Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2019

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019.

I’m so excited for all of these… as you could probably tell if you took a peek at my pre-order list. A lot of these books are sequels or parts of series, and that’s just fine with me. Here are my top ten anticipated books — see the list below for release dates.

  1. The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell (release date 8/6/2019)
  2. Reticence (The Custard Protocol, #4) by Gail Carriger (release date 8/6/2019)
  3. Snow, Glass, Apple by Neil Gaiman (release date 8/20/2019)
  4. The Institute by Stephen King (release date 9/10/2019)
  5. The Testaments (The Handmaid’s Tale, #2) by Margaret Atwood (release date 9/10/2019)
  6. Wayward Son (Carry On, #2) by Rainbow Rowell (release date 9/24/2019)
  7. The Unkindest Tide (October Daye, #13) by Seanan McGuire (release date 9/3/2019)
  8. The Secret Commonwealth (The Book of Dust, #2) by Philip Pullman (release date 10/3/2019)
  9. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (illustrated edition) by J. K. Rowling (release date 10/8/2019)
  10. Malorie (Bird Box, #2) by Josh Malerman (release date 12/3/2019)

Are you planning to read any of these? What books are you dying to read in the 2nd half of 2019? Please share your links!

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Book Review: Carry On

Carry OnIf you’ve read Rainbow Rowell’s absolutely adorable novel Fangirl (review), you’ll be familiar with the name Simon Snow. As in, the hero of the (fictional) bestselling series about a boy wizard who learns at age 11 that he’s the Chosen One, and embarks on a new life at a (fictional) school of magic. In Fangirl, the main character writes wildly popular Simon Snow fan fiction, entitled Carry On, Simon.

In Rainbow Rowell’s newest novel, Carry On, we have the continuation of Simon’s story — but not the canon version, from the (fictional) official series author, but the fanfic story, picking up where Cath’s tale leaves off in Fangirl.

Confused yet?

Carry On is set completely within the magical fantasy world of the Simon Snow series. Simon is the main character, and alternates narration with his best friend Penelope, girlfriend Agatha, roommate and archnemesis Baz, and a handful of others as well, including the Mage, the all-powerful but highly controversial headmaster of the Watford School of Magicks.

It’s the eighth and final year of their magical education, and Simon return to Watford determined to confront Baz and figure out how to defeat the Humdrum, the big evil who’s menacing the entire world of magic. But Baz doesn’t show up as expected, and Simon becomes consumed by the idea of tracking down Baz, searching the school and the Catacombs for him night after night.

Finally, when Baz shows up, Simon is forced to share with him a secret — that Baz’s mother’s ghost visited, and wants Baz to learn the truth about her death. Reluctantly, the two boys declare a truce, and set out to solve the mystery, along the way poking at the edges of the myths and prophecies of the magical community, defying the prejudices of the old families, and trying to figure out just why they’re so obsessed with each other.

As in the fanfic we read in Fangirl, the heart of Carry On is the relationship between Simon and Baz. Underneath the enmity that simmered between them for all the years they were forced to be roommates is a strong and steady and mutual attraction, which the boys finally acknowledge and explore in Carry On. It’s sweet and funny and tender, and well, complicated too. Baz hides the secret that he’s a vampire, which isn’t as much of a problem for Simon as he would have expected. Their differences are acknowledged, and they’re just so friggin’ cute together that we know they’ll figure it all out in the end.

The magical mysteries — where did Simon come from? what’s up with the prophecy? what or who is the Humdrum? — all get resolved by the end, although I’m not sure that every answer is 100% satisfying. I mean, the bit with the Humdrum and how he’s finally stopped didn’t totally work for me, and I wanted Simon to get more of an answer about his parents. As far as I could tell, even though we readers find out the truth, Simon doesn’t, and that doesn’t seem fair.

Overall, I loved this book. It’s just so gosh-darned cute! The spells that they cast aren’t faux-Latin as in a certain series that we all know and love — in the world of Simon Snow, words have power, and the more certain words are used, the more power they have. So, the spells are all cliches, from “up, up, and away” to “stay cool” to “suck it up”, and it never stops being funny to see how they work.

Carry On is great fun for anyone who’s read and enjoyed certain children’s fantasy series — especially Harry Potter, of course. There are all sorts of winking references to the world and lore of Harry Potter, and it’s done with such an air of excitement and amusement that it feels like an homage, not a parody. Having read Fangirl, I’m not really in a position to judge whether Carry On works as a stand-alone… although if I had to guess, I’d say it would still be enjoyable on its own. Still, if you’re going to read Carry On, I’d strongly suggest starting with Fangirl to get the background and flavor of the Simon Snow phenomenon.

