I have clearly fallen behind on my reviews and reads recently, and so to catch up, I'm doing collective and collaborative reviews. This round we've got all of the Rainbow Rowell books I've read in the last couple of months, starting with...
ELEANOR AND PARK
One extraordinary love.
Eleanor... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.
Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.
Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.
I loved this book. I loved it so much, I recommended it to one of my toughest book friends!
I really felt connected to the main characters, and I could really feel the tension and emotions from each of them as they progressed through the story. I laughed and cried with them, I made an identical playlist to listen along with them, and I really disappeared into this book.
I was a little confused about Eleanor's living situation and what was actually going on in the dynamics between her family, even at the end when she's run away. Nothing about it is directly said out loud, and with the speed of everything happening at the very end, the actual explanation is sort of blurred over by the time Eleanor and Park get into the car.
Other than that, I enjoyed reading this book, and I recommend it to any fan of contemporary teen romance.
The Blonde's Rating: 3.5/5
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?
OHMIGOD OHMIGOD OHMIGOD I LOVED THIS BOOK
I'm a fan of fan fiction, and a recent graduate from college, and the two coolest plot points of this book were that it takes place during that awful, confusing, terrifying first year of college and moving away from home. The second awesome part was that it focused on an interesting art form that's definitely ignored in the writing world and the world of books, but is a HUGE aspect of being a fan of nearly any entertainment enterprise: fan fiction.
I really liked the integrated chapters and quotes from both the main character's fan fiction pieces, and from the fictionalized "real" book the fanfic was based on. I thought they were placed in the right places, and the story of each were very relatable to readers just coming of the Harry Potter-high.
I think Cath's everyday struggle with classes and relationships was incredibly relatable, especially for readers about to pack up and go to college, or readers who are already at college. The emotions and sense of awkwardness about everything was conveyed successfully enough so that I was taken back of a lot of my own time from my freshman year of college.
I was invested enough to begin having emotional reactions for Cath when certain characters would show up in the book, specifically her annoying, infuriating twin sister, Wren.
I'm on a tough line between thinking that Levi is a little too-good-to-be-real, BUT i've never been out in the MidWest, so who knows? Maybe there really are still gentlemen out there someone in the world.
The Blonde's Rating: 4.5/5
"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 . . . ?
I read through this book so quickly. The characters and their situation was absolutely hilarious, and a little painful, too, knowing these character would likely never cross paths.
I was surprised by the technique used in this book to display the events of the characters that aren't Lincoln. The combination of letter style-and-prose was easy to adapt to and also very easy to read.
Overall, I felt like this was a great and unique concept, and I enjoyed it tremendously.
The Blonde's Rating: 5/5