-Z reference guide into a movie, and how many of the critters will make it!

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

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Being the great lover of fairy tales that I am, this book was my favorite of the three. How amusing to read stories where the witches are the protagonist, instead of the evil ones like in the fable we grew up with! Of course, The Tale of the Three Brothers was familiar, but The Fountain of Fair Fortune was the one I loved the most. It was such an uplifting story.

The commentary by Dumbledore added so much more to the book too. Like all the others in The Hogwarts Library–it’s sometimes easy to forget that these aren’t genuine nonfiction. More than once, out of habit, I started to add one of the notated books to my Goodreads, only to blink into reality and facepalm myself. Those aren’t real reference books! For hardcore Harry Potter fans like myself, the Library only extends our world just a bit further…and our madness too. It just can’t be helped.

I would encourage any fan of the original series to pick these up. They are cute, look great on a shelf, and support great charities for kids in need. And that’s something Dumbledore would have been pretty proud of.

 

WWW Wednesday 4/29/2015

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What are you currently reading?

The Turn of the Screw, The Aspern Papers and Two Stories by Henry James

Roots by Alex Haley

 

What did you just finish reading?

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy:  A Handbook for Geeks by Sam Maggs

Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

Five Night Stand by Richard Alley

Washington by Ron Chernow

The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Geeks

HEY! HEY! HEY! HEY!

JUMPS UP AND WAVES ERRATICALLY AT ALL MY FELLOW GIRL GEEKS, NERDS, OBSESSIVE LOVERS OF EVERYTHING.

I HAVE FOUND THE FANGIRL FEMINIST BIBLE.

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*phew* Ok. I’m tired now. Sometimes being that enthusiastic can be exhausting, but this book gave me ALL THE FEELS. Because ladies, it is all about us! And it’s amaaaaazing. I’m not kidding, I was internally screaming the whole time I was reading, like FINALLY someone stood up and said HEY! We need this. We deserve this. This is ours.

I basically want to post myself at the doorway of every high school and just hand out copies of this book. Because girls need to read it. It would change so many young girls’ attitudes about so many things.

I should probably tell you about it, huh? *deep breath* Ok. Calming down. Just a little bit though.

Sam Maggs is a fan girl. And like many of us, she’s gotten all of the resistance from the patriarchy about being a “fake geek girl.” What even is that anyway? Ugh. So, she’s written a book about how to fly our fan girl flag so high that the guys can have absolutely nothing to say about us being fake. Because we are pretty freaking awesome, ladies, and we should show it.

This book covers all the bases of geek–from cosplay to Tumblr, cons to YA lit. But the real underlying theme is confidence and feminism. It’s time to believe in ourselves and stop letting the world outside tear us down and stop us from being who we really want to be. The most wonderful thing about being a geek is that we love something with everything we have, which makes us different than anybody else. Why not show everyone what that one thing is?

If you couldn’t tell, I really loved this book. It’s coming out on May 12, and you bet I’m going to have this one on my shelf. Are you a fan girl? FLY THAT FLAG!

 

Fulfills PopSugar #24:  A book based entirely on its cover

NetGalley provided this ARC for an unbiased review.

Four

Once a book was published, that used to be the final word from the author. Fans were left to speculate on what happened in the background–I mean, that is what fandom is for, right?

But we’ve become so obsessed with our theories and fanfiction that the authors are starting to catch on to our games. It is becoming profitable now for them to release extensions of their original books and series so that we can keep going with our favorite characters and worlds.

And…WE LOVE IT!

JK Rowling teases us relentlessly with Pottermore. Patrick Rothfuss gave us Auri’s story while we wait for the third Kingkiller Chronicle. George RR Martin put out a huge encyclopedia of his World of Ice & Fire.

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Veronica Roth was not to be left behind. Four tells the same story as Divergent but from Tobias’ point of view. It is a bit of a prequel and a bit of a mirror. The writing is the same, fantastic action drama. A few of the pieces don’t QUITE line up, because Roth did originally start Divergent from this perspective, before switching to Tris, but it’s just a really cool way to read the story.

My only wish now is to get this from one of the antiheroes. Can we have Peter, PLEASE?!?!?! I would LOVE to get inside his twisted little brain. Or Caleb, so we can watch is brutal betrayal. There’s so many options for rewrites!

Sigh…I know it’s a long shot. See what happens when you give the fandom a little something extra? We never can get enough!

 

Fulfills PopSugar #5:  A book with a number in the title