Review: Women Talking - Miriam Toews


Title: Women Talking

Author: Miriam Toews

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Release Date: 21 August 2018

Pages: 240

My Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads | Amazon

“We are not members, … We are commodities…. When our men have used us up so that we look sixty when we’re thirty and our wombs have literally dropped out of our bodies onto our spotless kitchen floors, finished, they turn to our daughters.”

Wow. Just wow. I have so many thoughts about this novel that there aren’t enough words - or, rather, not the right words - to describe it perfectly.

Women Talking is a fictional novel, but it is important to remember while reading that it is based on very real events that occurred in Bolivia during the 2000s. In the fictionalized version of these events, a group of Mennonite women gather in a barn loft to discuss their next steps after discovering that they have all been drugged and raped by the men of their community. Now, in the wake of these horrors, they face a decision: do they run, do nothing, or stay and fight?

The story focuses on the debate among the women, which is transcribed by August, a man who has been re-admitted into the colony after his family was excommunicated. As they discuss their options, you start to uncover some of the traumatic after-effects that the women have faced due to these attacks. It’s horrific and terrifying, seeing these women have to literally fight for their survival. None of these women have been taught how to read, or write, or even speak the language of their native country. Outside of the community, they are completely lost.

I can’t even begin to say how deeply this book affected me. I had honestly no idea how hard this book was going to hit me - although, going off the description, I knew it was going to be a difficult read. Thankfully, the book is only 240 pages so it was easier to manage because definitely some of the content is hard to read. It’s so awful to read about the ordeals of these women, some of whom think that they have no other option than to obey the men of their community - the same men who have drugged and raped them and their daughters - because they have no options or even education. My heart was aching for them, as well as the women who went through the real experience years ago.

If you’ve been on the fence about getting this book, here’s your sign: go buy it. It’s well worth the read and will definitely get your mind running. It’s interesting (and scary) to try to put yourself in their shoes while you read. What would you do if it were you in their place?

Felicia x

Goodreads Challenge: 1 out of 35

Review: Beartown - Fredrik Backman


Title: Beartown

Author: Fredrik Backman

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Release Date: 25 April 2017

Pages: 432

My Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)

Goodreads | Amazon

“Everyone has a thousand wishes before a tragedy, but just one afterward.”

It’s not very often that I give a book a 5-star review. I’m the type of person who can be a tad too generous with throwing around 5-stars, even if a book doesn’t fully deserve it.. So I try to be a bit more critical and put a lot more thought into my ratings these days. That being said, Beartown deserved every little star of the 5 I rated it - and more.

It’s actually pretty funny how much I loved this novel because I went into it with a completely different idea of what it was about. Like completely different. I thought it was just a feel-good novel about a small town that bands together to help their hockey team win the championship game. Yes, there’s a hockey team. Yes, they’re in a small town, that helps them… But there’s so much more to this novel. SO. MUCH. MORE.

I have no idea how to describe this novel without giving away literally every detail that made it suspenseful and exciting. Essentially, in a small town called Beartown, there is a junior boys hockey team that has been striving to reach the widely celebrated success that the team once had. Everyone is obsessed with hockey, everyone is obsessed with the players. But things go awry real quick after a violent incident that splits the town in half.

The writing is what initially gripped me. Fredrik Backman knows what he’s doing, that’s for sure. The first few pages completely engulfed me in intrigue and excitement. I wanted to know what would happen. I wanted to devour this book in a day. Unfortunately, it took me a month to read because of finals and Christmas events. I was constantly itching to get back to reading this novel. Apparently, it wasn’t even originally written in English??? That impresses me even more. Not a lot of novels translate well. This one certainly did.

Honestly, if I were to recommend just one book from all the ones I read in 2018, this would be the one. It’s a captivating, heart-racing page-turner, one that will leave a lasting impression on me for a very long time.

Have you read Beartown? Did you love it as much as I did?

Felicia x

Goodreads Challenge: 37 out of 50

Review: Love & War - Melissa De La Cruz


Title: Love & War: An Alex & Eliza Story

Author: Melissa De La Cruz

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Release Date: April 17, 2018

Pages: 369

My Rating: ★★★ (3/5)

Goodreads | Amazon

“We will only stand if we learn to accept and even embrace each other’s differences rather than allow them to divide us.”

Hello my friends! Welcome back.

Today I thought I’d go back and review one of my recent reads, Love and War by Melissa De La Cruz. If you haven’t already read my review of Alex and Eliza which is the first book in the series, go ahead and give that a read here!

So Love and War… This book continues the story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler (now Elizabeth Hamilton) as they prepare to move out into the world and begin their lives as newlyweds. Since their marriage, Alex has been busy with fighting in the American Revolutionary War and Eliza’s been hanging with her sisters at the family estate in upstate New York. They run into a few hiccups but finally, the war ends and they set out to New York City, where the couple will live and Alex will build his reputation as a lawyer. With Alex busy working 24/7, Eliza is left to build a home - with far less resources than she is used to - and together, the couple face a string of difficulties.

I’m gonna come right out and say it. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I did the first one. I felt like this took a really different approach to the Hamilton’s story than I was expecting. I get that it’s a young adults series, so it probably won’t deal with a lot of the more mature or dark themes of their marriage (i.e. death, infidelity, etc.) but it just seemed a bit too light-hearted, if that makes sense? Even the conflicts they faced seemed to be solved almost immediately. It just seemed like they were living their own fairytale which, if you know the true history, you’ll know is not realistic.

I really hope that the final book of the trilogy, All For One, which is scheduled to be published in spring of 2019, will be closer to the Hamilton’s story. I just found that this novel was a lot more fiction than it was historical-fiction. Sort of like Reign but maybe even more far-fetched?

Have you read All For One? What did you think?

Goodreads Challenge: 32 out of 50

Felicia x

A Book Lover's Dream

Despite being a book lover for the past twenty years of my life, I have never found my way into a secondhand bookshop before. Can you believe it? Years of dreaming about the romance of small independent bookshops, even writing about them 24/7, and I’d never even stepped into one. I guess the problem was that I was raised in a large city, where local businesses weren’t very popular and every corner was another chain store. I grew up in Chapters and Indigo shops.

Moving into a small town really gave me a new perspective on small, local businesses. My town only has a population of 10,000 people - literally 72x smaller than my hometown. Take a second for that to sink in. So it was a huge adjustment. Living in a small town made me realize how important it is to support local businesses. Unfortunately, there isn’t a bookshop in my town (yet…one day I’ll put one in there myself).