__________________________________________

The details:

Title: Carry On
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication date: October 6, 2015
Length: 522 pages
Genre: Young adult/fantasy
Source: Purchased

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The Monday Agenda 8/11/2014

MondayAgendaNot a lofty, ambitious to-be-read list consisting of 100+ book titles. Just a simple plan for the upcoming week — what I’m reading now, what I plan to read next, and what I’m hoping to squeeze in among the nooks and crannies.

How did I do with last week’s agenda?

LandlineJust Like the MoviesSince You've Been Gone

Landline by Rainbow Rowell: Done! My review is here.

Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fior: Done! My review is here.

Since You’ve Been Gone by Anouska Knight: Done! My review is here.

Across the Great Barrier (Frontier Magic, #2)The kiddo and I just finished up book #2 in Patricia C. Wrede’s Frontier Magic trilogy, and can’t wait to dive into #3!

 

Fresh Catch:

Two of my pre-orders arrived this week:

The WraithSpike: Into The Light

Plus, two of my library holds came in as well:

The Geography of You and MeThe Far West (Frontier Magic, #3)

And then there are the two books I picked up at the neighborhood used book store:

Songs of Willow FrostUnbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

 

What’s on my reading agenda for the coming week?

Henna HouseHotel on the Corner of Bitter and SweetThe Museum of Extraordinary Things

I haven’t quite decided on the reading order yet, but the next three books on my reading agenda will be:

Henna House by Nomi Eve

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman

Pop-culture goodness:

Have I mentioned that I’m one of the moderators over at Outlander Book Club? Maybe one or two or five hundred times?? We were absolutely thrilled this week to see that the newest issue of Entertainment Weekly includes a two-page spread about how to go on an Outlander binge — and guess who’s listed (in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY!!) as one of the fansites?

EW OBC

You could probably hear me hyperventilating from clear across the country.

Upcoming book club reads:

I have a few book club picks coming up:

Fields & Fantasies:

Join us for a discussion of The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman at the end of August. You can read more about Fields & Fantasies here.

Outlander Book Club:

All are welcome to join in for any of the upcoming group reads at OBC:

Classics read: OBC will be reading and discussing The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emma Orczy (one chapter per week) starting August 18th.

Book of the Month: The August BOTM pick is The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. Discussion opens August 20th.

A Breath of Snow and Ashes re-read: We’ll be reading and discussing two chapters per week starting September 2nd.

Want to join in the fun for any of the group reads? Let me know and I’ll provide the links!

So many book, so little time…

That’s my agenda. What’s yours? Add your comments to share your bookish agenda for the week.

Happy reading!

boy1

 

 

 

Book Review: Landline

LandlineMarriage, happiness, and a family’s future are on the line in Rainbow Rowell’s newest novel, Landline.

I’ll preface this review by pointing out that Landline is not a young adult novel. Rainbow Rowell exploded with her first YA novel, the excellent and tear-inducing Eleanor & Park, and solidified her place in the YA pantheon with Fangirl — but she also writes terrific grown-up fiction, including 2011’s Attachments and brand-new Landline.

In Landline, we meet Georgie McCool, a thirty-something comedy writer (who happens to love the TV show thirtysomething). Georgie has a stay-at-home husband, two adorable daughters, and a life that’s falling apart. Neal is always unhappy with her, to the point where she’s practically forgotten what it feels like to see him happy at all. Georgie and her best friend-slash-writing partner having been toiling for almost 20 years in the writers’ rooms of LA TV, waiting for the chance to finally make “their” show. And when that chance seems to be within reach, the timing couldn’t be worse: Georgie is supposed to be heading toward Omaha with Neal and the kids for Christmas — but the scripts have to be done that week or the deal is off.

When Georgie decides to stay in LA, she’s blown away that Neal still leaves for Omaha — and is left in a complete tizzy, wondering if they’re merely spending Christmas apart, or if Neal has actually left her.

