Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Publication Date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Rating: ★★★★★

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.  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?

Okay,  I think I might have set a personal record with this book. I started this book on a Sunday afternoon at 5 PM and finished the entire 445 pages by Monday at 3 PM. Less than twenty-four hours. I was captivated from the very beginning. I did not want to put this book down.

This story is a journey of a teen girl, Cather, who has a twin sister, Wren, and they are both starting college. Read those names again. One more time. I actually threw my head back with laughter when I figured it out. I need a book that’ll give me the feeling that this book did over and over again. I want to read more, but I am scared that I will compare this book to others.

I am a person who understands the terms in this book. It’s about Cather writing fanfiction about a character named Simon Snow (who I think is supposed to be Harry Potter). Whether you understand fanfiction and the terms that come with it doesn’t matter because this book was fabulous regardless. However, it was even better knowing what Cather, Wren, and Levi (Cather’s love interest gone awry) speak about.

There were many memorable quotes from this book, but one stood out for me:

“In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can’t Google.)”

I would give this book 100 stars if I could!

Brown-Eyed Girl by Lisa Kleypas

Publication Date: August 11, 2015
Publisher: Piatkus
Rating: ★★★★★

Wedding planner Avery Crosslin may be a rising star in Houston society, but she doesn’t believe in love–at least not for herself. When she meets wealthy bachelor Joe Travis and mistakes him for a wedding photographer, she has no intention of letting him sweep her off her feet. But Joe is a man who goes after what he wants, and Avery can’t resist the temptation of a sexy southern charmer and a hot summer evening. After a one night stand, however, Avery is determined to keep it from happening again. A man like Joe can only mean trouble for a woman like her, and she can’t afford distractions. She’s been hired to plan the wedding of the year–a make-or-break event. But complications start piling up fast, putting the wedding in jeopardy, especially when shocking secrets of the bride come to light. And as Joe makes it clear that he’s not going to give up easily, Avery is forced to confront the insecurities and beliefs that stem from a past she would do anything to forget. The situation reaches a breaking point, and Avery faces the toughest choice of her life. Only by putting her career on the line and risking everything–including her well-guarded heart–will she find out what matters most.

Review:

Avery and Joe are lovely in this book. I loved the story of how the met, how romantic Joe is, and how insecure Avery is while Joe shows her beautiful she is. Lisa Kleypas targeted the women that don’t always feel good in their skin with this book. Avery is described to be plump and be bigger than a size 10. I couldn’t really see it with the woman on the front of the cover. However, Joe is described as a big, broad, rugged, Texan man that could easily carry Avery around anytime she liked. I liked that part as someone who struggles with insecurity. It shows that there is someone out there for everyone. I love that kind of classic romance. The story of how the relationship goes is engaging because of Avery’s constant denial and Joe’s constant battle to get Avery on his side. Love this book. Love the Travises series.

 

Looking For Alaska by John Green

Publication Date: December 28th, 2006
Publisher: Speak
Rating: ★★★★★

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . .
After. Nothing is ever the same.

Review:

This book was an attention-grabber right from the start. I really had an issue putting this book down. Learning about the characters and how they thought and how they worked was extremely intriguing. The attention of this story gets scooped up to the “After” section, where if you are a crier (like me), you will need a TON of tissues. I’m not exaggerating. I went through two full boxes of tissues. Please use caution when reading this book, but it was so wonderful. John Green is an exquisite writer, and a personal favorite of mine.

 

Siracusa by Delia Ephron

Publication Date: July 12, 2016
Publisher: Blue Rider Press
Rating: ★★★★

New Yorkers Michael, a famous writer, and Lizzie, a journalist, travel to Italy with their friends from Maine—Finn, his wife Taylor, and their daughter Snow. “From the beginning,” says Taylor, “it was a conspiracy for Lizzie and Finn to be together.” Told Rashomon-style in alternating points of view, the characters expose and stumble upon lies and infidelities past and present. Snow, ten years old and precociously drawn into a far more adult drama, becomes the catalyst for catastrophe as the novel explores collusion and betrayal in marriage. Ephron delivers a meditation on marriage, friendship, and the meaning of travel. Set on the sun-drenched coast of the Ionian Sea, Siracusa unfolds with the pacing of a psychological thriller and delivers an unexpected final act that none can see coming.