A few towns over, there’s a bookshop called Pickwick Books. When I used to live in Mississauga, I sometimes would drive home through the town Waterdown and would always pass by Pickwick on the way. I loved the look of it. There was something about it, this little adorable shop on the corner, that completely piqued my interest. I had to know what was in there. Flash forward two years and I still hadn’t gone in there. In my defence, it is about an hour away from home.

But this Saturday morning, my boyfriend told me to get dressed to go out, as he was taking me on a surprise date. And much to my delight, we pulled up to Pickwick Books an hour later!!!


Pickwick was everything I could ever dream of. It was a small shop with dozens of shelves around the shop, filled to the max with books. On a stack of books was another stack of books. Everywhere you looked - to each side, on the ground, above your head - there were books. It was a cozy little cave of books. The woman running the store was so kind and let us browse without following us around the shop, which I was so grateful as I’m particularly introverted and would rather browse alone.

One of my favourite areas of the shop was the Book Vault. It was an extremely small room (literally only my boyfriend and I could fit inside and we were in very close quarters) with just three walls full top to bottom of historical books, separated by era. Literally every era of history you could imagine. It was absolutely a dream come true for me, being someone who loves books and is a history fanatic. I wanted to live in that vault forever.

The other really cool thing I found in the shop was that they sold old, rare editions of books. They had collections of famous author’s books that were from the 19th century, going as far back as even the 1830s. I was in awe. There were Charles Dickens sets from the mid-1800s, when Charles Dickens was writing his books. It was absolutely incredible to see in person. Of course, I didn’t buy any of those since I don’t have $500 to spend on a set of Dickens novels, especially since I already have a set haha. But it was very cool to see, especially the books which were still in volumes as they were popularly released back then.

I ended up leaving the shop with one book for myself, a beautiful hardcover copy of Selected Poems & Letters of Emily Dickinson. I got it for $25 and when I got home, I searched it online to find out it typically goes for $50 USD because it’s a 1959 edition. I was sooo pleased with my purchase!!!

Here’s your little reminder to check out your local businesses. They’d love to have you shop there and who knows what you’ll find tucked away in a shelf.

Felicia x

Review: Gmorning, Gnight - Lin-Manuel Miranda


Title: Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks For Me & You

Author: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Publisher: Random House

Release Date: October 16, 2018

Pages: 224

My Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)

Goodreads | Amazon

“Good night now, and rest. Today was a test. You passed it, you’re past it. Now breathe till unstressed.”

So I may have mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again for those who don’t know: I absolutely love Lin-Manuel Miranda. I think he is oh so talented and basically the most inspiring person of our time. And now he’s created the most adorable, uplifting book I’ve ever laid eyes on.

Gmorning, Gnight started off as a daily tweet routine by Lin in 2011. Every morning, he’d wish his followers a good morning, and every night, he’d wish them a good night. With every message, he’d write a little poem, a few words of encouragement, something nice to end or start the day on. He’s kept the tradition up for the past 7 years (he still posts them daily if you wanna check them out on his Twitter) but now he’s put some of the best ones down in this book.

I really loved reading this book. It went by so quickly, since it’s only about 200 pages and there are only a few lines per page. But the little time I had with this book was lovely. Every passage was so uplifting and empowering. I took to putting Post-Its on the pages of my favourite passages, but that ended up being about 90% of the pages lol. I loved everything so so so much. Lin really has an incredible way of putting things into perspective and making you really appreciate the small things in life.

This would be a great book for anyone, but especially I think it’d be the perfect Christmas gift this year. It’d also make a pretty great graduation gift too, I’d imagine! If you’re just looking for a cute, easy read then definitely pick this up :)

Are you a Lin-Manuel fan, like me?

Goodreads Challenge: 31 out of 50

Felicia x

Review: Alex and Eliza: A Love Story - Melissa De La Cruz


Title: Alex and Eliza: A Love Story

Author: Melissa De La Cruz

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Release Date: April 11, 2017

Pages: 368

My Rating: ★★★★ (4/5)

Goodreads | Amazon

“And you, Colonel Hamilton, are mine, and I am yours always.”

Hello my darlings! I’m back with another book review and I am so so so excited for this one.

Recently, I have become completely obsessed with the musical, Hamilton. I’ve been in love with it for a few years now but for whatever reason, my obsession has completely skyrocketed in the last few months or so. Sadly, I’ve not yet gotten the chance to see it… My boyfriend tried to get tickets for the two of us in NYC last year, but they came out to like almost $2,000 so that was NOT happening. Since it won’t be coming to Toronto until the 2019/2020 season, I’m left having to find other ways to fuel my addiction like listening to the soundtrack a million times, watching documentaries, or, in this case, reading Hamilton-inspired lit.

Melissa De La Cruz was actually one of my fav authors when I was a preteen, back when Girl Stays In The Picture came out. When my reading tastes changed, I moved on from her writing but I was excited to read her books after all these years and see what I’d been missing.

Alex & Eliza starts off on the midwinter night of the Schuyler ball in 1777, where Elizabeth Schuyler first meets Washington’s aide-de-camp, Alexander Hamilton. When she overhears a conversation between Hamilton and her father, General Schuyler, she is immediately put off and has no interest in speaking with him. But when she goes to stay with her aunt and uncle in Morristown, she reencounters the young colonel and the two begin to see each other in a different light.

I loved this book!! As you may know, I’m a huge fan of YA novels, especially romantic YA novels. This is so up my alley, it’s crazy. The love between Alex and Eliza was palpable, and I think it really was the perfect kick-off for the long history of the Hamiltons. I thought that this novel really read like a modern day Jane Austen novel. Not even just because it was set in the 18th century, but because it has a romantic storyline with a strong heroine lead and ends in a wedding. I loved the Austen-esque elements of this novel and I’m not sure if the author meant to include them but I think it was perfect regardless!!

I also thought it was pretty interesting how the novel was told from both Alex and Eliza’s perspectives, especially since there was a fair chunk of the novel where Alex was off doing war stuff. It was pretty cool because then you got to see both sides of the story and it also gave the opportunity to meet other key figures in their history like Washington, Lafayette, and Laurens. I can usually take or leave dual narratives, however when they’re done well and not too confusing or excessive - like in Alex & Eliza - I’m actually quite keen on them!

