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.