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.

28. Kate White – The Sixes

I don’t know about you guys, but this summer has been off to a busy start for me! Last Thursday was my 2 year anniversary with my boyfriend, then Friday I had to wake up early to take a train to New York City for my sister’s bachelorette weekend! We celebrated Friday night and went out to a karaoke bar Saturday night, and after getting three hours of sleep I got up to take another train home so I could make it to my boyfriend’s graduation party! Talk about a long and busy weekend.

Anyway, all that train riding gave me plenty of reading time (when I wasn’t catching up on sleep), and I finished my newest book on Tuesday night. I didn’t have time to write this yesterday because I had to spend the day traveling to Massachusetts to pick up my bridesmaid dress for my sister’s wedding. Jeeze, I’ve been busy lately.

So the book was The Sixes by Kate White. If you’ve been following along, you know that I really like White’s books (check out my reviews of her other books I’ve read, Hush and Eyes on You). They are all kind of similar in nature, and once you’ve read one, you might be able to see the twists coming in the rest of the books, but I still really like them. I’m on a kick of suspense novels lately, feel free to suggest any you think I might like!

Kate White - The Sixes (photo taken by me)
Kate White – The Sixes (photo taken by me)

Anyway, The Sixes follows a woman named Phoebe who was a writer living in New York City until her life turned upside down. She had been writing books about celebrity gossip and was accused of plagiarism on her latest book. The allegations turned out to be true because her research assistant hadn’t labeled her research.

So Phoebe ends up taking a break from her city life and moving to a small town in Pennsylvania to work as an adjunct professor at a college where her friend is the president. One night, Phoebe is walking across campus to head to dinner when she notices a large crowd gathered in the lawn. It turns out that a student has gone missing, and Phoebe remembers that she had a conversation with the student recently. The student, Lily, confronted Phoebe to ask for advice on how to start her life over after getting into a tough situation. Those are all the details that Phoebe knows, but she wants to find out more, so she begins investigating.

Phoebe soon learns about a secret society of girls on the campus, the Sixes. She thinks that they might have something to do with Lily’s disappearance, so she starts to look into them. And then Lily’s body is found floating in a nearby river. This changes Phoebe’s investigation.

The dean of the school tells Phoebe that he thinks it might be the work of a serial killer, and presents her with similar cases in the area and at other schools. Phoebe now not only wants to figure out what is going on with the Sixes, but feels the need to find out who the murderer is too.

This book is full of turns, and I honestly didn’t know who the murderer was going to be until right before they are found out. At the beginning, the book might have gone a little slow, but I stuck with it and by the end I didn’t want to put it down. If you like suspense, this is definitely a good read.

9. Alida Nugent – Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse

After my last disappointing read, I was looking for something that I would really enjoy…and I certainly found that in Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse by Alida Nugent. The book is under 200 pages so I read the whole thing yesterday, but it was a great read.

Alida Nugent - Don't Worry, It Gets Worse (photo taken by me)
Alida Nugent – Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse (photo taken by me)

The book is sort of a memoir, as Nugent tells stories about her postgraduate life and its disappointments. After graduating college, she struggled to jump into a career immediately, as a lot of people have in the past few years and continue to do today.

I had a feeling I would like this book before I even started it, because even though I still have a little over a year until I graduate, I feel like I’m not going to have a plan once I do. It was nice to read a story from someone who didn’t have her whole life planned out when she graduated, and Nugent’s stories are funny.

She gained popularity on tumblr before she wrote this book, which is a website that I love. Nugent is funny and relatable, and I think this book is a great read for anyone who will be graduating college soon or has in the past couple of years, especially if you feel like you’re in over your head.

One thing that I really liked about this book was the ending. Throughout most of the book, you read about Nugent’s struggles in life – from having to move back in with her parents, to working retail even though she has a degree, to her unsuccessful love life. However, the book does not end on a sad or depressing note. I really like the way Nugent concludes the book, on an uplifting note describing her happy life in New York City. It gives the reader hope that even if your life isn’t going the way you imagined it would, there are always positives to life and things can always improve.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was funny, interesting, easy to read, and left me feeling good. As I said, I would definitely recommend this book to people in their 20s whose lives may not be playing out as they had planned.