There were obviously a ton of differences between Alex & Eliza and the musical Hamilton, which I think genuinely comes down to picking and choosing which details to include and which to omit in either piece. For Hamilton, a lot of details were excluded or altered to work with the storyline, which was certainly also the case with Alex & Eliza. I did find that with Alex & Eliza, everything was a lot more fluffy, which makes sense as it’s a YA novel. So if you’re looking for some hard-hitting, authentic Revolutionary War retelling, maybe don’t look to Alex & Eliza for that.

I am extremely interested to see how this series progresses throughout the next couple books. I’ve already started Love & War, which is the next novel, but the third and final book isn’t coming out until 2019, so I still have a bit of a wait until that one!

Have you read Alex & Eliza? What did you think?

Goodreads Challenge: 30 out of 50

Felicia x

Review: All We Ever Wanted - Emily Giffin


Title: All We Ever Wanted

Author: Emily Giffin

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Release Date: June 26, 2018

Pages: 334

My Rating: ★★★★ (4/5)

Goodreads | Amazon

“Who was the person you trusted enough to be your most transparent self with, in both good times and bad?”

Welcome back my loves! Today’s review is going to be about one of the most interesting books I’ve read so far this year, All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin.

So I actually ordered this book whilst sitting at an outside table at the Port Orleans French Quarter this summer, beignet in hand, trying to decide which three (yes, three) books to order from Indigo. It was the worst decision I’ve ever had to make because a) I’m already indecisive enough and b) the five or so books I wanted were all so so interesting and I couldn’t bear to part with even one. But this one really stuck out at me. Like, something told me I needed to read this book straight away after reading the synopsis. So I immediately placed my order and had my books sent to Mississauga, where my boyfriend’s parents (the god sends that they are) held them for me until I came home from the summer.

All We Ever Wanted is split into four narratives: Lyla, her father Tom, Finch, and his mother Nina. The two pairs couldn’t be more opposite. Lyla and Tom come from the “other side of the tracks”, a poor area of Nashville where Tom works multiple jobs; Nina and Finch come from Nashville’s elite, where Nina’s husband has recently sold his tech business and the family is living luxuriously. The only thing these families have in common is the private high school Lyla and Finch attend. Until a party one night results in a provocative photo of Lyla being leaked which links the two families forever.

This book was wild from start to finish y’all. I really had a hard time putting it down. It’s intense, but not in a suspenseful, action-packed way. I think that most importantly, it really speaks to my generation. With social media so prominent in our current society, things can get really messy which I’ve witnessed firsthand being in high school just a few years ago, when social media was really reaching it’s peak. Social media is great in that it links our world together and creates a real opportunity for mass communication and social change, imo. But it can also be a total nightmare if it’s used for the wrong thing. I think that this book really shows the dangerous side of social media, sort of as a cautionary tale to parents and even teens (are teens reading Emily Giffin? I was in high school, but idk).

I thought that the characters of Lyla and Finch were really well-represented as modern teenagers. Every time I read novels by authors long out of high school, I really keep an eye out for how the teenagers are portrayed because I think that sometimes authors are out of touch with modern teenagers. In All We Ever Wanted, this wasn’t the case at all. I could definitely see Lyla and Finch being teenagers at my old high school. Having authentic characters really enhances the reading experience for me. Idk if it bothers anyone else having unrealistic teen characters?? Is it just a me problem? Who knows.

Honestly, just read this book. You won’t regret it. It was so gripping and it also dealt with a ton of intense problems outside of just the social media issue that I think make the novel that much more important of a read (but I won’t say them here bc spoilers!). Definitely pick this up at your bookstore. Like, now. Go now :)

Have you read All We Ever Wanted yet? If you have, did you like it?

Goodreads Challenge: 29 out of 50

Felicia x

Review: Dear Mrs. Bird - A.J. Pearce


Title: Dear Mrs. Bird

Author: A.J. Pearce

Publisher: Scribner

Release Date: July 3, 2018

Pages: 281

My Rating: ★★★ 1/2 (3.5/5)

Goodreads | Amazon

“If there was anything I wanted most in the world (other, of course, than for the war to end and Hitler to die a quite grisly death), it was to be a journalist.”

Hello my lovelies! Today I’m writing up a quick review on A.J. Pearce’s novel, Dear Mrs. Bird which I recently completed.

If you hadn’t already noticed, this year, wartime fiction has had a pretty substantial presence on my reading list. Recently, historical fiction set during WWI or WWII has easily become one of my favourite genres to read. I can’t get enough of it quite honestly!! That’s why I decided to pick up Dear Mrs. Bird, which is yet another story about women during WWII.

Dear Mrs. Bird follows a year in the life of Emmy Lake, a twenty-something living in WWII London, who dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent. When a job posting in a newspaper comes up, Emmy is quick to apply to the position before even reading the job description. It’s not until afterwards that she realizes that the job calls for a typist for an advice columnist. Not only that, but her boss is a complete terror who refuses to advise women who have ‘improper’ problems. So Emmy begins secretly responding to women behind her boss’s back.

Quite simply, I found this book to be very cute. I don’t think that it was nearly the hardest-hitting of all the wartime novels I’ve read this year, but I do think it was an important look at women’s efforts in the Second World War. I’ve been studying women’s history this term in uni and the past little while has been about the interwar years and WWII, so it’s definitely been interesting to see the parallels in my recreational reading and my school stuff!

I think that Emmy was a bit immature, considering that she was in her early twenties and involved in war efforts. I would think that war would make people, even young people, mature a lot quicker due to the circumstances. But it felt like Emmy’s primary concern was becoming a big fancy war correspondent, and the rest was just ~whatevs~. I also thought her best friend was immature (and sometimes annoying oops) as well.

(Side note: I also have to mention the fact that some things were capitalized randomly throughout the novel, to draw emphasis, and it absolutely bothered me to not end. If you remember my review on The Alice Network, you probably remember how this sort of thing in writing is my biggest pet peeve!)

Honestly, I saw this more as a lighthearted adult fiction that just so happened to be set during the war, as opposed to a wartime novel. It was a cute, heartwarming story and I loved the focus on women breaking into the paid workforce, but it just didn’t have that certain je ne sais quoi, y’know??

Have you read Dear Mrs. Bird? Do you agree with me?

