Since I’m WAY behind on reviews, I thought I’d do something different today. Instead of writing a full review for all the books I’ve read in the last couple of weeks (which is too daunting!) I thought I’d get a couple out of the way by doing mini-reviews. I’ve seen these type of posts around for a while now and I really enjoy reading mini-review myself, so why not try it out and see how it goes?
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I’ve mentioned it in the New York Times “By the Book” Tag already but Fangirl kind of disappointed me. I’d heard so many good things about it and everyone recommended me reading this one ASAP, but after reading it, I’ve come to the conclusion that this book isn’t for me. Maybe the expectations were too high? I don’t know.
The biggest problem I had was not being able to relate to Cath. Which is strange considering I spent most of my time in Uni locking myself up in my dorm as well. And I totally get not wanting to go eat in the cafeteria because there’s just too many people and noise and you don’t know where to sit and … Yeah. The anxiety was done really well.
However, I thought she was too stubborn and naïve. Why was she so offended when her professor told her she couldn’t hand in fan fiction as an assignement? Everyone knows it’s copyright, no matter how much you change the characters or the story. It’s not original fiction. And even after her professor gave her a second chance (I really liked her btw! She was a very caring person), Cath was too stubborn to even give original fiction a shot, which I thought was very priviliged behaviour on her part. In the end, she did do it, but it didn’t seem like she had really changed her mind about fan fiction or original fiction.
I did like the relationships. The Reagan-Cath relationship was GOLD and Levi-Cath was okay, though unrealistic IMO. I loved her dad but didn’t care much for her sister, which was another problem for me.
My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
Oh my. This is a very bleak but (as far as I can tell) realistic account of two teenagers who’re depressed and suicidal. I loved Aysel’s narration and her personality. Her obsession with physics, particularly potential energy, was very interesting to read about. She’s just a smart, caring girl to whom bad things have happened. The same goes for her “suicide partner” Roman, a.k.a. FrozenRobot. Yes, he made a terrible mistake, but that doesn’t mean he deserves to die.
Before you go, “they’re going to fall in love and save each other, aren’t they?” and dismiss this book, I want to tell you that’s not what happens. Not really. It’s not some cheesy book about love being the cure or anything like that. At the end of the book, neither of them is saved or cured, but they do decide to give life another shot, which is as much as you can realistically expect of them given the state of their mental health throughout the book. To me, the ending strikes the right balance between being hopeful and realistic.
Farewell Tour of a Terminal Optimist by John Young
**Thank you to NetGalley and Floris Books for providing me with a digital copy in exchange for an honest review**
Don’t worry, this one is not as bleak as the title suggests. In fact, this is quite a fun read. Connor might be suffering from cancer, but that boy has got a lot of life in him. He’s a very spirited, kind boy who’s just trying to visit his dad in jail. Much to his surprise (and mine!), his nemisis, Skeates, plays a big role in his journey. Together, they have a crazy adventure while travelling across Scotland.
I liked the characters and the unexpected bromance between Connor and Skeates, but the plot could’ve been tidied up. I had some problems with the pacing, which felt rushed toward the end. Also, some things happened out of nowhere. I can’t tell you because of spoilers, but I can tell you that it has something to do about the reason Connor’s dad is in prison. Basically, the reason behind it was supposed to be this big, astounding event, but the revelation fell a bit flat for me. It was all rather convenionent and worked out too well in the end for it to be realistic.
Have you read any of these books? What did you think?