Things get decidedly weird when a dead cell phone battery and a night spent in her childhood bedroom cause Georgie to resort to digging out the old dial telephone in the back of the closet in an effort to reach Neal in Omaha. Neal, at this point, is very pointedly not answering his cell phone, and Georgie is getting frantic. Lo and behold, when Georgie uses the landline, Neal answers… but it’s Neal in 1998, the almost-but-not-quite adult version of Neal who may be breaking up with Georgie. As the two begin a string of nightly phone conversations, Georgie is understandably weirded out at first, but comes to realize that something approaching miraculous may be happening. Through her conversations with younger Neal, Georgie gains a new understanding of where they’ve lost their way, but the question remains: Is there any chance that Georgie and Neal will find their way back to one another?

Georgie is a fun, funny character, quick-witted and quick with a quip. Her goal in life is to make people laugh, despite ending up with a husband who can barely bring himself to smile. Landline uses the device of the phone calls to take us back through Georgie and Neal’s romance, showing us their history and how two such different people found themselves head over heels in love. Their relationship feels real, and it’s easy to see how a couple with good intentions and full of love could still find themselves teetering on the brink of failure.

Georgie’s not without her faults, of course. She is pretty clueless about Neal’s unhappiness, and she is quite selfish when it comes to putting her career goals ahead of her family life. At the same time, she is the sole financial support of the family, and she works in a demanding field. If the shoe was on the other foot and the husband was the one working late and missing family vacation, would it feel any less unfair or inconsiderate?

I liked the device of the mysterious telephone connection (which Georgie can’t quite believe, and which she refers to sarcastically as her “magic” phone). There’s no explanation offered, so if you  like your mystical objects to have a rational basis, you’ll be out of luck here. Landline is, essentially, a story about the magic of love, and the phone is just one more whimsical plot element that helps the characters move forward and find their way.

As always, Rainbow Rowell’s dialogue is snappy and snarky, and the humor keeps the story from ever feeling too heavy, even when it appears that the marriage is doomed. This is a light-hearted novel — not light as in inconsequential, but light as in filled with sunshine, focused on the quest for happiness, and containing the essence of a modern-day fairy tale. We come to care about the characters and want them to be happy, and by the end, can’t help but cheering as the the novel attains a movie-esque momentum worthy of a rom-com’s will-she-get-there-in-time action sequence.

Landline is a great choice for readers who enjoy well-written contemporary fiction with heaping doses of laughter. While not avoiding the heavier subject matter of a marriage about to implode, Landline keeps the story moving along at a brisk pace and never plunges into despair. It’s a great love story — a story not about falling in love, but about the much harder work of staying in love.

Rainbow Rowell has been firmly on my must-read-everything list ever since Eleanor & Park, and I haven’t been let down yet. Landline made me happy… and I can’t wait to hear about the author’s next project, whatever it might be.

Favorite lines and passages:

“Kids are perceptive, Georgie. They’re like dogs” — she offered a meatball from her own fork to the pug heaped in her lap — “they know when their people are unhappy.”

“I think you may have just reverse-anthropomorphized your own grandchildren.”

___________________

Georgie was extra. She was the fourth wheel. (On something that only needed three wheels. The fourth wheel on a tricycle.)

___________________

“Upper body strength isn’t everything; I have wiles.”

“Not really.”

“Yes, I do. I’m a woman. Women have wiles.”

“Some women. It’s not like every woman is born wily.”

“If I don’t have wiles,” she said, “how come I can get you to do almost anything I want?”

“You don’t get me to do anything. I just do things. Because I love you.”

 

Want more Rainbow Rowell? See my reviews of her other novels:
Eleanor & Park
Attachments
Fangirl

_________________________________________

The details:

Title: Landline
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication date: July 8, 2014
Length: 310 pages
Genre: Adult contemporary fiction
Source: Purchased

 

The Monday Agenda 8/4/2014

MondayAgendaNot a lofty, ambitious to-be-read list consisting of 100+ book titles. Just a simple plan for the upcoming week — what I’m reading now, what I plan to read next, and what I’m hoping to squeeze in among the nooks and crannies.

How did I do with last week’s agenda?

The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy, #3)6990472Where She Went (If I Stay, #2)

I finally finished The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness! It felt like I was reading it forever. My review is here.

I read both If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman, and loved them both. If there was any doubt (and there really wasn’t), it’s now official: I’ll happily read anything and everything that Gayle Forman decides to write!

Fresh Catch:

One new addition to my shelves this week:

The Unwritten, Vol. 9: The Unwritten Fables

It’s a Fables/Unwritten cross-over! I haven’t started the Unwritten series yet, but I do love everything related to Fables. It’s clear to me that I need a good week or two of undiluted graphic novel time!

What’s on my reading agenda for the coming week?