Goodreads Challenge: 28 out of 50

Felicia x

Review: Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen


Title: Northanger Abbey

Author: Jane Austen

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Release Date: October 30th 2003

Pages: 379

My Rating: ★★★★ (4/5)

Goodreads | Amazon

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”

Hello everyone!

So, as you may know, I recently started back up at school - eek!! It’s been such a crazy transitional period, but I think I’ve finally found my footing. One of the courses I’m taking this term is, amazingly, a course all about Jane Austen. Seriously, all we do is spend 3 hours a week talking about Jane Austen, reading her books, and watching film adaptations. Heyy Mr. Darcy (*waves*). Our first book of the term was Northanger Abbey. Although it’s part of my school curriculum, I thought since I’d never read it before, it was still worthy of a blog review!

Northanger Abbey follows country gal Catherine Morland on her journey from her family home to Bath, where she intends on staying for 6 weeks with the wealthy and childless couple, Mr. and Mrs. Allen. In Bath, she meets the Thorpe and the Tilney siblings - both pairs teach Catherine about the world beyond her boundaries.

As some may know, Northanger Abbey was the first of Austen’s novels to be prepared for publication - although it didn’t actually come out until after she died, in 1817. She actually wrote this when she was in her late teens and I think that you can really see her age in her writing. I think that’s what makes this book less of a hit with me, compared to her later works like my personal fav, Pride and Prejudice. But that’s definitely not to say that the writing in Northanger Abbey is immature!! Jane Austen was always wise beyond her years and I still think Northanger Abbey is a great novel, just not one of the best. You know?

I thought it was quite clever that Jane Austen used Catherine’s love for Gothic novels almost as a flaw in her character; it was quite the tongue-in-cheek jab at Ann Radcliffe. Catherine’s imagination and obsession with the novels gets her into quite a bit of trouble, which is a fairly amusing storyline.

The one thing that irks me though is that Henry Tilney, for the majority of the novel, is quite annoying. He’s presumptuous and condescending. Most of his time spent with Catherine, and his sister Eleanor for that matter, is by berating her for her interest in Gothic novels and how her perception of things is wrong. Blah blah blah. He does get less tiresome throughout the last half of the novel. THANK GOD.

All in all, it was a pretty good read! I might not read it again, though.

Are you a Jane Austen fan? Do you like Northanger Abbey?

Goodreads Challenge: 27 out of 50

Felicia x

Review: My Lady Jane - Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows


Title: My Lady Jane

Authors: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: June 7, 2016

Pages: 491

My Rating: ★★★★ (4/5)

Goodreads | Amazon

"She delighted in the smell of the ink, the rough feel of the paper between her fingers, the rustle of sweet pages, the shapes of letters before her eyes."

Hello everybody! I thought I'd write up a little spoiler-free review of My Lady Jane today, as I just finished reading it the other day and have lots to say about it. 

First and foremost, I love the Tudor era and everything about it - which is ultimately why I decided to pick up this novel. Except this is no ordinary historical fiction. It tells the story of Lady Jane Grey, otherwise known as the Nine Days' Queen. But this time around, it's far less tragic and a lot more mystical. 

If you're unfamiliar with the history, here's how it goes. Jane Grey was a teenaged English noblewoman who was married to Lord Guildford Dudley. When King Edward VI fell terminally ill, he wrote into his will that succession would fall to Lady Jane and her male heirs. But when Lady Jane took to the throne, support grew in favour of Mary Tudor - a Roman Catholic - and eventually, Jane was deposed and executed for high treason. Yikes. This version of the story is a little different. In that includes humans that can turn into animals. And poisoning. 

This book was wild from start to finish and I actually loved it. I thought the addition of fantasy elements, including the E∂ians (aka the animal-morphing-humans), was quite exciting and ridiculously creative. I've not been huge on fantasy novels since my early teens, but this has definitely made me reconsider the genre. My Lady Jane was an extremely amusing and cleverly-written story, with enough real details to make you forget sometimes that people in the 1500s weren't actually part-animal. 

There were a lot of twists and turns to this novel so, keeping with the spoiler-free promise of this review, I won't reveal too much about the plot. But I did think it was interesting how they played out the Jane Grey vs. Mary Tudor situation. In real-life, Mary deposed of Jane and that was that. Jane's existence was a threat because she was a Protestant queen. But in the case of the novel, I found it interesting how the role of religion paralleled the storyline of E∂ians and the Verities (aka the people who remain permanently human) - the E∂ians being the Protestants and Verities being Roman Catholics. There was definitely an interesting similarity there, that I'd really encourage you to look out for if you're reading this book! 

Most of all, what really drew me into this book was Lady Jane herself. I loved Jane. I thought she was such an incredible and complex character, the perfect bookish female lead. Books with a strong female lead always capture my heart and My Lady Jane was no exception. Jane showed undoubtable strength and defiance from the very start of the novel, constantly questioning decisions that she didn't agree with or proving her intelligence by her extensive knowledge of life through reading. I think her relationship with Gifford was extremely interesting also, because it forced her to come out of her world of just books and court, and apply her strength to real-life situations (i.e. the villagers early on in the novel). I was really rooting for the two lead characters and never more have I wanted a happily ever after in a novel!

After reading this, I'm sooo eager to read the follow-up book, My Plain Jane, which is a retelling of the classic Bronte novel, Jane Eyre. I think that these three women are spectacular authors and I would probably read anything that they published as a team. This is definitely the sort of young adults novel that I'd recommend to not only teens, but adults as well! Anyone can enjoy this one.

Have you read My Lady Jane? Lend me your thoughts in the comments!

Goodreads Challenge: 26 out of 50

Felicia x

Review: The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas


Title: The Hate U Give

Author: Angie Thomas

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Release Date: February 28th 2017

Pages: 444

My Rating: ★★★★ (4/5)

Goodreads | Amazon

“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”

Hello my darlings! Today I’ll be reviewing the critically acclaimed young adults novel, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

The Hate U Give, for those who don’t already know, is about a teenaged girl named Starr Carter who lives a double life. In her home life, she’s Starr Carter, who was born and raised in a primarily poor, Black neighbourhood; and in her school life, she’s Starr Carter, student of a private school where she sheds most of her identity to fit in with her environment. The two worlds clash - and Starr’s life flips upside down - when Starr’s childhood friend, Khalil, is killed by a white police officer and she’s the only witness.

