Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Scary Book Covers

Top Ten Scary Book Covers! Happy Halloween (in two days)!!




Sunday, October 27, 2013

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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? (-Synopsis from Goodreads)

Title: Fangirl
Author:  Rainbow Rowell
Publication Date: 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Number of Pages: 433
Where I Got It: Barnes & Noble, Huntersville, NC
Dates I Read It: October 22 - October 25, 2013
Number of Stars: 5/5
Read it For: Pure Pleasure!

I've been listening to a lot of Paramore lately, and one song of theirs has this lyric in in that makes me think of this book: "Some of us have to grow up sometimes, and so if I have to I'm gonna  leave you behind." This is the ultimate book of what it is like to grow up and leave your childhood self behind. This book is so amazing because at one point in our lives, we, all of us, have this happen to us. This transformation can be extremely detrimental when first we realize that it has happened. I was very impressed with the way that Cath handled growing up and transforming into an adult. She does so through grace and a maturity that I am envious of!
I loved this book so much I can not describe it with words. I found so much of myself and the things that I have been going through present in this book. There are so many positive aspects of Fangirl, I will never be able to cover them all in this one review. But lets start with the first wonderful thing about the novel: the characters. Each and every character in the story is fully rounded.  Rarely do I ever discover a novel in which I adore every single character; usually I despise at least 2/3 of the characters in a novel. With Fangirl though, I felt like the people in this book were my actual, real-life friends! I was able to identify a lot with our main character, and even some with her twin sister, Wren, and even with her eccentric roommate Reagan! Even if you yourself can't find a specific character to relate to, the best part about this book is that if you are a reader, then you can identify with the overall theme of the book. Reading Fangirl will make you recount your own experiences with those books that formed the reader that you turned out to be. It was apparent throughout the entirety of the book that Rowell herself is a huge reader. She captured the magic of the experience of reading a story perfectly!
The writing in this book flowed very well. I would sit down for my nightly one-hour allotted reading time and get lost in the flow of the story and end up reading for three (oops). Dialogue between characters is always difficult. It's difficult to read and it's very difficult to write. The dialogue between characters in this story felt very natural and was never distracting.  I am so excited to read more books by Rowell (and, like I mentioned in my #FridayReads post for this week, I get to go see her at Yallfest in less than TWO WEEKS!). 
The plot was amazing as well. It was honest and never boring and, for me at least, 100% relatable. The story was set in Nebraska (where Rowell lives) but it could have been any town USA. I actually imagined Cath's university as the school I attended (go Spartans!).
I cried when this book was over. It didn't have a sad ending, far from it, actually, but I cried because it was over and because I didn't have any more of Cath and Wren and Levi and Regan to read about. This was one of those books that when it was over (and after I was done crying), I thought to myself: "damn! I wish that I'd written that!"
I would never hesitate to recommend this book. I would recommend it especially to high school seniors about to go to college. I wish that this book was around when I left for college. I also would recommend that 20-something girls who have that love of reading experience this book. I think that we all can relate to Cath's resistance to leave behind beloved characters from our youth (helllllloooooo Harry Potter!). Give this book a shot, I doubt that you will be disappointed!

Friday, October 25, 2013

#FridayReads 10/24/13

I rushed home from work today and finished up Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell which I LOVED!! I finished it about a half hour ago and I've been outlining my review which I hope to have up sometime this weekend. I loved this book so much, guys! I feel really bad for the next book that has to follow Fangirl. I am so in love with Rainbow Rowell now, it's not even cute! AND I am going to Yallfest next month and guess who is going to be there!!!???? RAINBOW ROWELL!!!!!!! SQUEeeEEEeeeeeeeEAL!
Last weekend I went to Barnes and Noble and bought Fangirl (which, I LOVED!!!) and The Coldest Girl In Coldtown which I suppose I will start tonight or tomorrow. Tomorrow is the day that G and I are going to the Renaissance Festival though, so maybe it will have to wait until Sunday. Which should give me a little more time to come down from my Fangirl high (did I mention how much I loved that book?). I've also decided that I am never going to make my way to the top of my library's Insurgent list which means that I will never get to Allegiant which means that in all of the numerous BookTubes and blogs I consume over the week, one will undoubtedly spoil me so I will just buy the e-book (which is pretty good right now at only $6.99 on the Nook) and I plan to start that one after Coldtown. Coldtown will be a good one for Halloween though, so I may let that one drag out and get to Insurgent in November.
GAH! So many books and so little time!!!

