Monday, November 04, 2013

Fangirl ~ Clean Out Your E-reader Challenge, Book 1

Here we are, day 4 of the Clean Out Your E-reader Challenge sponsored by Michelle and Berls.  I've finished two books, one that I loved and one I could've lived without.  I haven't made a dent in the free or nearly free contents of my nook.  I may need a COYER year long challenge... no make that a decade and I might have a chance.

If you were thinking of joining, or if you want to see what people are reading, follow the links. I'm dying to discover the great books hidden in all those titles that people discover.

I am really pleased by my progress so far.  I had the most wonderful weekend. I got things done and I spent a little extra time, just lounging in my jammies, reading the newest work of the amazing Rainbow Rowell.  That's right. Last week Amazon had Fangirl, the Kindle edition for $1.40.  I totally jumped on that, considering how much I adored Eleanor and Park.  And, in an awesome 'two birds, one stone' kind of way I wound up with my first book to read for the challenge.

Fangirl  by Rainbow Rowell
(purchased e-book from Amazon kindle store)

Cath Avery is starting her freshman year of college.  Her twin sister Wren decided that this is the time for the two of them to begin acting as individuals. They've always been a package deal so far.  They look identical, but inside the two couldn't be more different.  One thing they do share, or at least they used to was their love of the Simon Snow book/movie series. (Think Harry Potter)  

Not only do they love Simon Snow, but they are two very popular fan fic authors of stories revolving around the Simon Snow series' characters.  They've decided that Simon and his roommate at magic school, who is also sort of his enemy, Baz, are really in love. So, that's the direction their stories take.  As MagiCath and Wrenegade they have thousands of followers reading their version of the story every day.

The 8th and final book of the Simon Snow series is due out soon, and Cath knows that she has to finish her version of the story before it comes out, rendering whatever she thinks, feels, or writes moot in the grand scheme of Snow things.  That isn't the only challenge on her plate. These were essentially kids' books and she has spent most of her life completely wrapped up in that world, while having a kind of rough time in the real world. She's got loads of anxiety issues and she's going to be living with a stranger, living a life separate from Wren and living hours away from their father, for the first time in her life.

Cath's kind of a mess, but she's a really sweet mess.  Rowell even makes her neuroses endearing.  She is lucky enough to have her talent recognized by her fiction writing teacher, who encourages her to branch out in her writing. She discovers that not everyone in college is beyond the magic found in the Simon Snow series.  She gets a roommate who is absolutely perfect for her, and she finds out a lot about herself. I loved the exchanges between Reagan and Cath. 

This is the story of Cath Avery and her first year away at college. It's about love and overcoming fears and standing up for yourself. It's about the family you create, as opposed to the one you were born with. It's about finding people who love you for you, whether that be familial, platonic or romantic.  It's also about all those pitfalls and strange new routines and places and faces that you find when you leave home and your childhood behind to go off to college.

I was hoping that Rowell would be able to keep up the magic she created with Eleanor and Park.  I had nothing to worry about, because once again, she brings us characters who are real and flawed and lovable. She makes quirky endearing.  I know there are plenty of real people a lot like Cath.  I'm pretty sure the majority of people can find a little bit of themselves in her, too. 

 I feel like I've already gotten something great out of this challenge, by beginning with this book.  I'm looking forward to seeing what Ms. Rowell comes up with next.

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Berls said...

You're making great progress with the challenge (and we've been considering doing it again for longer - we also have too many books to make a serious dent in 1 month)!

I've seen several reviews for this book and I'm definitely interested. All the reviews have really made me determined that I need to read Eleanor and Park, since everyone seems to have loved that one. Great review :-)

Judy Krueger said...

Yours is the first review of Fangirl that made me want to read it. Nicely done.

JoanneMarie Faust said...

I think a regular COYER challenge would be a hit. We're all guilty of hoarding books, especially when they are so inexpensive.

Thank you both, @Berls and @Judy. I read Fangirl because I loved Eleanor and Park. I didn't really think the story would appeal to me. But, I really liked Cath and her fan fiction issue was just one part of her, not that she realized that.

Stormi said...

Good luck with your COYER, so far I have had one good one and one flop. I am finding it hard to not want to add to my TBR pile though when I read other COYER reviews!! LOL

Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard said...

Great job on the challenge so far, and I really enjoyed your review. I wish I'd picked up Fangirl when it was on sale.