Tuesday, 22 December 2015

My Mini Book Haul!

Hey guys,

Okay so after I finished Girl Online: On Tour and had an appropriate amount of time to let it settle in my head (which was about a day and a half), I decided to go to the bookshop and buy my next book!

But, after a killer day at work and a mind like mine, that can't make a decision in the best of times. I ended up buying 3 books that I just couldn't choose between!
So I decided to show you them all and do a small book haul for you guys! Hope you enjoy x

Book #1:

The Last Time We Say Goodbye
Author: Cynthia Hand
Published: 2015


The last time Lex was happy was before.
When she had a family that was whole.
A boyfriend she loved.
Friends who didn't look at her like she might break down at any moment.

Now she's the girl whose brother killed himself.
And it feels like that's all she'll ever be.
As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there's a secret she hasn't told anyone - a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything. Lex's brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that the past doesn't have to define the present.

Why I picked it up:

So honestly, I'm not 100% sure why I picked this book up.
It just sort of drew me in from the cover, which I thought was really cute and it reminded me of quite a few books that I love with a similar style cover.

This is the next book that I will be reading, and I am so excited about it. I don't know why but that blurb just intrigued me so much!
The fact that the story is based around a suicide definitely interested me and by now you all must know I'm pretty into mental health and that sort of thing.
Super excited to explore a new author and see what I think of this book!

Book #2:

Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: 2012


Eleanor is the new girl in town, and with her chaotic family life, her mismatched clothes and unruly red hair, she couldn't stick out more if she tried.

Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black t-shirts, headphones, head in a book - he thinks he's made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor... never to Eleanor.

Slowly, steadily, through late night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose.

Why I picked it up:

So this is a book that I have been planning on reading ever since I finished Fangirl, same author for anyone who couldn't figure out why her name sounded familiar.
I loved Fangirl so much and I was really interested in Rainbow Rowell's writing style so I looked up some of her other books and this is definitely the one that caught my eye.

I've read a few online reviews of it and I knew it was one I had to read straight away.
So also really excited for this one.

Ps. It also has on the cover of the book a recommendation/review quote by John Green, which sold me even more as everything that man does is amazing. It made me even more excited to read it.
It said:
"Reminded me not just what it's like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it's like to be young and in love with a book"

Book #3:

Where she went
Author: Gayle Forman
Published: 2011


It's been three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life.
And three years he's spent wondering why.

When their paths cross again in New York City, Adam and Mia are brought back together for one life-changing night.

Adam finally has the opportunity to ask Mia the questions that have been haunting him. But will a few hours in this magical city be enough to lay their past to rest, for good - or can you really have a second chance at first love?

Why I picked it up: 

So this book is actually a sequel to a book called If I Stay (which was recently turned into a film) and I talked about this book in my 'best books of 2015' post the other day (http://taybookreviews.blogspot.com.au/2015/12/the-best-books-of-2015.html)

So yeah, I'm really interested and excited to see where the story goes from here and to delve back into Mia's life again!

Love you all,
T xxxx


Email: taylorbekkers2@gmail.com
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Thursday, 17 December 2015

'Girl Online: On Tour' Review


Penny's bags are packed.

When Noah invites Penny on his European music tour, she can't wait to spend time with her rock-god-tastic boyfriend. But, between Noah's jam-packed schedule, less-than-welcoming bandmates and threatening messages from jealous fans, Penny wonders
whether she's really cut out for life on tour. She can't help but miss her family, her best friend Elliot... and her blog, Girl Online.

Can Penny learn to balance life and love on the road, or will she lose everything in the pursuit of a perfect summer?

My Review:

Okay so I'm not going to write a really massive in depth review for this book, considering that I feel a lot as if I would just be repeating myself in the review of book #1, as Zoe Sugg's writing style and focus has not changed dramatically from book 1.

