Books, Reviews, YA Fiction

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (review) // college, fanfiction, and the #nerdlife

16068905From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & ParkA 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?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Fangirl has been on my TBR for eons, and I’m sure I had been avoiding it due to my dislike for Eleanor And Park (one of the few books I had DNF’d and never picked back up). Fortunately, I came to my senses and grabbed Fangirl after years of hesitation, and for the most part, it payed off.

Rowell introduced all the characters so nonchalantly yet all of them made a strong enough impression to not fade into the background like some side characters tend to do. Cath was a great protagonist — likable, realistic, but also flawed and pretty annoying at parts. Her struggle with anxiety and adjusting to a new environment was so subtly expressed. I also adored the relationship between Cath, Wren, and their father. So full of love and concern but also realistic enough to depict all of their disagreements and ups and downs. The supporting characters — Levi, Reagan, Nick, etc. took some time to warm up to (some I still haven’t warmed up to), because they acted like plot devices at times simply to further Cath’s character development, but I did enjoy their presence in the story.

I loved where the story was going the first half. It was very carefully yet strongly plotted, and the themes of growing up and finding your identity were very, very relatable. I’m heading off to college this fall so exploring the atmosphere of a dorm room, dining halls, and overall college craziness was quite a visceral yet unpredictable experience, one I enjoyed actually. I loved the relationship between Levi and Cath at this point, and the tension between Cath and Wren was practically palpable. Cath’s dedication toward the Simon Snow fandom and her fanfiction was also nicely expressed, and I loved reading about her struggle to balance it with her duties as a college student and future fiction-writer.

Unfortunately, the plot totally fell off for me when the second half began. Cath’s relationship with her family, her writing journey, and her struggle with creating and maintaining certain relationships were all equally explored. And don’t get me wrong, it was all well done, but I didn’t find it as interesting as the first half. Levi and Cath’s relationship was a large reason for this; it felt a little blase and didn’t really seem to bring out anything particularly surprising in Cath. I called it out from the start and the progression of their romance was rather predictable and unchallenged.

My opinions on the second half didn’t stop me from enjoying the essence of Fangirl, however. It didn’t go the way I wanted it to go in the end, but everyone can relate to the themes of growing up and breaking out of that shell. In this case, the shell is the #nerdlife. Which we can all totally relate to, right? Haha, but I would definitely recommend this to any young person out there, Rainbow Rowell fans or not.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Thanks for reading, guys! What did you think of this review? Have you read Fangirl? Let me know in the comments 🙂

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Books, Reviews, YA Fiction

WWW Wednesday #14

WWW Wednesday (2)WWW Wednesday is a weekly event where you share (1) What you’re currently reading, (2) What you recently finished reading, and (3) What you think you’ll read next. Originally hosted Taking On A World Of Words.

Hey guys! I didn’t do a WWW Wednesday last week, because, er… I hadn’t made any progress in my reading. Well, that’s definitely all fixed now. Let’s get into this post!

What are you currently reading?

23272028The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.

From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.

I’ve been meaning to read this for the longest time and so far, so good! I’m already liking the chemistry between Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes, let’s hope the murder mystery is just as great.

What have you recently finished reading?

16068905From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & ParkA 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?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

I have pretty mixed feelings about this book as a whole, but I did love the first half of the novel even if the second half was underwhelming. Cath was a very relatable, flawed character and the coming-of-age themes were very realistically incorporated (until the latter half, we’ll get to that later). You guys can look out for my review coming soon!

And…

25486998Signed, sealed, delivered…

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

It’s been eons since I’ve read another Kasie West book, and this was a very light, fluffy, easy read. Unfortunately, it didn’t contain much depth at all (which I expected) but made for a good distraction.

What will you be reading next?

8755776The New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments continues—and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon.

What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

I had planned on catching up on this series, but I’d forgotten about finishing TMI after re-reading The Infernal Devices. Understandable, one does need a good amount of recovery time after the epilogue of Clockwork Princess, but it’s time to get back to the OG crew!

Thanks for viewing, guys! What are you guys currently reading and what do you plan on reading next? Leave me a comment below! 🙂

Books, Reviews, YA Fiction

WWW Wednesday #12

WWW Wednesday (2)WWW Wednesday is a weekly event where you share (1) What you’re currently reading, (2) What you recently finished reading, and (3) What you think you’ll read next. Originally hosted Taking On A World Of Words.

Hey guys! I’m back with another WWW Wednesday, let’s get into it!

What are you currently reading?

28260587The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what—and who—to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.

Y’all already know I was ready to jump on this book real quick after finishing Queen Of Shadows, and while I’m not finding it as interesting/engaging as the previous installment, I’m still enjoying certain parts of it. I’m particularly liking the appearances of Maeve’s cadre, Aedion’s character development, and the unlikely Elide x Lorcan pairing.

