Showing posts with label rainbow rowell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rainbow rowell. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

7 Popular Authors That I Just Can't Get Into


Everybody's tastes are different, and my particular taste doesn't always seem to correspond with the general public.

Here are seven very popular authors whose books I just can't get into.
7. J. Lynn / Jennifer L. Armentrout
I really love her Lux series, but any and every book by her that I've read after that disappointed me massively. I'm so sad about this, especially her NA books under the pseudonym J.Lynn are so incredibly popular and it would've been so nice if I had liked them. 

6. Maggie Stiefvater

I stand by saying that I think she's a terrific writer. But really, the writing is just too poetic, too dreamy, too otherworldly to keep my attention for more than 3 seconds.


5. George R.R. Martin
I read the first two ASOIAF books and it's just all too lengthy and political for me. High fantasy is usually a hit or miss thing for me and I am very picky about this, so it's not surprising.

4. Stephen King
Honestly, judging by the fact that everyone calls him the king of horror, I wasn't even scared once. Maybe I just picked the wrong books. I've read FIRESTARTER, CARRIE, IT, and NIGHTMARES & DREAMSCAPES. I wish he could scare me. I love a good horror novel.

3. Sarah Dessen
I keep trying and trying and every time I finish a book by her I think to myself that I would've been better off had I read her books in 2007, back when everyone did and loved them. It's just not for me. I'll still keep trying with her newer works, I think.

2. Rainbow Rowell
I read nearly every books she's ever published aside from ATTACHMENTS and ELEANOR & PARK. I honestly, truly want to like her books but the only one I found mediocre was FANGIRL. I keep wondering what's wrong with me.

1. Cassandra Clare
I've read the first four The Mortal Instruments books, more out of morbid curiosity than actual interest. No matter how hard I try and really want to like them, I guess her books will never be for me. It's sad because there are SOOO many books in this series.





Which popular authors can't you get into?

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Saturday, March 19, 2016

[Review] Carry On - Rainbow Rowell: Is This Queer Harry Potter?



In CARRY ON, Simon Snow, chosen one, wizard, and roommate to his moody vampire nemesis, is facing his arch enemy the Humdrum for the last time in his final year at a magical school.

What intrigued me: I wasn't a fan of FANGIRL and didn't really enjoy the snippets from CARRY ON in there, but I decided to give Rowell one last chance. And what can I say - sometimes books or certain authors just don't match your taste. It doesn't necessarily mean that they're bad.

If you're going to rip-off/write an homage, at least TRY to be original...

When I first heard that Rowell is writing this, I was actually pretty offended. It's cash grabbing, obviously. Simon Snow and Baz are the subject of the fan fiction of Rowell's character Cath from FANGIRL. They're an homage to Draco and Harry from the Harry Potter Series. And then Rowell goes ahead and writes a book about them. This would be fine and all if she actually put any effort in making "Carry On" an actual stand-alone. 

This book can't survive without Harry Potter. It's full of references that you only get if you're familiar with the HP books and every single chapter is blatantly ripped off from Rowling. From a genderbent!Hagrid to Hermione/Penelope to Dumbledore/The Mage  to Voldemort/The Humdrum.

And it's just not fun to guess who's who for 500 pages, it's just insanely frustrating to read a super predictable retelling of a better book whose only difference to the original is that it has more diverse characters. This is all there is to CARRY ON for me, the only thing that it does better than the HP books is the diversity. It's not suggested, it's not implied, it's referenced repeatedly. Kudos to Rowell, my rating goes up a whole star just for this.

The base frame may be copied, but the plot is her original... and it's not good.

Rowell completely loses herself in world building and neglects everything else. There is no reason for the reader to root for Simon, who's constantly complaining and cursing and giving off bad vibes. He's not sympathetic and he really is "the worst chosen one who's ever been chosen" like love interest Baz put it so nicely. He's a horrible character. I've had issues with Rowell's voice before, and yet again she can't write authentic teenage voices at all. Every word that comes out of Simon's mouth makes me cringe, even worse when combined with the excessive unnecessary cursing.

Well, not everything is bad about CARRY ON. I like the way she did copy stuff from the HP books but just altered it enough for this book to not be considered fan fiction. There are numerous magical beings and there's a nice ghost sub plot, but it's just not enough to keep my attention for whopping 522 pages. This book seriously needs some tightening. It's definitely interesting, but it gets old very easily. 
After about 150 pages I was just bored and had to force myself to continue. It just wasn't fun for me. I wish I would have liked this more, but the bitter aftertaste of CARRY ON being the least original thing to hit the YA market last year just makes me cringe infinitely.

Rating:

☆☆


Overall: Do I Recommend?

I'm simply not a fan of Rowell's novels personally. Her style is hard to read for me and insanely boring and every time I actually finish a book by her I feel like I've wasted my time. This doesn't mean that the books are bad. You'll have to find out for yourself, but I can just say that I didn't enjoy it and wouldn't recommend it to anyone with similar taste like me.



Additional Info

Published: October 6th 2015
Pages: 522
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Genre: YA / Paranormal / Witches and Wizards
ISBN: 1250049555

Synopsis:
"Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.
 "(Source: Goodreads)


Do you think it's a Harry Potter rip-off? Are you as upset about it as I am?

