A Fangirl on Fangirl – A Review.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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The first book I read of Rainbow Rowell’s was Eleanor & Park (review can be found here) and I loved it, loved it, loved it. So many times whilst I have been waiting for the train I have perused the bookshelves of WHSmith’s (other book shops available) and so many times I picked up Fangirl, read the blurb, stroked the cover, smelt the pages (do not judge me) and put it back, until one day I just bought it.

This year I was fortunate enough to get a week’s holiday in Cornwall (which is probably one of the most beautiful places in the UK) and I decided to read Fangirl whilst there, on the beach and just see how much I could relate to it. You see, you may not think it to look at me, and it’s not something that I tend to publicise but for once I am going to have the strength to admit that I am a FANGIRL. Not a fangirl that just buys the merch or never misses an episode/book/film but an actual fangirl that writes…you know…fanfiction! Yes, that’s me!

I post my stories under a pseudonym in a secret place away from prying eyes of the general public and by general public I mean family/friends/work colleagues. Writing fic gives me so much life, it helps me breathe and deal with the trickier aspects of my anxiety. Being able to escape into a world of much beloved characters and manipulate them to act out my stories, my thoughts, my ideas just makes me breathe in a way I can’t even describe. So I could REALLY relate to Cath and this book, like in ridiculous way. I gushed about it so much to poor Rainbow Rowell on twitter that I’m surprised she didn’t block me!

Anyway I digress, back to the book. Fangirl follows the story of twins Cath and Wren who are heading off to college, but Wren surprises Cath by saying she want’s do her own thing, something Cath can’t quite wrap her head around considering they’re usually pretty inseparable. Throw into the mix Cath’s worries about her father being alone, Cath’s anxieties about having to live with a stranger and the general day to day worries that going to college throws up and you have one hell of a story.

The moments in the book that really stuck out for me, were how easy and attached Cath felt to her writing (have I mentioned how easy I could relate) the moments where she felt hurt and conflicted by Wren’s behaviour and I just LOVED Levi (like seriously I think he’s the first literary fiction character in a LONG time that I have fallen in love) **SPOILER ALERT HERE** The way Rainbow Rowell wrote the first kiss between Cath and Levi made me melt into a puddle, it was just so…perfect and honest.

I did adore this book, truly. It highlighted the internal dialogue anxiety sufferers have, the things we do to avoid certain situations. It highlighted a love and respect for fanfiction which, I feel, tends to get laughed at and criticised by most people, which is another reason I could relate to Cath being reluctant to be open about writing it. The relationships were sincere and believable and some of themes like parental abandonment were dealt with perfectly. Sometimes, just sometimes a book comes along that speaks to you on a whole new level, and for me, this was that book.

Thank Rainbow, I found my passion for fic writing came back after reading this.

Star Rating out of 5: 5

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“There are other people on the Internet. It’s awesome. You get all the benefits of ‘other people’ without the body odor and the eye contact.” 

Happy reading!

Georgina

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Supermutant Magic Academy – A Review

Supermutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki

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This was a purchase I made when browsing through the book shop one day, I was looking for some more comic books to try out and I stumbled across this. I flicked through the pages and just found myself getting drawn in.

Told in a series of single page comics, it follows the lives of the students of Supermutant Magic Academy, a prep school for mutants and witches; despite their obvious differences a lot of the issues they face are familiar. Some pages really made me think, and others made me laugh out loud. I’d say the characters of Marsha and Wendy act as the centre and feature more than say Trixie or Everlasting Boy, but you feel invested in them (Marsha especially) so  I didn’t mind.

It’s quirky, fun, provocative and not what I expected at all. I loved the artwork in this and the imagery worked so fluidly with the dialogue, Jilliam Tamaki just seemed to find the perfect balance of everything. It’s an easy enough read that you could probably get through it one sitting, but I’d suggest just taking your time, really look at the panels and take in what the characters are saying.

Thoroughly enjoyable and one that I would definitely recommend to other people, I will probably leaf through this again at some point in the near future and I’m SUPER keen to read some more of Jillian Tamaki’s work, but what a great place for me to start!

Star Rating out of 5: 5

‘I dunno, to be honest, I was just hoping to keep the demons away…’

Happy reading bookworms!

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Witch’s Canyon – Supernatural Book #2 – A Review

Supernatural Book #2 – Witch’s Canyon by Jeff Mariotte

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I have to say I much preferred the story of Witch’s Canyon over that of Nevermore. The boys are visiting a small ranch land close to the Grand Canyon to investigate (and hopefully prevent) a murder spree that seems to occur every forty years.

I really loved the setting of the book, the small scale of the town only added to the feeling of isolation. There was also added intensity as the boys race against time to solve the mystery behind what’s causing the killings before a huge shopping mall is opened, all those people in such a confined space just screams body count.

As the days pass, people in the town are being picked off by a deadly horde of spirits (both animal and human) and pretty soon the local Sheriff realises that the Winchesters are the towns best hope against what is happening. That being said, I don’t think Dean and Sam jumped off the page enough in this book and some of the characterizations were a little off.

Star Rating out of 5: 4.5

Happy reading!

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Nevermore – Supernatural Book #1 – A Review

Supernatural Book #1 – Nevermore by Keith R.A. DeCandido

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What can I say, when I become passionately obsessed with a TV show then I LOVE to look for tie in novels and recently my life has been all about Supernatural. A TV show that numerous people over the years have told me I would like but I just never seemed to get round to watching, anyway to cut a long story short I started watching it around mid-June and I’m currently half way through Season 9. Needless to say I am ADDICTED and I have no shame. I already feel part of the Supernatural Family and I love it (and breathe it) on a daily basis. But before I start snorting and getting breathless about the show, I’ll get back to my original point.

