Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

by Rainbow Rowell
September 10th 2013
St. Martin’s Press
Kindle Edition
445 pages
Young Adult / Contemporary / Romance

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?

Rating: B- – Liked

Finally! I can now tell everyone that I’ve read Fangirl. Someone print me a certificate of achievement for finishing this novel. It took me a couple of years until I decided that 2017 is the right time to read this neglected novel. Almost four years late but it’s still worth a read, right?

What I Liked

The quality. This book is quality – the real deal. By that it means, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to anyone. The writing is impeccable and this is not really up for discussion.

The premise of fanfiction. I’m not into fanfictions. I’ve read some but not enough to make it my thing. I’d rather accept the ugly truth or deal with the misery that the author has bestowed upon my book – no matter how much I hate it. I’m more likely to grab a new book rather than re-live the story one more time anyways. But then, Fangirl seems to convince me that I just haven’t found the right fanfiction for me yet.

The book cover. I’m in love with the color palette and the art style used by the designer. Everything about it screams girly and cute. If I was a nonreader and I was to pick a book for myself, this would probably be the first book that I would pick. It’s really that eye-catching.

What I Didn’t Like

Somewhat unrelatable. Fangirl failed to tap the inner fangirl in me. It made me ask myself ‘Is this really what a fangirl is?’. Because again, by the standard set in this book, apparently, I’m not a fangirl.

Not discreet enough. We all know that Simon Snow is already a knock-off of Harry Potter but couldn’t the author be more discreet? Did she really have to mention Harry Potter in this novel? It’s just weird knowing that in this book’s world, the Harry Potter series also exists along with that of Simon Snow.

The main character. I hate how it felt like Cath was limiting fiction to fantasy and science fiction. I don’t know how she became such a brilliant amateur writer with that kind of thinking. Also, there’s something really wrong and weird in Cath. I’m not saying it because she’s into the whole fandom but because she’s really just downright crazy. She made me feel uncomfortable. In my opinion, she needs to see a counselor.

Boring. The short excerpts from Carry On and Simon Snow books are way more interesting. Like I had thoughts of just moving on with Carry On. I need to be honest. The whole plot is just meh because it felt like nothing really was happening. In the end, particularly in the latter parts, it was really able to set things right and redeem itself. Cheers to that!

To be honest, Fangirl is both a delightful and a boring read. Coming from that, it’s really something that I’m giving Fangirl a B-.


Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

throne of glassThrone of Glass
Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass series #1
May 7th 2013
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
404 pages
Fantasy / Young Adult / Romance

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.
The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

Rating: B+ – Loved

Throne Of Glass is just one of those recently infamous books. I’ve seen this book everywhere. And when I mean everywhere, I mean every book blog. It may be in reviews or book tags.

What I Liked

Lived up to the hype. Personally, I wasn’t expecting a lot from this book but I am honestly glad to say that it deserves all the hype it is getting lately.

The kickass heroine. She’s an assassin which makes her way cooler than any girl I’ve ever read. I like heroines that are somewhat related to criminal activities. It may be a heist or a killing squad or whatever. It just adds character to the whole story.

The romance. I believe a little bit of love in a fantasy book is a plus. It’s obviously not a must but it is good to have something to look forward to.

The action. I believe it tests a writer’s skill. It shows his or her prowess in using powerful and accurate words. I like action scenes that are so beautifully written, it makes me feel like I’m right there when it’s all happening.

Fast-paced. The suspense and mystery never stopped until it was the right time to do so and the plot will surely test your skill in guessing who’s doing what or which.

What I Didn’t Like

The love triangle. I don’t need a love triangle in an action-packed fantasy book. A little hint of romance – yes sure, why not? But a conflict arising from it – hell, no. It unnecessarily complicates things. Personally, if the author tried making the villain the other love interest – then now, maybe we’re talking. But that’s not the case here. The love interest, Dorian, the crown prince and Chaol, the captain of the guards are friends… good friends in fact (although I didn’t really see that in the book).

More action. In relation to what I like in this book (that I like action). I want more of it – more twists and turns to the story. I just want a little more to really prove that Celeana, the Adarlan’s assassin, the Queen of the Underworld, lives up to her infamous name.

Unrealistically beautiful. This is going to be personal. I am not at ease with the portrayal of Celeana’s beauty in this book. I know she has to look great. Pretty is enough, but does she really have to be that beautiful? It’s kind of annoying to some point but at least, she’s not pretending that she had the least idea of her good looks. Also, I approve of her girly actions. I mean. She’s a girl so it’s great that she acts like one (not that I’m saying every girl acts the way we are usually portrayed). On the side note, I believe that maybe her beauty must be one of her greatest weapons.

The secondary characters. This is just one of my observations but I feel like I’m missing w whole lot of things on the secondary characters. They lack some personality. Be on top of that is Chaol. Chaol is just bland to my liking. Even Dorian is also lacking some character.

Skin deep. The whole story is almost too focused on Celeana. Her two other co-protagonist is missing the limelight. I need them to stand out more. Hopefully, in the next installment of the series because it sure felt like they were just there to add spice in the romance.

Throne Of Glass is an impressive read. It has its numerous faults and plot holes like any other written literature out there. But as readers, we either just learn to love, hate or forget. If you want to read a thrilling and exciting non-dystopian fantasy book, Throne Of Glass is the way to go.