Review:

This story was a ride!! It was slow to start to begin, but once you start to get into it, it really gets good. I couldn’t put it down. I read most of the book in 24 hours. The characters were unlikeable, but that’s what gets you in the story. Then, there’s Finn and Taylor’s daughter, Snow. She is mysterious and shy, but this book will have you really thinking about her character. The reader will know when they’ve hit the motherload of the story because you will. not. stop. reading. Things get entirely warped, emotional, and captivating. Love love love this book. Would honestly recommend it to anyone.

 

Saving Grace by Jane Green

Publication Date: December 30, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Rating: ★★★

Grace and Ted Chapman are widely regarded as the perfect literary power couple. Ted is a successful novelist and Grace, his wife of twenty years, is beautiful, stylish, carefree, and a wonderful homemaker. But what no one sees, what is churning under the surface, is Ted’s rages. His mood swings. And the precarious house of cards that their lifestyle is built upon. When Ted’s longtime assistant and mainstay leaves, the house of cards begins to crumble and Grace, with dark secrets in her past, is most vulnerable. She finds herself in need of help but with no one to turn to…until the perfect new assistant shows up out of the blue. To the rescue comes Beth, a competent young woman who can handle Ted and has the calm efficiency to weather the storms that threaten to engulf the Chapman household. Soon, though, it’s clear to Grace that Beth might be too good to be true. This new interloper might be the biggest threat of all, one that could cost Grace her marriage, her reputation, and even her sanity. With everything at stake and no one to confide in, Grace must find a way to save herself before it is too late.

Review:

This book starts out with Grace Chapman, who is married to successful author Ted Chapman, scared out of her mind at when her husband is going to finally break. This book focused on many different mental disorders. While Saving Grace was very informative, it was also slow to read. I had to put it down and pick it back up again to finish it. A plot doesn’t really take off until a fourth way in or so. Wasn’t my favorite book on the planet, but it definitely had many wonderful elements.

 

Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick

Publication Date: May 31, 2016
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Rating: ★★★★★

Didn’t you ever just simply want to…stop? Star athlete and straight-A student Nanette O’Hare has played the role of dutiful daughter for as long as she can remember. But one day, a beloved teacher gives her his worn copy of The Bubblegum Reaper—a mysterious, out-of-print cult classic—and the rebel within Nanette awakens. As the new and outspoken Nanette attempts to insert her true self into the world with wild abandon, she befriends the reclusive author and falls in love with a young, troubled poet. Forced to make some hard choices that bring devastating consequences, Nanette learns the hard way that rebellion can sometimes come at a high price.

Review:

The book starts out with learning about Nanette who is an awesome soccer player who is about to start her future. She’s a senior in high school, and finds herself reading a book that would change her life forever. When she reads this book, she has a crisis trying to figure out who she is and what she wants. Every Exquisite Thing was a capturing novel from the very beginning. Going through Nanette’s journey of finding herself with her was excellent. Empowering.

 

The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews

Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Rating: ★★★★★

Some people stay all summer long on the idyllic island of Belle Isle, North Carolina. Others come only for the weekends-and the mix between the regulars and “the weekenders” can sometimes make the sparks fly. Riley Griggs has a season of good times with friends and family ahead of her on Belle Isle when things take an unexpected turn. While waiting for her husband to arrive on the ferry one Friday afternoon, Riley is confronted by a process server who thrusts papers into her hand. And her husband is nowhere to be found. So she turns to her island friends for help and support, but it turns out that each of them has their own secrets, and the clock is ticking as the mystery deepens…in a murderous way. Cocktail parties aside, Riley must find a way to investigate the secrets of Belle Island, the husband she might not really know, and the summer that could change everything. Told with Mary Kay Andrews’ trademark blend of humor and warmth, and with characters and a setting that you can’t help but fall for, The Weekenders is the perfect summer escape.