So as per the first book, I also really loved Girl Online: On Tour.
I actually think I liked this one more than the first book as to me, it was more relatable. Not obviously in the 'I'm on tour with my rod god boyfriend' way, but a lot of the challenges that Penny and Noah face in this book within their relationship are very similar to ones that I have faced with my ex-boyfriend and ones that I think most young teenage relationships do face, whether one of them is super mega famous or not.

I don't want to spoil the book for anyone so I won't go into intense detail.
But pretty much, while book #1 was centred around Penny and Noah meeting and the 'falling in love' stage of their relationship, the only problem they come across being a short lived, on the surface one, the sequel is completely different.

This book goes into pretty intense detail into the early stages of Penny and Noah's relationship, as when the main story picks up they have only been dating for roughly 6 months.
Penny goes on tour with Noah as he opens for a large boyband called 'The Sketch' and they end up not only having to battle with time for each other, but also a large group of people that all seem to be against them being together.

I actually felt that this book was a lot more emotional for me than book #1. I really felt how Penny was feeling throughout it and there were actually points for me where I needed to stop reading because her emotions were affecting me that much.
Honestly, not many books have done that for me and I think it shows amazing writing and readership connection and I just LOVED that!

I also really loved that there was such a strong parallel between Penny's story and Elliot's story and that even though Elliot is absent for a lot of the book (as he doesn't go on tour with Penny and Noah), his constant support is always right there whenever Penny needs him and he does seem in the eyes on the readers that he is just as present as in book #1, with his own drama going on in the background of Pennys.

Magical Mystery Day makes another appearance, and as anyone that's read my review of book #1 knows that I am just obsessed and in love with that idea.
Pennys blog also makes a comeback in this book which I found really special and her blog posts are just as good as ever (my favourite being a playlist of hers towards the end of the book).

Whilst I can't spoil the ending of course, I wasn't a massive fan of the way that it ends as I didn't really feel that all of the storylines were neatly finished. It's a quite ambiguous ending I found and isn't very explicit in some of the things that happen after that point.
I'm not sure if there's a third book coming, which I'd love as I really want to know more about what happens to some of the characters, but yeah, if there isn't not a huge fan of ending it that broadly.

Please if you've read it and you know what I'm talking about, let me know what you thought of the ending, I could quite easily be missing something.. I don't know.

Overall, I honestly think that I enjoyed Girl Online: On Tour more than the first book. 
I give this book 5/5 stars!!, even though I didn't enjoy the ending. 
(I'm pretty picky so that's a big thing) 

Thanks for reading guys, please let me know what you think/thought in the comments!
Love you all lots!
Read fast, die young


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Saturday, 12 December 2015

The Best Books of 2015

Hey everyone,

Okay so I decided that seeming that it is coming up to the end of this year.. As terrifying as that is, that I would share with you guys my favourite books that I read this year.

Quick disclaimer: These books did not all come out this year, I am well aware of that, but this is just a list of the books that I happened to read this year that stood out to me.
Also, these books are in no particular order.


Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Author: John Green and David Levithan
Year of Publication: 2010

One night in Chicago, two guys - both named Will Grayson - cross paths.

Tay says: 
This book was just incredible! John Green and David Levithan are by far two of my favourite authors, this book completed my journey of reading every single John Green book that exists and started my journey of reading every single David Levithan one (which is still underway). I fell in love with all of the characters of this book, from the confused and disoriented Will Grayson to the depressed and struggling Will Grayson and everyone in between.
Definitely one of my faves of this year, and of John Green's books in general. I ended up sitting down and reading the entire book (all 310 pages) in about two days, total reading binge that was and I LOVED EVERY PAGE!