This book really hit me in all the feels. I was heartbroken, angry, empowered, and inspired - all at once. I cannot begin to imagine being in Starr’s place. As I read about her experience of Khalil’s death and the ramifications afterwards, I felt sick to my stomach all the way through. It’s already a horrific thing to see your own friend be killed; but to have to fight to prove that the killer was actually at fault is something else entirely.

I truly feel like this might be one of the most powerful stories I’ve read in a very, very long time. Obviously the major problem in this book - police brutality and shooting of unarmed POC - is something that we are facing in modern day society every. single. day. It’s so frustrating to see this sort of thing happen all the time and there’s no justice for the victims whatsoever. That’s exactly what this book is about. I wholeheartedly believe this book is one that should be mandatory for all teens to read in high school. The classics are great and all, but it’s time for a book like The Hate U Give to make an appearance in school curriculums and draw attention to major social issues.

This is a book I’d recommend to all my friends and family. Read this book. Take a stand against what’s wrong, stand for what you believe in. And go see the movie, too. This is the sort of thing that needs attention y’all.

Have you read The Hate U Give? What are your thoughts?

Goodreads Challenge: 25 out of 50

Felicia x

Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows


Title: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Authors: Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

Publisher: The Dial Press

Release Date: June 1st 2009

Pages: 248

My Rating: ★★★★ (4/5)

Goodreads | Amazon

"Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true."

By now, chances are you know how much I love historical fiction. I've said it before and I'll likely say it a million times more. I like how it puts you in the middle of all the action. And when a novel about the world wars comes around, then I'm really hooked. Especially when it's post-WW2 Britain. No wartime story shall go unread!

What immediately got me interested in this book was the title. Some might see The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society as a nuisance; I see it as a mystery, one I'm dying to uncover. What is this club? Who created it? What in the world is a potato peel pie - and why does it deserve a society? The fact that I hadn't even opened the book and I was already enthralled said a lot about what I was in for. 

TGLAPPPS picks up in 1946 as writer Juliet Ashton tries to get her life back on track in post-war London. Her home has been flattened by a bombing, there are rumours floating about her almost-marriage, and she's struggling to figure out what she should write about next. Her life is changed when she receives a letter from a man named Dawsey Adams who has in his possession a book that once belonged to Juliet. From there, they start up a whirlwind correspondence that introduces Juliet to a little Channel island, Guernsey, and the members who make up the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. 

I loved so many things about this book. First and foremost, I loved the characters. What an extraordinary and odd bunch of people. I felt an instant connection to all of these lovely people - except for Mark, but more on him later. Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows did an incredible job of making these people feel like friends to the reader. I loved how passionately they spoke about books and authors. I wanted nothing more than to be in the room with them during their book club meetings, talking about the Brontë sisters and Charles Lamb. 

For a mostly lighthearted book, TGLAPPPS deals with a lot of heavy topics. After all, it is set just after the second World War. War leaves it's mark on many things - marriage, families, businesses, children, towns, countries. Especially in Guernsey. For five years starting in 1940, the island was occupied by Germans. The people of Guernsey endured absolute horrors during WW2 - and I'm actually sad to say that I'd never heard of the island, or their part in the war. But what was so gripping about this book was how the characters found happiness, even in the hard times. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society began as a clever ruse eventually turned into a safe haven, a place for book lovers to come together and be a united front in the face of hostility. 

Overall, I just loved this book. Although it talks about serious topics such as war and death, it is still lighthearted. It focused on family - by blood and by circumstances - and the love we feel for one another. And above all, it spoke on bravery, especially in the character Elizabeth McKenna. Watching these characters pick up the pieces of their lives after the destruction was incredibly inspiring. 

Go buy this book! Read it a dozen times. Cry over it. Hold it close to your heart. Make your friends read it and then talk about it to your heart's content. Just fully devour it. It's divine. 

What wartime or post-war novels do you love? Let me know in the comments!

Goodreads Challenge: 24 out of 50

Felicia x

Back to Hogwarts


All aboard the Hogwarts Express, it's time to go back to Hogwarts! If you've read the books or seen the films, you know that September 1st is a big day for the Wizarding World - it's the day that students pile into Kings Cross Station, cross that barrier onto Platform 9 3/4, and make their way back to that fabulous castle for another year of classes!

Harry Potter was a substantial part of my life growing up. Although I was only about a week old when the first book was released in North America, it very easily became a staple in my life. When I was a very little girl, my godmother brought the first film over to my house on VHS (#tb) and my family watched it all together. From then on, I was hooked. My parents bought me all the available books in the series and I used to (try to) read them out loud to my parents every night before bed. Very quickly, Hermione became a role model for me. There's even a video of me at 5 or 6 years old, opening a Christmas present of a Hermione doll wrapped in Harry Potter wrapping paper. OBSESSED, MUCH?? 

In honour of this magical day, I thought that today I'd do the Harry Potter Tag which I've seen a bunch of other bloggers do over the past couple years. I've always wanted to do the tag and what better time to do it! 

1. What house are you in?

I'm in Hufflepuff! Originally, when Pottermore first opened, I was sorted into Gryffindor, which never seemed right to me. Flash forward to this past year when I took the Pottermore test again and was sorted into Hufflepuff! I feel it suits me quite well. Maybe I've changed over the past 8 years? Who knows. 

2. What is your Patronus? 

According to Pottermore, my Patronus is a Wild Rabbit. (Cute, right?) 

3. What is your wand? 

Silver Lime wood with a Phoenix feather core 10" and Slightly Yielding flexibility.

4. What would your boggart be?

This is a great question. I think that if the boggart could turn into something like a question mark or an empty space, to symbolize the unknown, then that would definitely be my boggart. I have a major fear of the unknown and am constantly plagued with "what ifs". 

5. What position would you play in Quidditch?

Uhh, the position of a spectator? I'm already bad enough at sports, and I feel like that wouldn't translate well to Wizard sports. Boring answer, I know. 

6. Would you be a pure-blood, half-blood, or muggle-born? 

I don't even know how to begin to answer this. I really have no idea. 

7. What job would you want to have after leaving Hogwarts?

Hmm, I'd love to be a professor at Hogwarts. Maybe I'd teach History of Magic? I am minoring in History, after all. That seems like it'd be up my alley! I think it would be incredible to work inside Hogwarts all the time and as a professor, you'd get to know all the secret things that students aren't allowed to know/see. 

8. Which of the Deathly Hallows would you choose?

I'd definitely go for the Invisibility Cloak. It seems like it'd be the most useful. Besides, the other ones are just too risky for me. I'm not looking for almighty power or whatever, haha. I just want to sneak around a little bit. 