I was SO happy to see that SPN had books that go alongside it, the only danger is with books like this is the characters not being written the right way, but thankfully that wasn’t the case with this one. The Winchester Brother’s travel to New York to check out the house of a local rock star who claims his house is haunted by a woman. Whilst they’re there they also look into strange deaths that resemble something straight out of the stories of Edgar Allen Poe. The boys have their hands full, but as usual they deal with it with aplomb.

The story line involving the Poe like killings, although clever, didn’t stand out for me as much as the haunting at the rockers house. I was genuinely intrigued to discover who the woman was, plus the moments where Dean and Sam are watching the band destroy some of Dean’s most treasured songs, made me laugh as I could see his face clearly in my mind. Nevermore isn’t a bad tie in at all, with Keith giving believable voices to both of the brothers, the story line was bizarre and believable enough too.

Star Rating out of 5: 4

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An additional plus I loved about this book was the author’s recommended soundtrack.

Happy reading nerds!

x

 

Quick Reads – Clumsy – A Review

 Clumsy by Jeffrey Brown.

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I was looking at some of those ‘definitive’ lists for comic books to read and this one popped up on quite a few of them, so I figured why the heck not and bought a copy. This isn’t a comic book in the traditional sense, it doesn’t have amazing imagery nor are the drawings particularly detailed, in fact it’s quite haphazard but it’s exactly that, that gives it its charm.

It tells the story of a year-long, long distance relationship, through snippets we see the meeting, the initial romance, the arguments and insecurities and the unfortunate decline to the end of the relationship. Whilst the dialogue isn’t overly emotional it’s the honesty and observational quality of Jeffrey Brown’s storytelling that takes this from something that could have been mediocre to something that all of us can and should be able to relate to.

Not particularly lengthy (you could easily get through it in one sitting) this makes for a sweet little read, if you’re looking for some motivation to get nostalgic about ‘the one that got away’ then this is perfect. I recommend sticking on some mellow music and just allowing yourself to zone out!

Star Rating out of 5: 3

‘For being so weird!’

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 Happy reading!

Georgina

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Trespasser Issue #2 – A Review

Trespasser Issue #2 – A Review

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At the end of the last issue we saw Hector and Maria carrying on with their life after their visitor of the extra-terrestrial kind. Hector looking somewhat downhearted that the alien had gone without him being able to communicate with it properly, which begs the question are Hector and Maria completely alone? The lone survivors of an outbreak of some kind?

Unfortunately I didn’t get the answers to these questions in this issue, but I did get pulled in once more. The issue opens with Hector burying the alien’s spacesuit and gun. It’s immediately followed by Hector telling Maria about how he met her mum, the wording is interesting that Hector uses, it suggests that she hasn’t ever attended a school, which raises more questions about how long Maria has been living in this world where there’s radiation and food is sparse.

The big thing about this issue is the fact that Hector notices blisters on his arms which seems to send him into a panic. Again, it’s not fully clear whether this is down to the world they’re living in or something passed to Hector from the alien but Hector asks Maria to check herself and starts to grow weaker. Left to fend for herself Maria hears a noise and sees a shadow under the door, she shoots at the door and Hector stumbles out of bed and finds a strange symbol carved into the floor, another empty and bloodied spacesuit on top of it.

This was another great issue, the artwork and story really pulled me in, so many questions, so much intrigue and it ends perfectly, leaving me wanting more. I can’t wait to get stuck into Issue 3.

Trespasser is published by Alterna Comics and is available to buy on Comixology

The Magicians – A Review

The Magicians by Lev Grossman.

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This is a book that has been on my ‘To Read’ list for a long while now; it intrigued me as soon as I saw it being described as an ‘adult Harry Potter’. I just think people should stop making bold statements that compare average books to some of the world’s finest literature because I was utterly disappointed and I didn’t want to be.

Quentin Coldwater finds himself enrolled in Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, Quentin begins to realise that magic actually takes a lot of work, I honestly thought there would be more to the life at Brakebills but with the exception of one particularly gripping chapter called ‘The Beast’ there isn’t much mention as the author tends to skip through the ‘years’ quite quickly, with the more interesting characters like Alice becoming a footnote. As protagonists go there was nothing likeable or enjoyably unlikeable, about Quentin. He’s flat, boring – kind of like the story line.

After that it all gets a tad ridiculous, I know with books one has to suspend belief and allow for imaginations to run wild but there are story lines that aren’t fully formed and the most ridiculous things happen (turning into geese and shitting on the floor) I just found the whole thing really disappointing and found the obvious references to Harry Potter rather insulting, at some points I couldn’t tell whether the author had written the book as a joke or as something he intended to be taken seriously. Needless to say by the end I didn’t feel any desire to read the next in the series and failed to see how (with the exception of mentions about sex/alcohol/drugs) where it was remotely an ‘adult’ Harry Potter. The only thing that stops this book from getting a lower rating are the few characters who are interesting but don’t get the time or energy they deserved. I don’t even want to check out the TV series after reading the book, which is saying something!

Star Rating out of 5: 2.5

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‘If there’s a single lesson that life teaches us, it’s that wishing doesn’t make it so.’

Have you read it and had a different opinion? Perhaps I’m looking at it the wrong way, either way get in touch with your thoughts in the comments section below.

Happy reading!

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