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Review: The Monstrumologist

The Monstrumologist is the story of Will Henry, orphaned assistant to Dr. Pellinore Warthrope, a man with a most unusual specialty: monstrumology, the study of monsters.  In his time with the doctor, Will has met many a mysterious late-night visitor, and seen things he never imagined were real.  But when a grave robber comes calling in the middle of the night with a gruesome find, he brings with him their most deadly case yet.
(- Synopsis from Goodreads)

The book is written as the diary of William James Henry who has recently passed away in a nursing home at the age of 133(!). Mr. Henry has no family to claim his belongings and so his journals are given to a local author of strange events. The Monstrumologist is the first three volumes of his journals.

Title: The Monstrumologist
Author: Rick Yancey
Series: The Monstrumologist (Book 1)
Publication Date: 2009
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 434
Where I Got It: Books-A-Million, Concord, NC
Dates I Read It: October 13-21, 2013
Number of Stars: 4.5/5
Read For: Halloween!

This book was a delight to read, especially this time of year with Halloween right around the corner! Halloween is my favorite holiday and now that I am past my months-long reading slump (huzzah!), I knew I was ready for a good, captivating, and spooky book to get me into the spirit of the season and boy did I ever pick a good one! The Monstrumologist was not only a spooky story, it was also an engaging tale of the human condition. I savored this book right down to the last page. Yancey has a gift for keeping his reader entertained through the entire ride. There was so much about this book that I liked but most of all I loved how flippin' gory it was! There was monster blood and pus and flesh eating and severed limbs and all of my favorite things! At times it was increasingly difficult to believe that this was a book aimed at young adult bibliophiles! This is because of the gore, yes, but more so of Yancey's elaborate  yet eloquent, writing style. The novel is set in 1888 and much of the language and verbiage of the book reads as a novel of this era would.  I feel like it could be over the heads of younger readers and would hesitate to recommend it to anyone in their early teens (and younger, of course).  
I am not one to be easily scared by a book, especially a book about monsters. Ghosts? Yes. Demons? Oh hell yes. Monsters? Not so much. That being said, this book really spooked me out! I attribute this fact to Yancey's uncanny ability to world-build.  The setting was very believable and realistic. If you are good at suspending your disbelief while reading, like I am, then you can really find yourself believing that monsters do exist! 
The only complaint that I could have about this book is that it was a tad bit too long for me. I thought that some of the scenes were a little overdone and that maybe 50 or so pages could possibly have been shaved off. This is only book one of a trilogy and I am very excited to read the rest of this series! The next book is The Curse of the Wendigo which excites me more than the Anthropophagi that we were dealing with in this book; I'm a little more familiar with Wendigos from my days of Charmed watching! (The season one episode The Wendigo is my favorite episode of the entire series!)
If you are looking for a super spooky Halloween read then I can't recommend this one enough!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Character Names

Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Character Names

Atticus Finch- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Madeline- Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmens

Clarissa Dalloway- Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Scout Finch- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Charlotte- Charlotte's Web by E.B. White 

Rhett Butler- Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Hermione Granger- The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling 

Tyrion Lannister- Game of Thrones Series by George R. R. Martin

Flavia De Luce- Flavia De Luce Series by Alan Bradley

Coraline- Coraline by Neil Gaiman