9. Favourite book? 

This is so tough. It's like choosing between children haha. But I guess if I had to choose one, it'd have to be Prisoner of Azkaban. I really love Sirius and Remus, so having them introduced in the novel makes my heart happy. I also really like the whole time-turner bit - that might be one of my favourite bits of magic. 

10. Least favourite book? 

Order of the Phoenix. It's not that there's anything I specifically don't like. It's just I like it a little bit less than the others!

11. Favourite film? 

Half-Blood Prince. For a very specific reason. For whatever reason, I decided in like 2008 that I didn't like Harry Potter anymore. I think it was just that I wasn't big on the Order of the Phoenix film and thought I was ~too cool~ for Harry Potter now that I was a whole 10 years old. My parents dragged me to see Half-Blood Prince in theatres and that was it. I was back in love. So HBP will always have a special place in my heart, for that reason.

12. Least favourite film?

I don't love Order of the Phoenix. Maybe it's just that it's too difficult to take the longest book of the series and put it into a fairly short film.

13. Favourite character? 

Obviously, Hermione is my favourite. Being a bookworm and kind of annoying as a kid, I totally got her. 

14. Least favourite/most hated character? 

I hate Umbridge. But don't we all? 

15. Favourite teacher at Hogwarts? 

This is definitely a tie between Professor McGonagall and Professor Lupin. I love them both for different reasons, but I doubt I have to explain why to anyone haha. 

16. Least favourite teacher at Hogwarts? 

Umbridge. Again, reasons are quite obvious.

17. Do you have any unpopular opinions about the series?

*Sigh*... Okay. Let me preface this by saying I'm a super empathetic person. Like, in general and especially when it comes to fictional characters, specifically villains (do you see where I'm going with this?)... I have feelings about Draco Malfoy. I think his relationship with his father and the fact that his father was, ya know, a Death Eater and a total douche certainly had a real effect on him as a person. (This is especially true in the films because the film creators seem to be huge Draco sympathizers). 

Felicia x

Review: Sharp Objects - Gillian Flynn


Title: Sharp Objects

Author: Gillian Flynn

Publisher: Broadway Paperbacks

Release Date: September 26, 2006

Pages: 254

My Rating: ★★★★ (4/5)

Goodreads | Amazon

"Sometimes if you let people do things to you, you're really doing it to them."

I've never been a big fan of the horror genre. Aside from The Girl On The Train, I've not really delved into the whole psychological-thriller genre. I'm more likely to steer towards light-hearted novels. But I've heard so much talk about Sharp Objects in the past year or so and I've always had an interest in reading a Gillian Flynn novel. Not to mention, it was 20% off at Target. Soooo I thought, why not

Sharp Objects was Gillian Flynn's debut novel that came out 12 years ago. It tells the story of a journalist named Camille who returns to her hometown, a small old-fashioned community in Missouri, to report on the recent murders of two pre-teen girls. Her search for answers sends her on a dark journey which unleashes demons and old habits of her past. 

This book made me uncomfortable. And I think that's exactly what it was supposed to do. It's an unsettling story about people who have unhealthy relationships and lifestyles. The characters of this story are dark and complex. Everyone has secrets lurking beneath the surface, everyone has a disturbing past, a trail of destruction following them wherever they go. Each character is dealing with their own personal nightmares - and that's what makes them so compelling, on an individual basis. Most of all, the women in this book are multi-dimensional. Here they are, in this town that makes women out to be useless, disposable, weak. But, no. These women are deep, complicated people. And they're capable of horrors that seem unimaginable to most. 

I thought this book was extremely well written and riveting. I was hooked right from the start and I didn't want to put the book down once I picked it up - something that hasn't really happened to me in a long time. After reading this, I think I'll be reconsidering the genre. I'm definitely sure that I want to read another Gillian Flynn novel in the future! If you have any recommendations, let me know in the comments! 

Have you read Sharp Objects? Did you like it?

Goodreads Challenge: 23 out of 50

Felicia x

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag 2018


Happy National Book Lovers Day!! x

We're officially into the second half of 2018 folks!! Can you hear my hyperventilation through the computer? How could we possibly be in the latter half of this year? Wasn't it just January? Luckily, August is a pretty good month for me, as it is my birthday month (WOO HOO) and my boyfriend's coming down to Florida so soon! 

I've never done the Mid-Year Book Freak Out tag before, both because I have only just started blogging about books this year and because I'd never heard of it until recently. I love the idea of wrapping up the first half of the year in a post and this seems to be the perfect way to do so!

Best book you've read so far in 2018...

This is a tremendously difficult question to answer. How could I choose just one? Please don't force me to make decisions! Alright, if I had to choose just one, I'd have to say Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall. After my anxiety reared it's ugly head in late 2017, I spent the better part of the first half of 2018 struggling with my mental health, which ultimately left me unable to leave my house for days on end. That's when Under Rose-Tainted Skies entered my life. I completely identified with Norah's struggles in the book; although our mental illnesses aren't quite the same, I was facing a lot of the same problems as her and it made me feel a little less alone!

Best sequel you've read so far in 2018...

I haven't read a single sequel yet this year. Isn't that crazy? I guess with trying to keep up with my reading challenge, I made the executive decision at some point to just keep series out of it - at least for the first bit of the challenge (I do have a hankering to re-read the Harry Potter series...). 

A book you haven't read but want to...

So. Many. Books!! My TBR is getting longer as the year goes on... I'm quite positive that's the exact opposite of what's supposed to happen. Obviously I'm not about to go and list every individual title on my TBR, but one book I'm eager to read is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I've heard really good things about it and can't wait to get to it.

Most anticipated release for the 2nd half of 2018...

What If It's Us!!!! 100%.

Biggest disappointment of 2018...

Where'd You Go, Bernadette. I was really looking forward to reading it after all the high praise but I just didn't like it at all. It was so bummed out.

Biggest surprise of 2018...

Oddly enough, the biggest surprise for me so far was The Alice Network. I mean, usually I can be pulled in by any half-decent historical fiction. But considering I grabbed this one off the shelf with absolutely zero idea what I was going into, I was just expecting an interesting story about the world wars. But it was actually incredible. It was such a powerful story about women and their role in history. 

New favourite author...