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Monday, January 18, 2016

[Review] Landline - Rainbow Rowell


In LANDLINE, Georgie McCool gets a chance to fix her failing marriage by talking to her husband's past self through a magical telephone.
What intrigued me: I read both FANGIRL and CARRY ON by her. Plus, a magical realism(ish) premise always hooks me.

This isn't as upbeat and fun as I expected it to be


Actually it's a terribly sad and depressing read about a marriage that's falling into pieces. The premise absolutely tricked me. I expected a mind-blowing super cute time travel romance story, but it's more of a poorly executed unbelievable and annoying pseudo romance story. Rowell mainly uses flashbacks to establish character relations, which throws you off the current plot every single time. I couldn't even concentrate on the non-existent story.

Even as a novel about a crumbling marriage, this doesn't work. The husband Neal is basically absent the whole novel and by making him such an unusual character, Rowell perfectly manages to create the most unlikable person I have ever read about. His lack of appealing physical appearance isn't even the least of the problems, he's an emotionless, mean and equally as oblivious as Georgie kind of person. Neither of them act like mature grown-ups. I felt like I was reading about oblivious teenagers that can't manage to actually talk about their problems. I didn't enjoy any of this at all.

Very unlikable protagonist & A confusing storyline!

Georgie McCool is a TV comedy writer and stuck in a marriage that's just not working out, but she refuses to realize this. When it's Christmas time, she decides to stay at home and work and let her husband go off to their grandma's alone. Just thinking about the fact that she did this, you don't even need to read the novel to know that Georgie is an unlikable character. 

She is a 37-year-old woman, but has no sense of reality, maturity or in general self-awareness whatsoever. She's completely oblivious to her surroundings and it actually physically hurts to have to read about her mess up her marriage more with every page. In her world, everything is fine though.

I had a hard time concentrating on what was actually going on, because there are so many flashbacks and narrative passages that don't really bring the story forward. It's generally a poorly paced novel. The premise is supposed to be the magical telephone, but until page hundred, the telephone isn't even used. I might as well could have skipped the first fifty pages or so and would have still had the same reading experience. 


Rating:

Overall: Do I Recommend?

I wish I hadn't read this. This is definitely the last Rowell novel for me. If you haven't read anything by her before, don't start with this one.


Synopsis:
"Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.

Maybe that was always beside the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn't expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts...

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?"
(Source: Goodreads)

Have you read any of Rainbow Rowell's other books?

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

[Review] Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell




Cather and Wren are twins that are complete opposites. Cather is an extroverted party girl and Wren is an introverted bookworm and hobby fan fiction author. 

When they both go to college, they deal with the experience very differently. 


What intrigued me: I love pop culture references and I did write a fair share of fan fiction back in the day. I had to read this.

Difficult Premise for People 
Who Don't Know Fan Culture

Someone that has never been in contact with actual fan culture on websites like tumblr, livejournal and ao3, will not understand what's going on here. Why write stories about characters that already have stories? Why not just reread the book? To everyone who doesn't understand fan culture, Cath will look like a lunatic, because Rowell doesn't really explain the appeal in writing fan fiction. 

Of course most readers do know what's going on because they most likely fangirls themselves, but you can't just assume stuff like this. You go ahead and try to explain to a stranger on the bus what the appeal is in writing made-up stories that will never get published or appreciated by professionals and then bend their plot lines so much you don't even recognize that it's these characters half the time. 
Looking at you, Coffee-Shop!EverybodyLives!m/m-category. If you take a specific topic like this, you just have to be a bit more careful and explain things. 

Yeah, I skipped parts of her actual fan fiction. Didn't even try because after the third passage that turned out to have no impact on the story, I didn't see any sense in torturing myself with that. I just didn't have the patience or emotional investment in Cather's fictional story that Rowell probably aimed for.

Great Characters + Boring Plot

Aside from the fact that I didn't care about Cath and her writings, I loved Reagan, loved Wren and was indifferent about Levi. At least her characters show some diversity! But boring protagonists without  a drive/goal in the novel just … why would I want to read about the everyday adventures of some random girl at college? Already have that in my life, I don’t need a novel about it. The certain spark that makes me want to get to know the character is just missing. I’d rather have read about Wren or Reagan. 

In regards to the plot: loose ends everywhere, random people making short appearances that have no impact on the entirety of the novel and important characters just having cameos. I’d love to have seen more of Wren’s boyfriend or the girls' dad. Instead I get a squeezed in story with a stupid douchebag aka Nick that is oh so rude to Cather to force the readers to like Eli. Also Love-Triangle. Don’t you think I didn’t see that you were implying it, Rainbow. 


Rating:

★★☆☆

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?



Yeah, I guess. Just because I know that the idea probably intrigues a lot of people. But I just couldn’t handle the novel. These unnecessary passages about Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy  Simon Snow and Whatshisface just made me wish I could fast forward because they had no impact on the novel. Also a horrible loose ending that just made me think - wow, somebody just wanted to get this thing over with.



Additional Info

Original Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: September 13th 2013
Pages: 445
Medium: ebook
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Genre: YA / Contemporary
ISBN: B00BMKH5NW

Synopsis:
"Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan...

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?"(Source: Goodreads)



 Have you read FANGIRL?





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