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Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Source: Rainbow Rowell’s website

Plot Summary: Cath Avery is a huge Simon Snow fan. She writes lots of Simon Snow fan-fiction and has the Simon Snow book series and lots of Simon Snow memorabilia. She’s also a twin and a fresh-out-of-the-box college freshman. Suddenly, things are changing.

Cath’s twin sister Wren is also a huge Simon Snow fan, but is pulling away from Cathy and from the Simon Snow fandom. Cathy now has to deal with an irritable roommate with a nice boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who doesn’t understand fan fiction, a  new writing partner, and a mentally vulnerable Dad who’s never been alone.  Cath must learn to come out of her shell and live her life without sacrificing what is important to her.

My Review: One of the best thing about this book are the characters. The main characters and secondary characters each have a personality that brings something different to the story. They also develop by themselves and with each other gradually.

In addition,  the author did a good job of showing how almost anyone can be geeky, not just one type of person. Furthermore, the tougher topics sprinkled in the book (mental illness, learning disabilities, drinking dangers, and divorce) are handled in a realistic and non-preachy manner with the characters they are associated with.

Besides the characters, the author’s writing style is great. Some lines of dialogue are hilarious. A favorite is, “But it’s like John Lennon writing with… Taylor Swift instead of Paul McCartney.” says Nick. “Get over yourself,” Cath said. “You’re not half as pretty as Taylor Swift.”

Other lines are thoughtful and touching. There are several lines about writing fiction that may spark some ideas or thoughts in readers who are also writers. Also, the author has a way of describing Cath’s feelings in a way that makes you feel them on a deeper level. An example of this are the lines, “She just needed to settle her nerves. To take the anxiety she felt like black static behind her eyes and an extra heart in her stomach where it belonged- where she could at least tie it into a nice knot and work around it.”

In addition, the lines that appear when Cath finds the boyfriend she loves are adorkable. Some favorite line are, “In the right light, you are such a nerd.” and “You’re magic.”

Furthermore, the author’s treatment of fan-fiction was respectful and well-rounded. Cath writes slash (gay coupling) fan fiction. Bits of Simon Snow fan fiction that are written by Wren and Cath on a fictional fan fiction site under clever pen names are at the end of each chapter.

Also, the author sums up the meaning of fan fiction with one sentence, “The whole point of fan fiction is that you get to play inside somebody else’s universe. Rewrite the rules. Or bend them.” Lastly, she shows what it is like to read fan fiction through more than one character. A favorite is a conversation between Cath and a random Simon Snow fan who is a fan of Cathy’s fan fiction.

The only flaw I had with the book was the pacing. At times, the book could be too slow. Even though this was good for the character development, there were times the author should have cut some months out.

Overall, this book was fantastic (no pun intended). I recommend it to anyone who reads or writes fan fiction, anyone who has a geeky hobby, and anyone looking for an adorkable story.

Post Review Authoress Notes: I am so happy I finally got this book; I’ve been wanting to read it all freaking year! I used to write fan fiction in high school and while I don’t write it anymore, I still read it. I’m also sad that the book is over and find it cool that I finished it on the last day of 2013.

Furthermore, I’m also happy The Outsiders (my favorite teen fiction book ever) was mentioned in the book… although I don’t like the way the author spoiled it a little.

I wish I could tell a certain character from Fangirl that yes, there is Outsiders fan fiction. I personally think the amount of Outsiders fan fiction increases every year. I’m not sure because I don’t read that particular fan fiction anymore, but the fact that it has thousands of fan fics is great because the book is a timeless classic.

Lastly, I loved the way the author parodied the Harry Potter fandom, especially at the very end of the book. It reminded me how I felt when I got the last Harry Potter book and turned the final page.

Written by Serena Zola

December 31, 2013 at 1:42 PM

My Favorite Geeky Things of 2013

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I’ve seen a lot of great stuff to geek out about this year, so I’d thought I’d share my favorites. Have fun with the links!

1. RWBY by Monty Oum- This anime-inspired animated series was featured online via the website of the creator and YouTube. The series focuses on four girls who attend a prestigious academy to learn to fight monsters.

The main characters and most of the supporting characters have awesome abilities that are fun to watch. The abilities of the four girls Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang were previewed in four trailers before the  series premiered. In addition, the series also spawned a great soundtrack for the first volume (season 1).

Favorite Trailer: White (Weiss)

Favorite Episode: 8

Favorite songs from the soundtrack: “Mirror Mirror”, “This Will Be The Day”, and “I Burn” (Yellow Trailer Version)

Watch RWBY YouTube Playlist– includes the four trailers and all sixteen episodes of volume 1.

2. Link’s Shadow and Next Gen. Smash Bros 300%– I saw both of these videos during YouTube geek week over the summer. Both of these videos have awesome live action role-playing. Link’s Shadow has Link and Dark Link from the Legend of Zelda video game series fighting each other.

Next Gen. Smash Bros has different characters from the Super Smash Bros. video game series fighting each other at huge sizes (sometimes).  I love both of this video games because Link is awesome in both!

3. Star Wars Themed Videos: Cello Wars- The Piano Guys, Bohemian Rhapsody- Arizona Cosplayers

I saw the Cello Wars during YouTube geek week. I’m not sure of this, but this may have been my first PianoGuys music video. I loved it because it was a lovely and funny take on the score.

As some of you may already know, the Star Wars version of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody is very recent. I originally saw the video on Buzzfeed and clicked on it out of curiosity and because it seemed geeky yet cool. I was right! If you click on the CC button at the bottom of the video, you can see the lyrics on-screen!

4. Kid Dressed as Harry Potter at Penn Station– I found this via the site Buzzfeed back in November. The boy playing Harry Potter is so cute! My favorite part was when the security guard says, “You kinda look like Harry Potter.” Improv Everywhere did a great job staging this.

5. Legend of Korra Book 2-  After a very long wait, book two of the animated series Legend of Korra finally premiered in September. Legend of Korra is the sequel to Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender.

While the first half of the season could have been better, the second half was freaking awesome. The only thing that spoiled my enjoyment of the series somewhat was the Korra haters.

(insert mini rant: Korra is a freaking human being, even if she’s also the Avatar! So what if she made a lot mistakes and had anger issues? Korra would not be who she was at the end of Book 2 if she was flawless. )

Anyway, to celebrate the LOK series and Korra herself, here is an animated music video that features scenes from Book 1 and Book 2 of LOK and the song “Transcendence” by Lindsey Stirling.

Written by Serena Zola

December 11, 2013 at 10:00 AM

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