Favourite Quote:
(you guys have no idea how hard it was for me to choose just one)
"Some people have lives; some people have music" - Will Grayson #1


Girl, Interrupted 
Author: Susanna Kaysen
Year of Publication: 1993


In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she'd never seen before, eighteen year old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi and sent to McLean Hospital. She spend most of the next two years in the ward for teenage girls at a psychiatric hospital as renowned for its famous clientele - Sylvia Plat, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles - as for its progressive methods of treating those who could afford its sanctuary.
Kaysen's memoir encompasses horror and razor-edged perception while providing vivid portraits of her fellow patients and heir keepers. It is a brilliant evocation of a "parallel universe" set within the kaleidoscopically shifting landscape of the late sixties. Girl, Interrupted is a clear-sighted, unflinching document that gives lasting and specific dimension to our definitions of sane and insane, mental illness and recovery.

Tay says: 
Well, I can't say anything any better than that blurb did to be honest, so I won't say too much. But Girl, Interrupted has been one of my favourite movies for years, to anyone that hasn't seen it, Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie star and it's just brutal and honest and even quite funny at points and I would definitely recommend it! Although, if you are easily triggered, then maybe it's not the best idea as I found it was very triggering for me the first time I watched it.
I had been searching for the book for about a year and my boyfriend ended up tracking it down for me (10000000 boyfriend points to him) and it did not disappoint! Amazing book, amazing movie and would recommend it for anyone interested in mental health.

Favourite Quote:
"Every window on Alcatraz has a view of San Franscisco" - Susanna Kaysen


if i stay 
Author: Gayle Forman
Year of Publication: 2009


Life can change in an instant.
A cold Febuary morning....
A snowy road....
And suddenly all of Mia's choices are gone.
Except one.
As alone as she'll ever be, Mia must make the most difficult choice of all.

Tay says: 
This book I've been tossing up whether to include in here or not. I still haven't really decided, and this is about 3 months after reading it, whether or not I actually like this book.
It's an incredibly interesting idea, that this girl is basically stuck in limbo, all of her family are dead and she needs to decide whether or not she is going to stay or go.
I won't give anything away at all, but I loved the concept behind this book, but I wasn't a massive fan of, I don't even really know what, the writing I guess.
I didn't really feel as connected to the main character as I have in most other good books that I read, so that through me a lot. But why I included it in here is that the events that go on within the pages and the whole idea behind it is one that I just think is incredible and I definitely think you guys should go and check it out.

Also, if you're thinking that you may have heard of it, a movie adaptation has recently come out starring Chloƫ Grace Moretz, so if you guys are a bit skeptical of the book maybe go check out the film. I have seen it and I thought it was a really solid adaptation and I liked it a lot.

Favourite Quote: 
"He says that jazz is punk for old people" - Narrator


The Shock of the Fall 
Author: Nathan Filer
Year of Publication: 2014

'I'll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name's Simon. I think you're going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he'll be dead. And he was never the same after that.'

Tay says:
I don't know about you guys but I know as soon as I read the blurb of this book I was instantly intrigued, and for good reason. I picked this book up at the bookshop across the street from my university one day when I had a few hours to kill before my boyfriend finished class so that we could go see a movie. It was the first book I picked up when I entered the shop, and immediately after reading the blurb I was sold. I started reading it as soon as I bought it and finished about a week later, reading in basically every minute that I possibly could.
This book is definitely one of my favourites, not only that I read this year, but that I've ever read. I can't say enough good things about it.
I won't give a lot away but it's centred around the main character, Matthew (written in first person) as he slowly declines into a dark schizophrenic state after the death of his special needs brother, Simon.
It is haunting and incredibly intense, but it is written so honestly and so rawly (if that's even a word) that I just loved it.
Nathan Filer is an incredible author and to give some background as to why this book is so honest and has such incredible insight into such a horrible disease, the author is a mental health nurse and has said to have based the Matthew's character off a few real life schizophrenics that he has come across.

Favourite Quotes:
Sorry guys, I really couldn't choose one here so I ended up going with 4.