LandlineJust Like the MoviesSince You've Been Gone

After staring at it longingly from across the room for a few weeks, it’s finally time to read Landline by Rainbow Rowell. I’ve read about half so far — and like every other Rainbow Rowell book, it’s terrific.

Once I finish Landline, I think I’d better try to catch up on my backlog of ARCs. I intend to read Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore and Since You’ve Been Gone (don’t you love that cover?) by Anouska Knight, for starters.

Pop-culture goodness:

I had a blissfully fangirlish day this past week. On Wednesday, I took a day off work and headed downtown to a wonderful book signing/reading by Deborah Harkness. She was funny, smart (of course), gracious, and so friendly toward us all. What a pleasure!

From there, I hopped in my car and drove about an hour to get to the theater showing a preview screening of the first episode of Outlander. Arriving early, I had a great time hanging out with other fans for a couple of hours. The screening itself? What can I say? It was everything I’d hoped for. Amazing cast, beautiful settings, fantastic production… and so true to the book! Simply beautiful.

kilt drops

The first episode is available as a free preview via http://www.starz.com!

 

So many book, so little time…

That’s my agenda. What’s yours? Add your comments to share your bookish agenda for the week.

Happy reading!

boy1

 

 

The Monday Agenda 7/28/2014

MondayAgendaNot a lofty, ambitious to-be-read list consisting of 100+ book titles. Just a simple plan for the upcoming week — what I’m reading now, what I plan to read next, and what I’m hoping to squeeze in among the nooks and crannies.

How did I do with last week’s agenda?

The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy, #3)

I am STILL reading The Book of Life, and getting frustrated by how long it’s taking me. Granted, I’ve had a crazy week with little to no reading time, but still. Argh. I did make the executive decision not to re-read Shadow of Night after all — thanks to a good, thorough synopsis via a wiki site, I managed to get myself up to speed enough to be able to enjoy The Book of Life and not get completely lost!

Fresh Catch:

Once again… no new books! I think I still have one or two in my house to read. Or a dozen or so. At the very least.

What’s on my reading agenda for the coming week?

The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy, #3)Landline6990472

Well, obviously, it’s all about The Book of Life right now. Deborah Harkness is doing an appearance at a local bookstore this week, and my goal is to have finished the book by the time I get in the signing line!

As soon as I finish The Book of Life, I’ll be starting Landline by Rainbow Rowell — which has been calling my name for a couple of weeks now…

… although I do also want to read If I Stay by Gayle Forman before the movie comes out!

Pop-culture goodness:

The big day is coming:

kilt drops

… and Starz has just released the opening credits sequence for Outlander, which left me absolutely teary-eyed and speechless. Check out how beautiful this is!

 

So many book, so little time…

That’s my agenda. What’s yours? Add your comments to share your bookish agenda for the week.

Happy reading!

boy1

 

 

The Monday Agenda 7/21/2014

MondayAgendaNot a lofty, ambitious to-be-read list consisting of 100+ book titles. Just a simple plan for the upcoming week — what I’m reading now, what I plan to read next, and what I’m hoping to squeeze in among the nooks and crannies.

How did I do with last week’s agenda?

The CuriosityThe FeverThe Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy, #3)

The Curiosity by Stephen P. Kiernan: Done! Check out my review and blog tour post from earlier today.

The Fever by Megan Abbott: Done! The Fever is the first book to be featured in the new Fields & Fantasies Book Club, co-hosted by yours truly and Diana of Strahbary’s Fields. Watch for our posts on July 31st!

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness: Just getting started… and realizing, after about 70 pages, that I really should have re-read the previous books first.

Fresh Catch:

I wasn’t going to pick up any new books this week… except I had a Groupon for a local used bookstore burning a hole in my pocket… so I came home with a bagful of books, including some Stephen King, Agatha Christie, and more! All sorts of goodies to dive into… eventually.

What’s on my reading agenda for the coming week?

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, #2)The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy, #3)Landline

I’m forcing myself to slow down and back up — which means that I’m putting on the brakes and re-reading Shadow of Night before continuing with The Book of Life. Even though I’m impatient at the thought of taking this approach, I know that I’ll enjoy the end of the trilogy more this way.

In any case, I’m hoping to move quickly through Shadow of Night so I can also start The Book of Life this week. Wish me luck!

And if I need a little break from the world of vampires and witches, I can always switch over to Landline by Rainbow Rowell.

Pop-culture goodness:

In preparation for…

sassenach

… I finally started my Starz subscription… and have become obsessed with Black Sails. I watched all eight episodes of season 1 in the last few days. Avast, me hardies! Give me more pirates!

