49. Rainbow Rowell – Fangirl

Hey hey! Who’s excited for Halloween weekend?!

Besides the fact that I didn’t wake up until after noon today (I had a lot of sleep to catch up on…), I had a pretty productive day. Well, only if you consider doing an exam and finishing a book productive. Because that’s pretty much all I’ve done today. Anyway…

I’m pretty excited that my next book will be my 50th of the year, but I don’t know which book to read next. I only have two unread books right now and I was planning on saving them to read on the bus when I go to New York in a couple weeks. So, now the hunt for book number 50 starts.

Book number 49 was pretty good though. It was Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I know that Rainbow Rowell is super popular, but I’ve never gotten around to reading any of her books. This past weekend I was at home and I saw it at Costco, so I had to get it (or make my mom get it for me :P).

So, I didn’t really know what the story was even about, but I figured it would be a good read since she’s so popular. I actually read through the whole thing in 48 hours and found myself barely able to put it down last night before bed.

The main character in Fangirl is a college freshman named Cath. At the start of the book, she’s moving into school for the start of her freshman year.

Cath is really shy and doesn’t like new/unfamiliar situations, so the fact that her twin sister, Wren, doesn’t want to spend all their time at school together makes her even more nervous.

Cath’s transition into school isn’t the easiest, but she has her fanfiction to rely on. Cath is the author of a really popular fanfic based on an extremely popular series about a young magician.

Rainbow Rowell - Fangirl (photo taken by me)
Rainbow Rowell – Fangirl (photo taken by me)

The book follows Cath through her whole first year of school, dealing with her mentally unstable dad back at home by himself, her twin sister being a little too wild at school, her estranged mother, her classes, her rocky relationship with her roommate, and the boys she’s too shy to make a move on, all while she’s working on finishing her latest fanfic.

This book had me hooked. As I mentioned earlier, I read the majority of it last night and pretty much had to force myself to put it down so I could go to bed. I found myself relating to Cath quite a bit, despite our differences, although her actions did kind of annoy me at times. She almost seemed childish in the way she acted in parts of the book.

I did have a couple of problems with the book. At the end of each chapter, there was a little snippet of either one of Cath’s fanfics, or a excerpt from the “actual” books that her fics were based on. Most of Cath’s stories were pretty interesting, especially since we heard about them in other parts of the book, but I didn’t really care for the “actual” books. It confused me a little because I had to keep the canon and the fanfics straight in my head, I kind of wish it had only been Cath’s stories that we got to read.

Also, I didn’t like the ending of the book. It almost felt unfinished to me, which can really ruin a book for me. I like to have closure at the end of a book, and I was actually really surprised that I was at the end of this one. It really felt like there should have been something more at the end.

The latest book that Rainbow Rowell just released, Carry On, is actually Cath’s fanfic that she was writing all through this book, which I think is a pretty cool idea, although I’m not sure if I want to read it.

Overall, this book was pretty good, I liked the characters and the story (and it brought me back to my fanfic writing days – lol, literally), but as I said, I didn’t like the ending. The more I think about it, the more I feel like there are too many loose ends, and I feel like this book needs a sequel, and not just the fanfic published.

Anyway, I still look forward to reading some more of Rowell’s books and hopefully I will like the endings of those ones a little better.

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48. Elizabeth Maxwell – Happily Ever After

Wowza, two posts in two days, it’s almost like I’m back to my normal reading schedule!

The book I finished today (that I only started last night) was called Happily Ever After by Elizabeth Maxwell.

I found this book at a discount bookstore full of books I’d never heard of. I picked it up mainly because it seemed like the most interesting book out of all of them, and it only cost 2 dollars!

So, I did not have high expectations for this book. I basically thought it would be a classic cheesy romance novel and that I wouldn’t like it.

However, I was pleasantly surprised by this book, although it had a really weird concept.

Elizabeth Maxwell - Happily Ever After (photo taken by me)
Elizabeth Maxwell – Happily Ever After (photo taken by me)

The book is about a 40-something year old single mom named Sadie who writes erotic novels. At the beginning of the book, Sadie is starting her latest book, a love story between two characters named Aidan and Lily.

One night, Sadie goes to bed in the middle of her third chapter. The next morning she wakes up and feels really weird. She sits down at her computer and finds the third chapter completed – by someone else.

In the middle of her otherwise normal chapter, a witch shows up and transforms her two main characters to another world. Sadie is confused, naturally, because she doesn’t know where this writing came from. However, she tries to go about her day as usual.

This means taking a trip to Target to pick up a few things. In the middle of her shopping trip, she sees a man standing in an aisle looking really confused. She asks the man if he needs help, and he tells her that he can’t remember his name or anything about how he got there, but that he gets the feeling he’s met Sadie somewhere before.

