Carry On (Rainbow Rowell)

Carry On is a novel by Rainbow Rowell. It’s – kind of – a spin-off from Fangirl.
Finished on: 14.10.2017

Simon Snow is in his final year at the magical school of Watford. Simon is the Chosen One, prophesised to defeat the Insidious Humdrum, an honor Simon could really do without. Especially since his hold on magic is tenuous at best. But together with his best friend Penelope, who has an excellent grasp of magic, Simon is ready to face the world. Even his roommate Baz who Simon is sure is up to no good. Baz really does think more about Simon than he probably should, but it’s not really because his intentions are evil.

Carry On is a quick, fun read and really drew me in, despite a couple of issues I had here and there. It definitely managed to make me smile.

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Kindred Spirits (Rainbow Rowell)

Kindred Spirits is a novella by Rainbow Rowell.
Finished on: 3.8.2016

Elena is a huge Star Wars fan. So when the new film comes out, giving her a chance to see a Star Wars film in the cinema as it is released for the first time, she can barely contain her excitement. And she decides that she wants to queue outside of her local cinema, maybe to prove something to herself and to the world. When she arrives there four days before the film starts, she is the third in line. But other than that, nothing is as she expected. The line just doesn’t grow any longer. So she spends those days with the incessantly talking Troy and the surly Gabe, always worrying about where she could pee. But Elena is determined to see this through.

Kindred Spirits is a fast, incredibly sweet read. Rowell once more manages to create vivid characters with a deep love and respect for fandom. It’s simply lovely.


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Fangirl (Rainbow Rowell)

Fangirl is a novel by Rainbow Rowell.
Finished on: 2.1.2016

Cath and her twin sister Wren are freshmen in college, something Cath has been dreading for quite a while: ever since Wren told her that she didn’t want to be roommates with her in their dorm. Socially awkward Cath is at a loss. While Wren adjust easily to college life, especially the parties, Cath withdraws more and more into the fan fiction she’s writing about Simon Snow, the boy magician, and his vampire roommate Baz Pitch (a fic she used to write with Wren). But her roommate Reagan can’t watch this and starts to drag Cath out of her shell, aided by her best friend Levi whose easy-going and accessible nature helps considerably.

Fangirl is not only a sweet, captivating coming of age story, it’s also an accurate portrayal of fan culture as I know it – which is very rare. I blazed through it (as high velocity is apparently the only speed I can read Rainbow Rowell novels at) and I loved it.

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Eleanor & Park (Rainbow Rowell)

Eleanor & Park is the second novel by Rainbow Rowell.
Finished on: 3.10.2015

[ETA much later: Unfortunately, I, as a white person, missed some seriously racist and problematic stuff in the portrayal of Park, so please take this review with a grain of salt. Or a bag full of salt. Here’s more info on the racism issue.]

Eleanor is a big girl with flaming red hair – people notice her, especially on her first day in a new school. As she gets on the school bus, people stare and refuse to let her sit somewhere. All but Park who is usually busy with trying not to stick out, skirting along the edges of the popular crowd. He lets Eleanor sit, but otherwise ignores her, as much as she can be ignored. It’s only when he realizes that she is reading along with his comic books on the bus that they slowly, carefully start to interact.

I hardly have words for how much I loved Eleanor & Park. It made me laugh and cry and fall in love with reading all over again (which in turn made me spend an unwise amount of money at the bookstore). What more could you possibly ask for in a book?

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Attachments (Rainbow Rowell)

Attachments is the first novel by Rainbow Rowell.
Finished on: 14.7.2015

It’s 1999 and Y2K is just on the horizon. Lincoln doesn’t really know what to do with himself now that he finished university. But it seems that getting out into the real world is in order. He gets a job as the new IT security guy at a newspaper, which mostly means reading e-mails that have been flagged by the automatic system as probably not work-related and sending out warnings when the system turns out to be right. So that’s how he ends up reading the very much not work-related e-mails from Beth and Jennifer. But that he doesn’t send out any warnings to them is up to him. And that he doesn’t stop reading even when he should. And that he finds himself falling for the writers, one in particular.

Having a love story start with an intense violation of the privacy is a risky move, to put it mildly. But Rowell completely pulls it off with Attachments. Not only by giving us beautiful characters, but also by confronting those privacy issues head-on. I loved it.

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