What have you recently finished reading?

28458598Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

After months of enduring the immense hype this book got on Goodreads, I finally managed to pick it up and finish it in two measly days. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy it as much I originally wanted to. You can find my full review of it here.

31450852In the next installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, follow Chaol on his sweeping journey to a distant empire.

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent’s mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

My lord, I am so excited for this. Chaol is my BABY (even when he was acting like a total ass in the first half of Queen Of Shadows) and I’m totally down for anything that takes me away from Aelin’s whole soap opera.

Thanks for viewing, guys! What are you guys currently reading and what do you plan on reading next? Leave me a comment below! 🙂

Books, Reviews, YA Fiction

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (review) | YES to the Indian rep but I still got issues (surprise surprise!!)

Imagine my joy (and apprehension) when I finally stumbled upon a copy of When Dimple Met Rishi in my school library, the book that people had been going nuts over at Goodreads. If you guys didn’t know already, I’m Indian, and it makes me absolutely crazy, excited, and understandably scared that this book features Indian MCs and a view into our vast culture. Unfortunately, besides this fact, the romance, characters, and overall writing did NOT do great things for me.

I finished this book quick because it was entertaining and easy to read, but the writing was repetitive and the plot was practically nonexistent. The book had practically no direction but still happened to remain as predictable as typical dramatic Bollywood love story. Basically nothing happens for 75% of the book and then when something finally does, you’re so bored that you don’t even care about continuing. Especially since you already know what’s coming. I mean, it only took 2 days to get through this book, but halfway through, I was this:

Related image

Dimple and Rishi, I will say, have pretty realistic goals, flaws, and personalities. Dimple is passionate and independent, but is rebellious toward her traditional parents (specifically her mother) who tend to focus more on her appearance and acquiring husbands than her interest in coding and computer science. Rishi, on the other hand, is much more welcoming and embracing of his culture, but has trouble expressing his true passions to his parents. The characters themselves were too inconsistent for me to be invested in, but I could relate to both of their insecurities and fears about who they were and what others wanted them to be. The secondary characters, however, were altogether unnecessary. Besides adding a dash of cringe (which every Bollywood movie contains, let’s be real), they served no purpose but to stir up drama that had nothing to do with the message of the book or the plot.

Continue reading “When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (review) | YES to the Indian rep but I still got issues (surprise surprise!!)”

Books, Reviews, YA Fiction

WWW Wednesday #11

WWW Wednesday (2)WWW Wednesday is a weekly event where you share (1) What you’re currently reading, (2) What you recently finished reading, and (3) What you think you’ll read next. Originally hosted Taking On A World Of Words.

What’s up, guys? I know, I know. I skipped out on last Wednesday, but I’m willing to make that up to y’all with a LOADED WWW Wednesday post.

What are you currently reading?

28458598Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

FINALLY. I have finally got to the book that readers (especially South Indian ones) have been talking about for ages. I’m a South Indian myself, and currently I’m about a 1/4 through, and while it’s pretty entertaining, cute, and easy to read… I do have a few things to complain about. I let you know my full thoughts soon after I finish it!

What have you recently finished reading?

18006496The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

AHHHH I’m LOVING this series. The character development just keeps building and building, the plot is constantly thickening, and the events that take place in this book are just… incredibly unpredictable and shocking. The writing has improved immensely since Throne Of Glass, and the relationships between the characters (Aelin x Rowan, Lysandra x Aelin, Aedion!!!) are so realistic and intriguing because you truly feel like you know these people. Besides a few complaints (which mostly have to do with everyone being up Aelin’s ass, but what else is new?), I hereby declare that Sarah J. Mass has officially got her hold on me. Empire Of Storms, where you at?

And …

6527740They come first.

My vision was growing dimmer, the blackness and ghosts closing in. I swore it was like I could hear Robert whispering in my ear: The world of the dead won’t give you up a second time. Just before the light completely vanished, I saw Dimitri’s face join Lissa’s. I wanted to smile. I decided then that if the two people I loved most were safe, I could leave this world.

The dead could finally have me.

Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules. She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir’s Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardians to come.

Now the law has finally caught up with Rose – for a crime she didn’t even commit. She’s in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She’ll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir.

But the clock on Rose’s life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back…and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your whole life is about saving others, who will save you?

Join Rose, Dimitri, Adrian, and Lissa in Last Sacrifice, the epic, unforgettable finale to Richelle Mead’s international #1 bestselling Vampire Academy series.

