Update Schedule

There was once an update schedule. It lived a good life, a peaceful life. A quiet life. But then... things began to change. It became more and more erratic, sometimes completely disobeying its very reason for existance. And at last, the update schedule could take no more. It cast off its chains and went free, seeking new lands where it would be appreciated. This message it left where once it had lived, to warn other schedules of the peril.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Fangirl Review

I recently read Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell. It had been highly recommended to me by several people, and while it didn't live up to its reputation, it didn't disappoint as badly as some books do either.

I've spent hours staring at my computer screen trying to write this review, which is odd, because not only do I really want to review this book, I've been writing reviews in my head for days. But apparently it's not translating so well into an actual review... oh well. Here goes.

The cover for Fangirl
Uninspiring at best, and ugly at worst, Fangirl's cover is winning no prizes. It's not painful to look at like some covers are, and I rather like the composition and the message it gives, but the main color and the huge amounts of blank space just don't appeal to me. Not a terrible cover, but not one that would have made me pick it up on my own.
The picture, by the way, is of Cath writing while her boyfriend attempts to get her attention. I think it's meant to signify the importance of the fanfiction to her life, and the way she uses it to shut everyone out.

Cath and her sister Wren ("Cath-Wren"... get it?) are off to college. Wren wants to get out and meet new people, while Cath is completely socially inept and has turned to a book series called Simon Snow (read: Harry Potter) in order to recover from the emotional trauma of her mother abandoning the family.
Not great, but had potential.

We have Cath, our rather pathetic Simon Snow obsessed main character. Wren, a deeply disturbed teenager who denies her social struggles but whose antics become more and more dangerous as she tries to fit in. Their dad, who has some sort of mental issue- bipolar, maybe?- and is finding it hard to adjust to living without his daughters. Their mom, who vanished when they were little, leaving them all deeply traumatized.
Happy family, right?
For side characters, we have Reagan, Cath's surly (but not actually mean) roommate. Some of Wren's friends, who don't have a big enough part for me to remember them. A professor of Cath's who hates fanfiction (news flash: turning in fanfiction to a college fiction assignment isn't a good idea). Neal, Cath's writing partner (but could it turn into something more?) And Levi... who's always hanging around Cath's room, but oddly enough doesn't seem to be Reagan's boyfriend, and seems to enjoy having Cath read her fanfiction to him.
Not a bad cast. Could be better, but not bad. I didn't particularly like Levi or Reagan, and I felt the mother didn't get nearly a large enough role, but I've seen a lot worse.

Your standard Rainbow Rowell. Not bad, not great... just... writing. The bits that were supposed to be Cath's and so awesome that they were winning major awards unfortunately fell very flat, especially the last piece.

Simon Snow:
Basically Harry Potter, although I was thrown by a mention of Harry Potter in the book. It doesn't seem right that both can exist at once.
In general, I thought Simon Snow was well done, with a few obvious mockeries of Harry Potter that made me laugh out loud. The fanfiction was actually a great example of slightly above average fanfiction, but unfortunately the author chose to praise Cath's writing abilites far beyond that, and the pieces we see simply don't live up to that at all.
The Simon Snow excerpts and fanfiction stories made a nice break from Cath's story, although I can see how some people would get annoyed by them.

This gets its own section, becaus we have a classic Rainbow Rowell ending. No closure, no tying up of any plots, just an end. This lost it about half a star because it disappointed me so much. It brought the book from "actually, pretty good" to "not terrible, I guess".

Just an extra, because I tried to listen to this book before finally giving up and just waiting for it to arrive at the library. I'm not sure if it's me, or if the ebook wasn't a good one... I remember being able to listen to Harry Potter ebooks, so not sure what happened there. I had to force myself to sit through five minutes before I gave up.

Yeah, I know, I haven't made a big deal before. But the amount of swearing in YA books is beginning to get to me (another reason why I found it difficult to listen to the audio recording- at least I can skip over the occasional swear when I read). It's just all so unnecessary. It takes away from the impact when you use them every ten seconds. I'm not saying there's never a place for swearing in a book, and college students certainly swear, but I did feel the volume was just a bit much, as if it had been stuck in for no reason other to have a swear in any particular sentence.

Rating: 2.17

Sorry this was shorter than usual, and about the lack of quotes. I don't want this to be later than it already is, and I think I might have accidentally returned the book (if not, I have no idea where it is... good thing it's not due for a while). Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think in the comments section.
Tomorrow will be a post on writing, probably an excerpt from something I'm writing in the hopes of getting feedback.

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