Alright, I know that I am horribly behind on my reviews, but I am hoping to change that. Today I will be giving you two reviews from the books that I have read while participating in Booktube-a-thon. So, let’s begin.
The first book I want to focus on is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. This book was a reread and I was more than excited to read it when booktube-a-thon came. The books focus on a young woman, Cather, who is experiencing her first year at college. During this year, she faces challenges such as her anxiety, people, and what to leave and take with her as she becomes an adult. The biggest challenge she faces is her love for the Simon Snow fandom (a Harry Potter wannabe) and deciding if she wants to bring that into her adult world.
I gave this book five out of five stars on Goodreads. I absolutely loved this book. I found Cather to be very relatable. I know that people question the reality of Cather and her anxiety, but I can tell you from personal experience that yes, that can happen and has happened. In addition, I also enjoyed the character growth and seeing Cather starting to branch out nd accept her environment and grow apart from her sister. I also enjoy the Simon Snow series. I must say it was great seeing the parallels between Simon and Harry. Every time we get a Simon Snow tidbit I get excited and melt into my own fandom for Harry Potter. I can tell you it felt as though I was reexperiencing Harry Potter for the first time. Finally, I enjoyed the highlights of the fandom and the discussion of fanfic and whether or not it can be considered as real writing. I found the discussion important and relevant to our lives, but I enjoyed seeing how our main character grew from this discussion.
Now there were a couple of cons that I had with this book. The first was the lack of seeking for help when Cather was afraid for her own well being when she was having a hard time managing her anxiety. I know that drugs were mentioned, but Cather never went out and sought for help when she really needs to. I know from experience that in one way that we perceived getting help as a bad thing, especially in the American Society, however, when reading this I realized that there were several moments in the book that she should have just sought for help, or at least had her sister recommend it, not a roommate who barely knew her do so. On top of that, I felt as though seeking help would be better than taking drugs. the other issue that I had was that the audio did not match the book. I know that this sounds petty and small, but I cannot stand with texts don’t match. I expect the audio to match with the book, even if it is a special edition book. The part that did not match was so small, but to me it was a huge problem because I felt it made a difference in the book.
In all, I would recommend this book to everyone. I must warn you that there is some alcohol abuse, the mention of using drugs to solve problems, and psychiatric difficulties. If any of these are a trigger, please don’t read the book. In all, the book is fun and I believe that everyone will enjoy the characters and the Simon Snow world and fandom.
The other book that I want to review today is The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann. This book looks at a young boy, Alex, who lives in a society where everyone is placed in their respective roles based off of their titles, Wanted, Necessary, and Unwanted. Alex is placed as an Unwanted and is sentenced to die while his twin Aaron is placed as a Wanted and is given the privilege to attend a prestigious school. When Alex makes it to the place where he would be killed, he discovered that all the Unwanteds faked their death and lives in a magical world that will allow them to express and learn their creativity and magic.
I gave this book five out of five stars on Goodreads. I loved the book so much and there is so much that I would love to share with you, but in fear of spoiling the book, I will only be picking the highlights of this book.
The first highlight is the magic system. I love the idea of using your creative talents as a means of magic. I know that as a society we talk about how art can be magical, but seeing something like this was a bit more mind opening and it was fun. I enjoyed seeing how each student used their own personal creativity in magic, such as working origami paper dragons. Let’s just say that at the end of the book I wanted to go to Artimé just so I can learn magic and could care less, let alone would have pride, if I was labeled as an Unwanted. Another thing that I enjoyed was the dynamic between the two worlds. the noncreative “superior” world was dull and starting to fall apart while Artimé was colorful, alive, and vibrant. I also enjoyed getting to read the history of the two places, how they were created as well as why they are the way they are. In addition, I enjoyed reading all the character and getting to see their growth within the course of a year. Not only have these characters grow in their art and magic, but they also grew in learning how to express and understand emotions since they lived in a world in which expressing one’s emotions is considered an Unwanted trait. Finally, I loved how fast pace of this book. I never realized how much time I spent reading, let alone how many pages I was reading in a sitting.
Now there were a few cons that I had with the book. One was the advertising on the front page of the book. It was considered as Hunger Games meet Harry Potter, however after reading this book I am wondering what aspect of this book was considered to be related to Hunger Games. I believe that a more accurate description would be The Giver meets Harry Potter. In addition, I am also wondering how this book is a series since the end of the book never made it feel like there would be another book. I also question the ending with the twin and the older leader. It was never explained what happened to them, or what both societies decided to do with either of them. Finally, the other con was the Hermione wannabe. I guess it is because it has been shown to me, but I never realized how much a character like Hermione is created in the book. I don’t mind having a smart bookworm girl, I just found it interesting that McMann felt that she needed to create such a character in her book.
In the end, I recommend this book to everyone. I know that you will love the magic system and the worlds. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series to see what will happen next.
I do hope that your week has been fun and filled with adventure. Happy reading!