rainbow rowell

Book Review: Carry On

Rainbow Rowell is a fantastic author, and when I heard she would be writing Carry On I was really pleased. Fangirl was a great book, and actually writing the novel frequently mentioned in that book sounded like such a unique idea to me. It is a romance, so it’s not my favourite book ever, but I still loved it.

Carry On is pretty much the Harry Potter of Rowell’s Fangirl universe. This did make this novel a bit of a rip off, honestly, but that was bound to happen. It actually kind of embraced it.

The plot was really interesting, and I really did find myself excited to see what happened next. I wanted to understand the Humdrum and discover how he would be defeated. It was also rather interesting to see how the Mage played a part in everything. And the use of magic was fantastic; I really liked how Rowell explained the basis of spells and how they got their power.

The writing – as always – was fantastic. So easy to read, but very hard to put down! Even though it was cheesy (I mean, the hero falls in love with his best enemy. Who’s a vampire. Seriously.) I just enjoyed reading it so much. I even kind of shipped Baz and Simon.

The ending was… not disappointing, but I wasn’t overly pleased with it. I thought it was a bit too simple of a solution – surely they would’ve considered something along those lines? It’s not like it was particularly hard to see the connection. (I’d go into more detail, but I don’t want to include any spoilers.) I did like the bittersweetness of it, though. I liked how realistic it was, despite being a fantasy novel.

It was definitely a bit of a cheesy novel, but I kind of loved it. Rowell writes so well. It was a long novel, but I could’ve just sat down and read it from cover to cover without even realising. A strong 4 stars.


Book Review: Fangirl



Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – Paperback, 461 pages – Published January 30th 2014 by Pan Macmillan

I finished this book earlier today, and have been dying to sit down and get this review done!

The first book I read by Rainbow Rowell was Eleanor & Park, but I have to say that I loved this so much more! It’s still a romance, but less so – as in, it isn’t too romantic, and love isn’t the only storyline.

Basically, twins Cath and Wren have just started college, staying in separate rooms for the first time. Instead, Cath shares her dorm with Reagan – a chronically angry-looking girl with about five boyfriends – and Wren with Courtney, her new party buddy.

For years, Cath has been writing Simon Snow fanfiction with her sister, and has become internet-famous. She signs up for Fiction-Writing class, and continues to work on her main fic – Carry On, Simon. But when Professor Piper accuses her of plagiarism when she turns in a piece of fanfic, Cath isn’t sure she’s cut out for the class. Not to mention the fact that the final Simon Snow book is soon to be released.

As if these problems aren’t enough, the girls’ father ends up back in a mental hospital after they leave home, and their mother – who left when they were just eight years old – is trying to get in touch again. Oh, and Cath’s close friend and writing partner uses a joint piece of work for an assignment, without giving Cath any credit.

Throughout all this, Cath breaks up and makes up with her sister, and her relationship with Reagan’s ex-boyfriend is a crazy ride. Levi and Cath are clearly becoming an item, until Cath turns up at Levi’s party and finds him kissing some other girl. So much for that.

I can’t say I know what college is like, but Cath really reminds me of me and my friends. For one, I’m a total introvert and would never leave my room, let alone ask someone where the cafeteria is… And two, my friends are all the internet type, many of which also love to read a bit of fanfiction every now and then. Some of her insecurities and worries are incredibly similar to my own, which kind of gave me a sense of relief. (Phew, it is normal to worry about that!)

I love the relationship between Wren and Cath, and how it addresses the issues that siblings face. And the situation with their parents, which I’m sure lots of people can relate to. Basically, I love how this isn’t just a simple college book, where guy-meets-girl and everything’s great. It’s far more realistic than that, with an appropriate hint of humour.

The characters themselves are also all imperfect in some way. Cath compares Levi to her ex-boyfriend and admits that he may not be quite as attractive, yet she still likes him more. Not to mention how she comments on the little things she notices, but not in a negative way.

I sped through this book, which I wasn’t expecting with a book this length. It’s funny, it’s realistic, and it’s a great read. Not to mention, it’s now on my favourites list. Five stars!


Book Review: Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - Paperback, 325 pages - Published February 1st 2013 by Orion

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – Paperback, 325 pages – Published February 1st 2013 by Orion

I’ve heard so much about this; everyone seems to have read and fallen in love with it. I decided it was about time I give it a go!

It is a wonderful book. It tells the story of Park, a half-Korean punk-music-loving boy in Omaha. And it tells the story of Eleanor, the big red-headed girl who’s moved back in with her large family after being kicked out by her step-dad.

I love how this tells their individual stories as well as the story of them as a couple. The problems Park encounters with his dad, and the horrible things Eleanor endures from her nasty step-father. And the way the pair of them began to fall in love during their time together on the school bus.

Romances aren’t really my thing, but this was rather cute. I must admit that I have to question the reality of some of it; it seemed to happen so quickly and almost perfectly. Actually, that’s a lie. It isn’t perfect. It is realistically imperfect in the way that they have their doubts and problems. But it was just all so fast… I don’t know. I’m not exactly an expert in these things!

The ending was heartbreaking. It was unexpected, too, though I suppose I should have seen it coming to an extent. Rainbow Rowell (great name!) has made this easy to relate with and emotional and easy to read. 4 stars for Eleanor & Park.