"It's like we each have a wall that separates our dreams from reality, but mine has cracks in it. The dreams can wriggle and squeeze their way through, until it's hard to know the difference". -Matthew

"But my illnes knows everything that I know. This was a difficult thing to get my head around, but the moment I understood it, my illness understood it too". - Matthew

"We are selfish, my illness and I. We think online of ourselves. We shape the world around us into messages, into secret whispers spoken only for us". - Matthew

"Her brother has a disease, an illness eith the shape and sound of a snake. It slithers through the branches of our family tree. It must have broken her heart to know that I was next." - Matthew


The Bell Jar 

Author: Sylvia Plath
Year of Publication: 1967

The Bell Jar chronicles the crack-up of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under - maybe for the last time. Sylvia Plath masterfully draws the reader into Ether's breakdown with such intensity that Esther's insanity becomes completely real and even rational, as probably and accessible an experience as going to the movies. Such deep penetration into the dark and harrowing corners of the psyche is an extraordinary accomplishment and has made The Bell Jar a haunting American classic.

Tay says:
Okay so this one I may have cheated on a little bit. I didn't read The Bell Jar for the first time this year, although I did read it this year so I say it still counts.
This is by far my all time favourite book, to emphasise just how much I love it to you guys, I have a tattoo on my ankle that says 'I am, I am, I am.' which is a recurrent quote throughout this book.
I first read this book in 2012 at the recommendation of my VCE Literature teacher and I could not be more grateful that I took his advice and read this incredible book.
Like for the blurb for Girl, Interrupted, I can't really say anything more than the blurb says except to say that this book changed my life. It changed the way I perceive a lot of things in the world, as well as my own mental illness and I can't even tell you how much it's helped me and shaped the person I am today.
It will probably always be popping up in all of my book favourite posts and I don't apologise for that, because if I can just get one person to read this book and for it to affect them even half as much as it affected me, then my work here is done.

Favourite quote: (obviously)
"I am, I am, I am." - Esther Greenwood

So that's it guys, those are my top books that I read this year.
Please please please let me know in the comments if you've read any of these books, if you have any recommendations for me or if I inspired you to go and read any of these.
I'm always keen to hear from you guys.

Thanks for reading everyone, hope you enjoyed it.

Read fast, die young.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Next book already on the go

Hey guys,
Just thought I'd update you so you know what's next. I picked this up today, this is how much I loved the first one and am about to start reading it now! :D 

Read fast, die young 

Girl Online Review


Penny has a secret.

Under the alias Girl Online, Penny blogs her hidden feelings about friendship, boys, her crazy family, and the panic attacks that have begun to take over her life. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets Noah: a gorgeous, guitar-strumming American. Suddenly Penny is falling in love - and capturing every moment of it on her blog.

But Noah has a secret too. One that threatens to ruin Penny's cover - and her closest friendship - forever.

My Review:

So as I sort of said in my half way review of this book, I absolutely fell in love with it. I knew that this book was going to be something really special about a chapter in. I just absolutely love the way that this book was written. Not just that it was in first person narration, but HOW the author, Zoe Sugg, used this first person narration.

So, without spoiling anything, the main character Penny has a secret blog where she writes under the alias of 'Girl Online'. So as the majority of the book was written in regular narration, seeing the world through Penny's eyes, there are about 6 or 7 parts of the book where it is written in Girl Onlines' blog. You get an incredible insight into Penny's way of thinking and the way that she perceives the world through this, as she says multiple times within the book that her blog is the only place where she feels as though she can truly be herself.
One more thing that I will add in here is that the description on page 12 of Penny's panic attack is amazing. It's so strong and vivid that it almost felt as though I myself was experiencing one as well. Explaining what it's like to have a mental illness to people who don't is a very difficult challenge for the best of us and the author here has done a superb job at accomplishing that.  

Another thing that I loved that I thought I would quickly mention here is that there are multiple times within the book where Penny would have a small conversation with her friends, or her love interest over text message, which can be seen in the book in little text conversation bubbles. I really thought that this was a really interesting way to show that transpiring and emphasised the social media and internet aspect of this novel, which becomes incredibly important toward the end of the story. This can also be seen in the abbreviations and made up words that I talked about in my half way review, for anyone that didn't catch that, here's the link.