 

So many book, so little time…

That’s my agenda. What’s yours? Add your comments to share your bookish agenda for the week.

Happy reading!

boy1

 

 

The Monday Agenda 9/16/2013

MondayAgendaNot a lofty, ambitious to-be-read list consisting of 100+ book titles. Just a simple plan for the upcoming week — what I’m reading now, what I plan to read next, and what I’m hoping to squeeze in among the nooks and crannies.

How did I do with last week’s agenda?

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime WalkFangirlThe Book of Lost Things (Mister Max #1)

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain: Done! My review is here.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: Done! My review is here.

Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things by Cynthia Voigt: Just about at the half-way point. It’s a fun story so far, but I’m not really clear on where it’s going.

The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis: Done! After five months and seven books, our Narnia journey has reached its end. A few reflections can be found here.

Fresh Catch:

Besides Fangirl, which I devoured as soon as it arrived, I also received one book I purchased and one book from the library, both of which I’m really looking forward to reading!

Unthinkable (Impossible, #2)Two Boys Kissing

What’s on my reading agenda for the coming week?

First, I need to finish Mister Max.

Next, I’ll be diving into my two “fresh catch” books, Unthinkable by Nancy Werlin and Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan.

It’s highly unlikely that I’ll finish those and still have time to spare… but if I do, next up is The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes.

Plus, now that we’ve finished the Narnia books, the kiddo and I have to start our next reading adventure. Let’s see, what can I tempt him with? I’m thinking A Wrinkle in Time, but may experiment a bit and try introducing him to some stories from my Bradbury collection instead.

So many book, so little time…

That’s my agenda. What’s yours? Add your comments to share your bookish agenda for the week.

boy1

Book Review: Fangirl

Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

FangirlFangirl is so adorable, I didn’t know whether to read it or hug it.

This sweet, funny, charming novel tells the story of Cath Avery, a college freshman who just isn’t quite ready to leave her childhood comforts and touchstones behind. Cath is a twin, and she and sister Wren have been inseparable their entire lives… until Wren abruptly informs Cath that she wants them to live apart in college, try something new and meet new people. Cath is devastated. She has no interest in making friends and meeting new people; she and Wren have lived together for eighteen years — why stop now?

On top of that, their dad is not the most stable of guys, tending toward the manic end of the bipolar spectrum without someone around to make sure he’s eating, sleeping, and generally keeping it together. Ever since their mother left, just after 9/11 when the girls were eight years old, Cath and Wren have kept their dad on an even keel, and Cath is terrified that he’ll lose it without them around every day.

Now that she’s lost Wren as a roommate and built-in best friend, one of the unwelcome adjustments required in Cath’s new college life is her brash and irritable roommate Reagan, who seems to be constantly shadowed by her best friend Levi, a sunny older boy who is just always around… and who somehow manages to work his way into Cath’s reluctant heart.

The biggest change of all is the impact of college life on the twins’ obsession with Simon Snow. In the world of Fangirl, Simon Snow is the fictional main character of a series of books set in a magical world. Think Harry Potter, with a few twists. Simon Snow is simply the biggest thing ever, with a huge fanbase that’s getting crazier and crazier as the publication of the 8th and final book in the series approaches. Cath and Wren have always loved Simon Snow and are immersed in the world of fanfiction — or at least they were. Wren seems to have left it all behind in her quest to grow up and be a “normal” college girl, with all the drinking, partying, and boyfriends that entails, while Cath wants nothing more than to live in her Simon Snow “fic” world for as long as she can.

Cath isn’t just a regular old fan, though — she’s the incredibly popular author of Carry On, Simon, which has become the hottest fanfic in the Snow-verse. Each new installment by “Magicath” gets tens of thousands of hits, and Cath can think of nothing better than spending hours writing about Simon and the boy-on-boy romance she’s created for him with his archnemesis Baz.

Fangirl follows Cath through her first year of college, through the ups and downs of her relationship with Wren, her worries about her dad, her growing romance with Levi, and her struggles to define herself as a writer, both in the world of Simon  Snow and in the context of her advanced fiction writing course — presided over by a professor who just doesn’t “get” fanfiction and won’t allow it in her students’ writing.

