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.

35. Gayle Forman – Just One Day

I’m going to start off this post by saying that I love this book.

So, I don’t remember when I first heard about this book, but it’s been on my to-read list for a while now. So long, in fact, that I forgot what the story was even about. But lately, I feel like I’ve seen people talking about this book everywhere, and they all had great reviews. So I felt like I had to read it next (it was like fate, which if you read the book, you’ll appreciate ;)).

Gayle Forman - Just One Day (photo taken by me)
Gayle Forman – Just One Day (photo taken by me)

The story is about a girl named Allyson who is on a trip in Europe following her high school graduation. Allyson has always been a “good girl” and has done what she’s expected to do.

On one of the last nights of her trip, she meets a boy who’s appearing in a play, and she and her friend Melanie go to see it. The next morning, Allyson and Melanie are on a train to London, where they’ll stay for a few days before returning home. But on the train, Allyson runs into none other than the boy she had met the night before, Willem.

They talk during the train ride and once they get to the train station in London, Allyson mentions that she’s upset she didn’t have a chance to visit Paris. Naturally, Willem suggests that they take a trip there – for just one day.

It’s totally unlike Allyson to say yes, but something about Willem makes her feel different from her usual, safe self. So she goes.

Now, I thought this book was just going to follow their one day in Paris and be all romantic and have a happily-ever-after ending. Boy, am I glad I was wrong about that. This book is so much more than that.

Towards the end, I was taken on an emotional rollercoaster. I couldn’t figure out if the ending was going to be happy or leave me feeling like something was left out. I think it’s great when a book can affect your emotions like that.

I loved the way the book ended and it left me feeling really happy. I also can’t wait to read the sequel, Just One Year.

The only “complaint” I have about this book is that I wish their had been more resolutions in the relationships with other people in Allyson’s life. There are a couple of people who Allyson has rocky relationship with, and I would have liked to have seen how they turned out. But I understand that those didn’t really fit in with the ending.

Anyway, I would definitely recommend this book to people, it’s so good. It did take me a while to get into it at the beginning, but after that I just couldn’t put it down.

29. Junot Diaz – This is How You Lose Her

I’ve been busy with homework for my summer class lately but still managed to finish a book this week. I actually read it in just two days because it was a really easy read.

Junot Diaz - This is How You Lose Her (photo taken by me)
Junot Diaz – This is How You Lose Her (photo taken by me)

The book was This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz. I’ve been wanting to read it for a while, but (as usual) I don’t remember where I first heard about it. Anyway, it was a good book, although there’s no real story to it.

The book is a bunch of different stories, most of them involving a young man named Yunior, but they’re all stories about relationships. The only thing is that at the end of the book, I realized there was no real plot to this book. The stories were entertaining, but after I finished it I just felt like there was no real point to it.

I can see why this book is popular though. Diaz has a great writing voice and you just fly right through the book. It’s definitely a nice book for some light reading over the summer. Some of the stories are sad, but it’s still a good read.