Okay so as much as I loved Penny to pieces, I also fell in love with both Elliot and Noah (who wouldn't be in love with Noah, lets be honest). I loved the way that the author gave Penny such a hilarious and lovable best friend in Elliot and that his best friendship was emphasised in the book almost more than her love with Noah. Elliot was such an important character and I'm so happy that I got to hear about his life almost as much as I got to hear about Penny's. I think it's really important in a lot of books, if you want the main character to be likable, is to make sure that she's chosen likable people to be around her.
This is also really strong with Penny's family, who are just so funny and adorable that I almost wish that I could experience Penny's Dad's Saturday breakfast every week alongside them all.

Clearly a main aspect of this book that I really enjoyed were all of the cute little quirks that were included like Penny's Dad's Saturday breakfast and Noah's tradition of watching a wonderful life on Christmas Eve. Family tradition was definitely a large theme that ran throughout the book and I love the idea of that. But one thing I wanted to make special mention of was Magical Mystery Day. Again, I don't want to say too much and spoil the book for anyone, but for anyone that's read it will understand just how adorable and beautiful this is, from the idea in general to what Noah and Penny do with it, I just love it. Love it to the point where it's definitely something that I want to implement for my future family.
One last thing that I wanted to say is about the ending. The ending.. I mean I loved it. I finished the book this morning and I think it's been about 5-6 hours since I read it and I still can't stop thinking about it. No spoilers and I'm not giving anything away but it was just beautiful.
However, I will say this about it. I found it awesome, but I know that it was quite blunt and abrupt. I knew whilst reading this book that there was a sequel, it was realised earlier this year. But if I had read this book when it first came out and didn't know that there was a sequel on the way, then I probably would have hated the ending as it seems a bit as though, there was about 2-3 chapters missing.

Overall I give Girl Online, 4 out of 5 stars.

Ps. I just remembered one more thing that I wanted to say about this book that made me smile is that, whilst I know I haven't been blogging for very long I'm sure by now you can get the idea that I'm a bit of a John Green nut. And they do make a The Fault In Our Stars reference towards the middle of this book and I'm not afraid to say that that made me giggle for a solid 20 minutes.

Favourite Quotes: 

"As my fear of the panic attacks gets bigger and bigger it seems to be making my world feel smaller and smaller" - Narrator

"Sometimes you have to face up to your fears to realize that they aren't actually real" - Pegasus Girl

"I've found that life's a whole lot better if you get a little crazy sometimes" - Noah

Read fast, die young


Saturday, 5 December 2015

My Half Way Review: Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

Hi everyone,

So I just decided, as I sitting in my bed at 8:37 on a Saturday night reading my new book (I know, it's sad, this is my life), that I had so much to say about Girl Online already and I'm only 135 pages in (out of 344). So i said 'stuff it' and have decided to introduce what I like to call a half way review.

Pretty much this is just going to be an overview of how I feel about the book so far, what I like, what I don't like and also what I hope is going to happen, etc etc.

(I also added a photo of me reading to today, I was really excited that it was sunny enough to be reading outside at 7:30pm...)

So without further ado...

My Half Way Review: 

It's hard to describe Girl Online in any word other than, freaking adorable. It's just so cute. Penny (the main character) is probably one of my favourite protagonists out of all of the books that I have come across. She's clumsy, she's an idiot sometimes, but she's the readers' idiot.
I honestly love everything about her and her narration (and I love love love the fact that the book is in first person, that's just a total thing of mine).

One of the things I think that I love most about Penny as a narrator is the cute little made up words that she uses to describe things. Words like BFIS (best friend in school) and Rock-God-tastic (which she uses when describing who I'm assuming so far to be, her love interest, Noah).
This is something that makes the book stand out to me a lot as it honestly, made me laugh out loud, which is something that not a lot of books do for me. This cute and comedic little part of Penny that we get to see really gives the readers a good insight into her head, the way that she thinks and perceives the world and that is something that I just LOVE.