This is the third book I’ve read by Rainbow Rowell, and once again I’m just incredibly impressed by her talent. In Fangirl, she’s created not one but two fictional worlds. The story of Cath and her growth and development at college is convincing and feels authentic, and at the same time, Rainbow Rowell has created a fiction-within-fiction world for the story of Simon Snow that makes it feel like a real, well-thought out book series. Actually, I suppose you could say that there are three worlds going on in Fangirl, because I don’t see how you couldn’t count Cath’s fanfiction creation as a story all its own. By the end of Fangirl, I wanted to know not only how Cath’s life would work out, but both versions of Simon Snow’s as well!

Cath’s inner life is well-described throughout. She’s scared and reclusive, yearning for connection but afraid of it too, wanting to write but not willing to leave her fanfic behind or relegate it to 2nd place. I loved Cath’s insecurities and fears, her love for her father, her anger toward Wren even while she misses her sister desperately. Perhaps most charming of all is Cath’s friendship with Levi. Levi is the boy everyone wishes they met in college. He’s sweet and smart, caring without being controlling, always there for Cath when she needs him, and funny and positive to boot. I loved that Cath and Levi could explore their feelings, not without complications or issues, but at least without the trite contrivance of an unnecessary love triangle. In fact, I thought early on that the plot was setting up a triangle, and when that didn’t turn out to be the case, I felt like raising a banner with a big “THANK YOU RAINBOW ROWELL” on it. What a relief!

Rowell’s writing is full of sparkling humor and zippy dialogue. Even when serious matters are arise, there are plenty of funny and quirky moments to lighten the mood. I love this moment, among many, which uses a pop-culture reference point as almost a throw-away quip, yet really sets a great tone (and made me snicker):

Reagan was sitting at Cath’s desk when Cath woke up.

“Are you awake?”

“Have you been watching me sleep?”

“Yes, Bella. Are you awake?”

Probably my only quibble with Fangirl has to do with names. Cath is short for Cather, and it took me the longest time to realize that yes, Cather is in fact her name and not a nickname. The explanation for Cath’s name (and Wren’s too) was just too cutesy by far for me to believe, and felt like a forced joke that didn’t work at all in the context of an otherwise totally believable (if not terribly functional) family dynamic. This is a small complaint, however, and certainly didn’t detract from my enjoyment of Fangirl for more than a moment or two.

Overall, I loved Fangirl. It doesn’t have the emotional punch of Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park, which took my breath away with the sorrow and hurt of its characters. In Fangirl, Cath goes through quite a lot, but it’s mostly a happy book about a young woman coming into her own, finding out who she is and what she wants, and learning how to be her own person. Cath’s experiences during her freshman year of college include unique elements, yet feel universal. For anyone who has suffered through meeting strange new roommates, figured out to maneuver through a dorm dining hall, or confronted a professor who just doesn’t get your work, reading Fangirl will be a nostalgic, emotional journey back to those days of excitement and confusion.

Filled with strong writing and original, well-developed characters, Fangirl is a joy to read — and it’s sure to especially delight readers who, no matter their age, still get a secret thrill from flipping back through their Harry Potter collection… again and again and again.

__________________________________________

The details:

Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication date: 2013
Genre: Young adult/New adult
Source: Purchased

Wishlist Wednesday

Welcome to Wishlist Wednesday!

The concept is to post about one book from our wish lists that we can’t wait to read. Want to play? Here’s how:

  • Follow Pen to Paper as host of the meme.
  • Do a post about one book from your wishlist and why you want to read it.
  • Add your blog to the linky at the bottom of the post at Pen to Paper.
  • Put a link back to Pen to Paper somewhere in your post.
  • Visit the other blogs and enjoy!

My Wishlist Wednesday book is:

 Fangirl

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
(to be released September 2013)

From Goodreads:

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

Or will she just go on living inside somebody else’s fiction?

Why do I want to read this?

This just sounds perfect for me in so many ways! First, I’ve read Rainbow Rowell’s two other novels, Eleanor & Park and Attachments, in the past month or so, and while they’re quite different, I loved them both so much! (Click on the links if you’d like to read my reviews…)

And then, of course, the plot of Fangirl just sounds right up my alley. I’m imagining the Simon Snow series to be somewhat akin to Harry Potter — and who can’t relate to obsessing over characters, dressing up, waiting for movie premieres??? Plus, the deeper story of sisters growing up and growing apart sounds quite lovely, and I know that I love the way this author writes. All in all, Fangirl is a book that I just can’t wait to read!

So what are you doing on Thursdays and Fridays? Come join me for my regular weekly features, Thursday Quotables and Flashback Friday! You can find out more here — come share the book love!