Monday, October 21, 2013

Fangirl

For some reason, books just seem to be taking over around here. I can't help it. I mentioned in my previous post that I have read tons of books lately, so I guess that's just what's on my mind.

So, today I'm talking about Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: 2013
ISBN: 9781250030955

This book is the story of Cath's first year in college. She's kind of shy and uncomfortable around other people. So when her twin sister doesn't want to be her roommate, Cath ends up being roomates with a strange girl whose strange friends always seem to be around. Cath is a serious Simon Snow fan and is a very popular writer of Simon Snow fanfiction. She is very involved and, basically, obsessed with the fantasy world of Simon Snow, you she can't seem to fit in in the normal, everyday world. But, over the course of the school year, some things happen that really shake up her world.

Cath is obviously the main character of this book. However, there are several other important characters as well; her twin sister, Wren, her room mate Reagan, and Reagan's friend, Levi. All of these  characters become a huge part of Cath's life, even though that is sometimes not at all what she wants.

At times, Cath is a bit frustrating as a character, but she is completely relatable. The awkwardness she feels the first month of college is completely understandable and reminds me of the awkwardness that I experienced myself at this point in my life. Her experiences and reactions to them are so realistic. Levi is my favorite character. I think this is because he reminds me of guys I know in my real life. He is just that all-around good guy. You can't help but like him. 

I really enjoyed this book and finished it in two sittings. It reads really quickly and draws you in as well. I particularly enjoyed the snippets of Simon Snow between the chapters. Although it is a bit of a distraction from the main story, it is nice to get a little insight into this world that Cath is completely wrapped up in.

I would definitely recommend this book, specifically to college age girls. It is so completely realistic in describing the experience of the first year of college for a lot of people, especially those people who are just a little awkward and unsure of themselves. 

So...how about you? Have you read this book? Anything similar to this book? If so, I'd love to hear about it.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Books Book Books, specifically, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

I know my posting habits have been completely pitiful lately. For a while it seemed like I was really distracted and had lots of other things demanding my time and attention, and then when things began to feel like they were calming down, I started just diving into a ton of books. So, basically, lately my life has been wrapped up with buying and moving into a new house, getting settled in a new town, and reading tons and tons of new books.

And, that leads to the main topic of my post today. Today I really really want to talk about this great book that I just finished reading, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.

So, here's the lowdown on this great book...


Title: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
Published: 2000
ISBN: 9780007480371

On the surface, this book is about a couple of young guys running around New York in the 1930's, which happens to be the heyday era of super hero comics. These two young men come up with their own idea for a comic, it gets picked up, and they become very successful.

But, when you dig a little deeper, this book is about so much more. So many other topics are addressed and covered within the story. There are escaped Jews that are in New York to escape the horrible things happening in Europe. There are Houdini references, and lots of information about the skill of escape artistry. One characters even spends spends some time in Antarctica fighting the Germans. So, obviously the scope and breadth of this novel is extensive.

Josef Kavalier and Sammy Clay are the two main characters in this book, but in my opinion, neither of them were very likable. They are both very faulty characters that make questionable, and even terrible decisions without thinking them through. Even though I quite liked this book, I didn't find the characters to be very relatable at all. I did enjoy the "background story" on Josef Kavalier and I wish that part of his life had been fleshed out a little bit more.

Overall, I liked this book very much. I particularly enjoyed the sections of the story that shared the narratives of the comics and the characters created by Kavalier and Clay. They were very detailed and well thought out plots. It was like several small stories within this larger novel. Each had their own characters and plots that were completely developed. 

I would definitely recommend this book really to anyone who would want to read it. But, it would probably be particularly enjoyed by anyone who is into comic books, specifically "old school" comics like Superman. I would also suggest this to anyone who enjoys WWII fiction. Although this isn't directly set in WWII, this historical setting and the background information are completely tied into the development of the story. 

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It is quite lengthy and took me quite some time to get through it, but it was well worth it. I plan to read more by this author in the future.

Have any of your guys read this book? What did you think? I would love to hear other opinions on this book.