Something that I guess kind of goes along with what I just said is that I love the many ways that Zoe Sugg, the author, writes the book from what I would call, 'the teen perspective'. Not only with the inclusion of the made up words, but also with the fact that we only see what Penny sees, the stuff that goes on in the background that Penny may not think is important or pick up on, we don't see as a readership. And I think that goes along strongly with the insight into Pennys' mind and it's something else that I think is splendid.

One more thing that I will say about this book is that one of the main reasons that I'm loving it so far is the whole base on Pennys' anxiety and panic attacks.
Penny gets these panic attacks more and more frequently as the book goes on and she is quite confused and scared about them at first. They come on after she is in a car accident with her parents and they happen every time that Penny is in a situation where she feels like she is where she is trapped, like in that car accident, whether that be in a car, in an airplane or just in a social situation where she feels this way.
This resonated very strongly with me as I have struggled with anxiety for all of my life and I think that it would resonate with a lot of the authors' readership, being young people, mainly girls.

I also just love the message that is put out with Penny trying to deal with this stuff about facing your fears and overcoming your issues. Penny posts on her blog that she is going to face her fears and the support that she gets from her readership is incredible, one comment of which includes one of my favourite quotes of the book so far which is "sometimes you have to face up to your fears to realize that they aren't actually real". This message I think is really special and really important.

So yeah. Pretty much to sum up, this book is amazing so far and I'm loving it and I will be posting a full review as well as a 'favourite quotes' post after I am finished this book in the near future, so look out for that one guys :)

Please please let me know what you think in the comments, if you've read this book I would absolutely love to hear what you thought of it, but please NO SPOILERS, as I'm still reading and I don't want the book to be ruined.

That's all from me for now guys,
Read fast, die young.



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Monday, 30 November 2015

Favourite quotes from Fangirl

Hey everyone,

Okay so I know that I did the review for Fangirl a while ago, but I realised that I didn't include any of my favourite quotes in there.
So... I thought I'd just write them in here. There were so many gems that I realised that I probably wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't document them somewhere and what better place than on my book review blog???

Okay, so without further ado, here they are.

Favourite quotes from Fangirl: 

1. "To take the anxiety she felt like black static behind her eyes and an extra heart in her throat, and shove it all back down to her stomach where it belonged - where she could at least tie it into a nice know and work around it."
- Narrator, pg 5.

2. "In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you."
- Narrator, pg 15.

3. "You don't do magic, you are magic"
- Penelope Bunce (ch 8, Simon Snow and the Mage's Heir), pg 25.

4. "I'm not interested in lips out of context"
- Cath, pg 88.

5. "They iron out all the wrinkles... Maybe all the bad stuff happens in the wrinkles, but all the good stuff does too"
- Art, pg 237.
Talking about his pills.

6. Cath liked to worry. It made her feel proactive, even when she was totally helpless.
- Narrator, pg 279.


Quotes 1, 2, 5 and 6 I love.
It all goes back to how well I believe that the author and this book depicts mental illness, truthfully, raw and the point that it always keeps going back to, that people with mental illness or problems are just regular people.
This is a cause and point very close to my heart and I believe that these quotes just depicted this beautifully.

Quote 4 is another example of how independent Cath is as a strong female character throughout this book. She doesn't care about kissing boys, she cares about the intent and the feelings behind it. Something that she could never do with Nick, only with Levi, which again emphasises how strong and trusting Levi and Cath's relationship is.

Quote 3 I loved mainly just because not only is it a beautiful thought, but that as a teenage girl growing up obsessed with Harry Potter, I liked it because it made me feel that even as a muggle, I still can be magical! (That's just a total personal one of mine).

Thanks for reading everyone
Read fast, die young

Next review decided

Okay so I just went out and bought Girl Online by Zoe Sugg, one of my absolute favourite youtubers, I'll link her channel at the end of this post.