Becky Albertalli, Kate Quinn, Louise Gornall, Gail Honeyman... Just to name a few!!

Newest fictional crush...

Hmm... I'd probably have to say Levi from Fangirl or Simon from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. They're both adorbs!

Newest favourite character...

Eve Gardiner from The Alice Network. Hands down. She's so fascinating and I loved seeing her go from a somewhat timid young woman to a total badass. 

Book that made you cry...

None so far that I can remember! But I've been reading pretty light-hearted books lately. 

Book that made you happy...

Fangirl! It was so cute, even though Cath went through a bunch of tough things, in the end it was a feel-good read. 

Favourite book to movie adaptation...

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, EASILY.

Favourite review you've written...

I don't think there was any one review that I enjoyed writing over the others. I loved all my reviews equally!

Most beautiful book you've bought this year...

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. It was honestly so amazing. No words can describe how beautiful - and heartbreaking - it was. 

Books you need to read by the end of 2018...

There are so many (I do have 25 books left on my reading challenge). But to name a couple... Dumplin', Little Fires Everywhere, What If It's Us, I'll Give You The Sun, and Bachelor Girl.

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this post!! If anyone can let me know a way to slow down this year, let me know in the comments, haha. 

What are your favourite books of 2018 so far?

Felicia x

Review: Crazy Rich Asians - Kevin Kwan


Title: Crazy Rich Asians

Author: Kevin Kwan

Publisher: Doubleday

Release Date: June 11, 2013

Pages: 546

My Rating: ★★★ 1/2 (3.5/5)

Goodreads | Amazon

"Just because some people actually work for their money doesn't mean they are beneath you."

I'm sure that the majority of you guys have heard about Crazy Rich Asians before, either because of the hype surrounding the book or because of the movie adaptation. You can find it on just about every 'Must Read' shelf or display table in any bookshop. 

For those of you who haven't heard about this book, here's the gist. Rachel Chu has a relatively normal life. She works as a professor at NYU, has a good relationship with her mother, and has a gorgeous boyfriend, Nicholas Young, who has just invited her as his date to his best friend's wedding in Singapore. In her mind, this will be a great way to see where her boyfriend is from and be introduced to his friends and family. Unfortunately, the reality is extremely different. 

This had been on my TBR for a very long time before I actually got around to reading it. It was one of those books where I'd always pass it by in the store and think, 'Aw, I'd love to read that' but then I go pick up something else, usually something not on my TBR lol. But when I heard that there was a film adaptation coming out this summer, I bumped it up on my list because I have to read the book before seeing the movie #bookwormproblems.

All in all, Crazy Rich Asians is a fun read. The characters are really interesting - Nick Young's family is straight up crazy. Nick and Rachel's complicated love story is totally addicting. And there's no denying it's well-researched and extremely detailed. But being someone who completely devoured books like the Gossip Girl series in the past which deals with it's fair share of rich people drama, I thought I'd enjoy this more than I did.

I think the main reason I wasn't so big on this book is because it seemed like it dragged out for too long. If about 100 pages were chopped off, I think I would have enjoyed it more. There were a few scenes that just didn't seem to add much to the plot that could've been cut without taking away from the plot. It just made the plot sort of slow, so I found it sort of hard to get really into. Of course, 90% of people say that they loved this novel to death so I'm probably in the minority here, haha. So take my review with a grain of salt. I'll still see the film though because the film nerd part of me can't not go give it a chance. 

Did you read Crazy Rich Asians? What did you think?

Goodreads Challenge: 22 out of 50

Felicia x

July TBR


Hello hello hellooo!

God, things have been crazy lately. It's already a few weeks into July and I'm just posting my TBR for the month. How typical. What have you all been up to lately?! I spent the first bit of this month with my boyfriend here in Florida which was so much fun. I can't wait for our vacay together in August!! 

You may remember that this year, I set a goal for myself to read 50 books which I've been keeping track of on Goodreads. Well, now I'm about halfway through the year and my Reading Challenge tracker has recently informed me that I'm three books behind schedule... I've gotta quickly get back on track with my reading!

So, without further ado, here are the books that I'll be reading in July...

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan - Rachel is an average American-born Chinese woman, working as a professor at NYU when she meets Nick Young. But when he invites her to his best friend's wedding back home in Singapore, where she's introduced to his uber rich and very judgmental family, Rachel's life gets flipped upside down. I'm sure a lot of you have heard the buzz surrounding this book, especially now that it's coming out as a film next month! This book has been on my TBR since last year and now I've got all the more reason to bump it up on my list!

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn - This is another book that's been getting a lot of attention as of late. You may recognize Gillian Flynn as the author of the highly successful novel, 'Gone Girl' which was made into a movie awhile back. 'Sharp Objects' was actually her debut novel, which is about a woman who has to return to her small hometown to cover the deaths of two young girls, all the while fighting the demons that she's been trying to escape ever since she left home the first time. I'm not usually big on thrillers, but for this, I thought 'why not'!  

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - I'm so eager to get started on reading this book. Young adults novels often get a lot of criticism for not being 'heavy enough'. But this is a definite exception to that judgment. It's all about a sixteen year old girl who witnesses the murder of her childhood best friend by the hands of a police officer. The novel tackles crucial topics such as racism and police brutality, which are so important to talk about - especially among teens. It's a great conversation starter and I'm eager to read it! (It also has a whopping 4.56 star rating on Goodreads).

The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory - I've been binge-watching Reign for the past month and I've also recently enrolled in a Tudor/Stuart era course at uni, so it's safe to say that I'm currently in the midst of a major Tudor obsession. So when I saw this bad boy at Indigo, it was an easy impulse buy. 'The Last Tudor' is a historical fiction all about Lady Jane Grey, the 'Nine Days' Queen' of England, and her sister, Katherine. I know that Philippa Gregory's books have faced a lot of criticism in the past, so I'm very interested to see what I think of this! 

Talk to you all very, very soon!

Felicia x

Review: How To Stop Time - Matt Haig

Title: How To Stop Time

Author: Matt Haig

Publisher: Viking

Release Date: February 6th 2018

Pages: 325

My Rating: ★★★ 1/2 (3.5/5)

Goodreads | Amazon

“The longer you live, the harder it becomes. To grab them. Each little moment as it arrives. To be living in something other than the past or the future. To be actually here.”

So, today’s read is a bit different in that it’s a bit sci-fi I suppose. I picked this up because although it had that fantasy element which is a bit unusual to my taste, it’s very saturated in history which, you probably know by now, I love.