Through an interesting turn of events, the man ends up staying at Sadie’s house and it only gets weirder from there. When he finally gets his memory back, he remembers his name is Aidan – and that he is the character from Sadie’s book come to life.

Basically, the witch in the story transported Aidan to the real world, and he has to work together with Sadie to find his true love, Lily, and get back into their fictional world.

The book follows their mission to find Lily and return them to the world where they belong.

As I said before, this book has a really strange premise, but I really enjoyed it. I started it last night before bed and could not put it down. I ended up reading half of it before I finally went to sleep.

I really had low expectations for this book, and although most of it was pretty cheesy, it was still an interesting and enjoyable read.

The writing is catchy and makes for an easy read, so I would recommend this book for some light reading if you think you might like it.

47. David Sedaris – When You Are Engulfed in Flames

Ugh, with midterms I haven’t had much time for reading lately, and I really feel like I’ve been in a slump.

David Sedaris - When You Are Engulfed in Flames (photo taken by me)
David Sedaris – When You Are Engulfed in Flames (photo taken by me)

Today, I finished my most recent book, When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris. Last year, I read two of Sedaris’ books, so I was looking forward to this one.

However, I don’t know how pleased I was with it. I think my main problem with this book is how long it took me to finish it.

If you’ve read any of Sedaris’ books before, this is similar in style. He publishes collections of short stories based on his life. They’re all very entertaining, some of them just felt to go on too long for my liking.

This book has a lot of stories about Sedaris’ life as he lives in Paris and also describes an adventure in Japan. I find Sedaris very relatable, even though we are in fact very different. He has a way of writing that the reader can really connect to, which I like.

I am a fan of the style of writing, because collections of short stories make for easy on-the-go reading, but as I mentioned before, the book did seem to take a long time for me to read.

Anyway, if you’re into this style of writing, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this book, and it has a lot of really funny parts to it. Overall, I enjoyed it, I just wish it had seemed a little lighter while I was reading it.

46. Kate White – Til Death Do Us Part

Ugh, I am swamped with schoolwork this week. But, I somehow I’ve still found reading time.

My latest book was ‘Til Death Do Us Part, the third book in Kate White’s series following Bailey Weggins.

Kate White - Til Death Do Us Part (photo taken by me)
Kate White – Til Death Do Us Part (photo taken by me)

In this book, Bailey gets a message from a woman named Ashley, who was a bridesmaid in a wedding with Bailey a few years earlier. Ashley tells Bailey that two of the other bridesmaids from that wedding had had sudden accidental deaths, but she is suspicious about them.

Ashley has reason to believe that the two deaths were actually murders, and she wants Bailey to look into it.

Bailey ends up in Greenwich, Connecticut, at the home of Peyton Cross, the bride of the wedding she had been in. She starts looking into the other bridesmaids’ deaths and before long finds herself right in the middle of trouble.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know how much I love Kate White’s books, and this is no exception. In terms of the Bailey Weggins series, I especially like this book. I was hooked through the whole book and totally sideswiped by the ending. I do like the series but I would more likely recommend White’s newer books to new readers.

45. Tina Fey – Bossypants

Heyo! I finished my latest book a few days ago, but I’ve been busy with not too much time to post about it. I actually just got back from a Mets game, which was super fun!

Anyway, the last book I read was Bossypants by Tina Fey. To be honest, this book has been on my list for a while, but I’ve always been a little skeptical about it. I feel like most memoirs (or similar books) by comedians tend to feel a bit heavy for me, which I find weird. For some reason, I also felt like this book might be a little bit too much about how Tina Fey dealt with being “in charge” and less about funny tidbits of her life.

Luckily, I was wrong. I’ll admit, this book did start out a little slow for me and took a while for me to get into it, but after that, I really enjoyed it.

Tina Fey - Bossypants (photo taken by me)
Tina Fey – Bossypants (photo taken by me)

It’s no surprise that Tina Fey is a funny lady, and her book is an extension of that. She shares stories of her life – from when she was young to (almost) present day (because it was written a few years ago).

She talks about her ascension into the comedy world, including Mean Girls, 30 Rock, and of course, playing Sarah Palin on SNL. I thought most, if not all, of her stories were funny, and once the book got going I could hardly put it down.

My one complaint would probably be that some of the chapters were really long, and as you all know, I like my chapters short. I just like to read any chance I get, and if that means reading for 5 minutes before class starts, I like to be able to stop at the end of a chapter and not just in the middle of a page.

However, that doesn’t change how much I liked this book, and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Tina or her work. It’s a thumbs up from me.