So that'll be the next book that I will be reviewing so keep an eye out for that one!

Blurb (for those of you who haven't read or heard of it):

Penny has a secret.
Under the alias GirlOnline, she blogs about school dramas, boys, her mad, whirlwind family - and the panic attacks she’s suffered from lately. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets the gorgeous, guitar-strumming Noah. Suddenly Penny is falling in love - and capturing every moment of it on her blog. But Noah has a secret too. One that threatens to ruin Penny’s cover - and her closest friendship - forever.”

Read fast, die young.
Tay x 

Zoella's youtube channel: 

Friday, 20 November 2015

'Fangirl' by Rainbow Rowell Review - NO SPOILERS


Cath and Wren are identical twins and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more - she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It's not so easy for Cath. She would rather bury herself in the fanfiction she writes where there's romance far more intense than anything she's experienced in real life.

Now Cath has to decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she's realizing that there's more to learn about love than she ever thought possible....

My Review: 

Fangirl has everything. Love, disaster, family problems, heartache and heartbreak and even a series of books about magic, a series of books inside a novel.

This book completely caught me by surprise, not just because of how much I loved it, but because of how intricate, in depth and relatable it was. 

I fell in love with Cath, the main character, during the first two pages of the book. She had me at the line where she describes her anxiety as ‘black static behind her eyes and an extra heart in her throat’. This resonated quite strongly with me and I was instantly intrigued by the first of many incredible similes that Rowell uses throughout this novel. 
And the more I read about Cath, and the more inside her head I got, the more I loved her. 

Yes, one of the reasons I find Cath so relatable is the fact that I’m a 19 year old girl, just finished her first year of university who loves books and fanfiction. But I don’t feel as though this character is only relatable to people in her situation. The author creates such insight into her head, that I feel, even readers who are different than Cath in every possible way, would find her relatable and understandable. 
It also really interested me that I felt this way about a book that was written in third person narration. 
I am a huge fan of all books written in first person, as most, if not all, of my favourite books are written this way. I need to find myself able to feel as though I am the character, to understand them that thoroughly that I can anticipate how they will feel about and react to situations before they happen. In a way to almost be transformed into the character as I read the book. 
It surprised and impressed me greatly that I got this feeling whilst reading Fangirl. 

I really think that one thing that makes Cath so relatable and understandable is Simon Snow, a book series created by Rainbow Rowell within this book that Cath is obsessed with and writes fanfiction for. It is emphasised throughout the book that Cath uses Simon and Baz as a way to escape what’s going on in her own life. 
At he end of the each chapter of Fangirl, you will find an excerpt from either the Simon Snow books or Cath’s fanfiction. These excerpts parallel so strongly the events of Cath’s life. For example, at the end of the chapter when Cath meets her college roommate, Reagan, the Simon Snow page describes when Simon meets his roommate at Watford, Baz. 
These can also emphasise what is on Cath’s mind, as she gets closer to the love interest, Levi, the majority of Simon Snow parts are about the love between Simon and Baz (in Cath’s fanfiction).

Like most young adult novels, Fangirl dealt with mainstream themes like independence, love, mental illness and family problems. But two things that set this novel apart for me was the use of a really independent, strong female character in Cath and the constant use of humour throughout the book. The way that Cath found it possible to find humour in most situations and to make fun of herself a lot of the time really added a more lighthearted and entertaining vibe to the story, as well as making the main character incredibly likeable.

And also, just because I feel like it should get special mention. I’m not sure if it’s in all of the copies because mine says that there’s bonus content, but the cute little cartoons of all of the characters at the start of the book made me so happy. It also made it way easier for me, who finds it quite difficult to imagine people, to have an image of each character in my head. 

I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone that is a fan of John Green and/or David Levithan as the lighthearted, comedic and intricate story and character development is quite similar to books of theirs, with some similar themes as well. 

I give Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, 3.5 out of 5 stars.