How To Stop Time is the bizarre story of a man named Tom Hazard, who may appear outwardly as an average 41-year-old man but is really several hundred years old. He’s walked through history alongside people like William Shakespeare and has experienced the world as it’s advanced to become what it is today. But nobody knows. Except for the Albatross Society, a secret society of people like Tom who work together to keep their condition a secret - even if that means killing those who threaten their existence. Then, one day, Tom begins to fall in love - which is strictly prohibited.

I’m a bit iffy on this book. I didn’t hate it by any means. I just didn’t love it either. Overall, it was well-written and evidently well-researched. It had everything it needed to be a great book. But it just lacked a certain je ne sais quoi. I felt like the climactic event wasn’t all that climactic and I kept waiting for the shoe to drop, so to speak. The big moments were simply brushed over and resolved very quickly, and they didn’t have any repercussions at all. It was very simple and to the point which wasn’t exactly what I’d hoped for.

The concept, however, was very interesting. A man who’s lived through history, who’s witnessed major historic events first-hand, is now living in the 21st century. Sounds like a cool concept. It was fun to see him placed in history. Especially when historical figures were included, too. But constantly flipping between present day and some-hundred years ago was a bit confusing and muddled after a few chapters. After awhile, I started to wonder if there was a need for so many flashbacks or if it was just for the sake of reminding you that, hey look, this guy is really really old.

How To Stop Time was a fun read, but not really a meaty one. It didn’t take me very long to get through this one and because of that, I think it’d make a great beach read.

Have you read How To Stop Time? What did you think of it?

Goodreads Challenge: 21 out of 50

Felicia x

5 Websites for Book Lovers

If you're a total bookish freak, like myself, then you probably use all of your free-time doing book-related things. Whether it's reading a new book, re-reading an old fave, or re-watching Pride and Prejudice for the umpteenth time (we've all been there). But one of the other common things to do if you're a literary enthusiast is scroll through literary articles online. These websites make it easier to find like-minded people, people who want to spend as much time chatting about books as you do. Here are my favourite bookish websites to scroll through, when I'm not reading!

Books on Bustle - Bustle is one of my favourite websites for book-related content. It's an online magazine that mostly surrounds things that affect women including beauty & fashion, lifestyle, wellness, and of course, books. They post a bunch of fun articles that range from "must read" lists, advice for readers, and author interviews. Most of the articles are short and sweet, perfect for reading a few during your morning cup of coffee! You can also follow their Facebook page, Book-Lovers on Bustle, to get updates straight to your feed which is very cool. 

BookstrBookstr is an online community for literature lovers to come together and enjoy the joy that comes along with books and reading. I think of all these sites, this might be the most abundant and diverse as it has hundreds of posts, with something for everyone. In addition to just articles, they also have a specific category just for lists and another for quizzes. 

Buzzfeed BooksAlthough I don't typically like to read Buzzfeed posts that often, I do find myself clicking on their Buzzfeed Books posts. They have a slightly slim selection in comparison but they still have some good, informative posts and they have great lists of recommendations. They also have posts that are more opinion-based, which can either be good or bad, depending on how you see it!  

Refinery29 Books - Refinery29 is very similar to Bustle, in that it's an online magazine that is targeted for women. I love scrolling through their posts, especially ones like "The Best Books of 2018" - I'm always in search of a new book, and posts like these are perf for that!! Although Refinery29's website isn't really targeted towards book-related posts, they still have a good selection to read anyway.  

The StrandYou've probably heard of The Strand before, even if you think you haven't. The Strand is a massive indie bookshop in New York City, along with several mobile kiosks placed around the city that sell new and used books. It's a major staple that has been featured in shows like Sex & the City and Gossip Girl. Aside from their official website (which sells books online) they also have a book blog which features many recommendations and other book-related posts.

What are your favourite bookish websites?

Felicia x

Review: Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell

Title: Fangirl

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Release Date: September 10th 2013

Pages: 481

My Rating: ★★★★ 1/2 (4.5/5)

Goodreads | Amazon

“The whole point of fanfiction is that you get to play inside somebody else’s universe. Rewrite the rules. Or bend them.”

Hello friends! Today I’m going to be reviewing a Rainbow Rowell novel!!! Very exciting, right?

Fangirl is a coming-of-age story about a young woman named Cath who is a big-time fan of the popular book series, Simon Snow. Her and her twin sister, Wren, have spent years together nestled within the Simon Snow fandom, but all of that changes when they go to university and their world is split into two. As Cath deals with her new environment and the changes that come with the transition to university, she must also face changes in her creative life, too.

I have NO IDEA why I didn’t read this sooner!! Before this, I’d read - and loved - two books by Rainbow Rowell: Attachments and Eleanor and Park. But Fangirl never really stood out to me. The only reason I ended up picking it up was because I had heard so many good things about it as I became more involved with the book blogger community and I finally gave into the hype. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.

I really resonated with Cath and I think that’s what got me hooked so early on. Like me, she’s in university and also is an English major. She suffers from anxiety which makes her pretty reclusive, something I totally understand from my own experiences. A lot of people criticize Rainbow Rowell’s decision to give Cath anxiety in their reviews on Goodreads, because apparently her ‘awkwardness’ around people reinforces the ‘socially inept fangirl’ stereotype. But I actually found Cath to be more relatable because of it. I hate when people use words like ‘socially inept’ to describe people with anxiety. It’s so ignorant. Grr…


I loved Cath, even when she made mistakes (which we all do sometimes) and I thought her story was really interesting. She’s someone who’s come from a difficult past that she has to find the strength to conquer every day. That’s pretty bad ass, if you ask me. And, of course, the romantic storyline in this book was lovely and adorable and it hit me right square in the feels.

I’ve also got to give Rainbow Rowell major kudos for being able to include excerpts from the Simon Snow novel. I mean, Simon Snow is not a real series. It exists only in her head. She basically had to write two stories for the price of one, didn’t she? That’s insane and she deserves a lot of respect for that. I definitely wouldn’t be able to do that. I thought the little excerpts were a lovely addition and that they added a lot of depth to the storyline.

Overall, this was a warm and fuzzy sort of book, the kind I’d want to reread when I’m having a bad day. For me, those are the best kinds of books. In my opinion, this is the perfect young adults novel.

Goodreads Challenge: 20 out of 50

Felicia x