It’s the FINALE guys!! I have to say though, as conclusions go, this one was kind of underwhelming. I enjoyed Rose’s dynamics with the rest of the characters and it was fairly mysterious and entertaining enough. I definitely liked Lissa and Sydney’s characters better (especially because their character development always felt stunted to me), and Adrian certainly improved too. However, the plot progressed at the pace of a snail and the crescendo and buildup I was waiting for… never really came. It didn’t have the epic feel I wanted it to have, but I’m still interested in this world. Since I’m liking Sydney a lot more now, I’ll definitely check out the Bloodlines series soon.

What will you be reading next?

28260587The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what—and who—to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.

I don’t care if it’s too soon, I will get my hands on this book or I will die trying. It’s only been about a week since Queen Of Shadows, but I’m already facing withdrawals from being apart from my babies for so long. And when I do get my hands on it, it better not disappoint!

Thanks for viewing, guys! What are you guys currently reading and what do you plan on reading next? Leave me a comment below! 🙂

Books, Reviews, YA Fiction

February 2018 wrap-up

Well, well, there goes February. Was it just me, or did February seem super long to you guys? January went by quickly, but February just draaaggged. Anyway, this month I read 6 books, which isn’t … bad. I’m hoping I can fit a few more in for March though!

Books I’ve read:

The Smell Of Other’s People Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock – 3.5 stars

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows –  4.25 stars

Starflight (Starflight #1) by Melissa Landers – 4.25 stars

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2) by Cassandra Clare – 4 stars

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare – 4.5 stars

Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5) by Richelle Mead – 3.25 stars

February posts

Anticipated releases: February 2018 

Renegades by Marissa Meyer (review, Aliza)

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lisa McBride (review)

WWW Wednesday #7 

A List Of Cages by Robin Roe (review)

The Smell Of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock (review)

WWW Wednesday #8 

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (review)

WWW Wednesday #9 

The Infernal Devices trilogy review (re-read)

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (review, Aliza)

Aside from reading, how many of you guys went and saw that Black Panther movie?! I saw it last week, and I don’t mean to add to the hype, but goddamn. The music, the cinematography, the action sequences, and the characters were so, so well done. I’m still listening to that Kendrick Lamar-curated soundtrack, by the way.

Thanks for viewing, guys! How did your February go? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Books, Reviews, YA Fiction

WWW Wednesday #9

WWW Wednesday (2)WWW Wednesday is a weekly event where you share (1) What you’re currently reading, (2) What you recently finished reading, and (3) What you think you’ll read next. Originally hosted Taking On A World Of Words.

What’s up, guys? Remember how I said I was going to get my reading schedule back on track last Wednesday? Ha, ha, ha. Right now, it’s gone kinda, sorta off the rails but I’ll totally be fine by next week. Pray for me, readers.

What are you currently reading?

35271523The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel in the world. Immense as a mountain, the ancient Tower holds unnumbered ringdoms, warring and peaceful, stacked one on the other like the layers of a cake. It is a world of geniuses and tyrants, of airships and steam engines, of unusual animals and mysterious machines.

Soon after arriving for his honeymoon at the Tower, the mild-mannered headmaster of a small village school, Thomas Senlin, gets separated from his wife, Marya, in the overwhelming swarm of tourists, residents, and miscreants.

Senlin is determined to find Marya, but to do so he’ll have to navigate madhouses, ballrooms, and burlesque theaters. He must survive betrayal, assassination, and the long guns of a flying fortress. But if he hopes to find his wife, he will have to do more than just endure.

This quiet man of letters must become a man of action.

Yes, I’m still reading this! It was put off for a while due to another book interrupting (which I will get to soon enough), but I’m determined to push through this one. I’ll admit that I’m having trouble focusing, the writing is quite dense and the plot seems to lose its way every now and then. Let’s hope I get more invested soon, because I would hate to hate this book.

What have you recently finished reading?

18335634Danger and betrayal, love and loss, secrets and enchantment are woven together in the breathtaking finale to the #1 New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices Trilogy, prequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

THE INFERNAL DEVICES WILL NEVER STOP COMING

A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.

Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever.

As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

THIS BOOK. AHHHHH. This book was a whole mess in the best possible way, and I honestly didn’t expect to feel just as emotional as I did the first time reading this at that bittersweet-as-shit epilogue. I might, just might do a series review that could come later this week, but still debating it. TOO MANY EMOTIONS TO EXPRESS.

What will you be reading next?

6479259After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives beyond the Academy’s iron gates to begin. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he’s out there, somewhere.

I’ve been looking for this book EVERYWHERE, and I have finally found it hiding in my school library. Hyped as hell for this one.

 

 

Thanks for viewing, guys! What are you guys currently reading and what do you plan on reading next? Leave me a comment below! 🙂