Review:

This story starts with Riley Griggs waiting for her husband to arrive on the ferry with her daughter. This was the weekend where Riley and her husband were going to tell their daughter about their impending divorce. However, when her husband, Wendell, doesn’t show, Riley has no choice but to freak out when she is handed divorce papers (or what she thought was divorce papers) on the ferry, leaving her daughter to have a meltdown of her own. The next morning, a sheriff shows up at Riley’s mother’s house to tell her that things have taken a murderous turn.

This book had a good amount of mystery, and the perfect amount of romance. It wasn’t my favorite Mary Kay Andrews book, but it definitely had wonderful moments throughout the story that keeps the reader entertained.

 

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Publication Date: April 14th, 2011
Publisher: Dutton
Rating: ★★★★★

Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . ” Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives. Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke. When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories. By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself. What would he say . . . ?

Review:

This story was extremely interesting. I’ve never heard of a premise quite like this one. It starts with the story of Lincoln and how his love life is not as quite as up to date as it could be. The time frame is a little outdated for now, but it is interesting because it takes place around Y2K and at the Courier. It’s Lincoln’s job to read the email’s of his co-workers and send warnings to those who get flagged. That’s where he finds the emails of two best friends, Beth and Jennifer who talk about anything under the sun.

He should give them warnings, but he finds that he can’t. He also finds himself falling for a woman that’s in a relationship. After Lincoln’s troubling past relationship, he is apprehensive to meet her. This story was definitely a romantic adventure and I loved it from start to finish. Definitely would recommend this to anyone.

 

Love May Fail by Matthew Quick

Publication Date: June 16, 2015
Publisher: Harper
Rating: ★★★★★

Portia Kane is having a meltdown. After escaping her ritzy Florida life and her cheating pornographer husband, she finds herself back in South Jersey, a place that remains largely unchanged from the years of her unhappy youth. Lost and alone, looking for the goodness she believes still exists in the world, Portia sets off on a quest to save the one man who always believed in her – and in all of his students: her beloved high school English teacher, Mr. Vernon, who has retired broken and alone after a traumatic classroom incident. Will a sassy nun, an ex-heroin addict, a metal-head little boy, and her hoarder mother help or hurt Portia’s chances on this quest to resurrect a good man and find renewed hope in the human race? Love May Fail is a story of the great highs and lows of existence: the heartache and daring choices it takes to become the person you know (deep down) you are meant to be.

Review:

There is something about Matthew Quick’s words that grab your attention immediately. Love May Fail begins with a woman, Portia, who ends up drunk in her closet in her million-dollar-home waiting for her husband to come home with his mistress. If that doesn’t immediately grab your attention, there’s something wrong. My brain was begging to find out what was going to happen when they finally came in the door.

Portia is a traumatized character and really shows it throughout this novel. She had a really questionable childhood with her mother as well as having a cheating husband. It was a really telling story. Portia moved home to south New Jersey. I loved this because it tells the story of the author. Matthew Quick is also from that area so we got to see his hometown area through his own eyes. As someone who grew up in the South Jersey area, I really enjoyed seeing all of the landmarks that Matthew Quick had to offer.

One of my favorite things about this book was the character development. Portia, Chuck Bass and everyone really just improved themselves throughout this entire novel. I really enjoyed Portia as a person. She was kind of messy to start, but by the end, I felt like I really could understand and see her through my own eyes.

Lastly, the title really is something to pay attention to. Love May Fail is the perfect title because Matthew Quick really has you thinking that love may just fail. Portia had been through so much that you really weren’t sure where she was going to be in the end between location and her development. Love May Fail is really, really true because it may, but it may not.