Julie Murphy got my attention with Dumplin’. Like I’m sure she did with many others. So I’m curious now to read her other books.
Side Effects May Vary is the first book of her’s ever published. Sounds like a great place to start if you ask me. I’m hoping it will be just as enjoyable as Dumplin’ was but also be able to stand on its own.
This book is about a 16 year old named Allison, who has been diagnosed with leukemia and gets her best friend, Harvey, to assist her in a strange bucket list righting wrongs. And here’s the part on the back of the book that got me to add it to my TBR in the first place: “But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission, and now she must face the consequences of all she’s said and done.”
Nothing I love more in a book then when a character has to face her consequences head on. I imagine this will be both hilarious and sad at the same time, but I’m all ready for it!
“To really be a nerd, she’d decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one”–Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Date Published: May 12th, 2015
Reading Format: Hardcover Book
Cath is a massive fan of the Simon Snow Series. Her and her twin, Wren, use to do all the Simon Snow fandom stuff together, but now that they are heading off to college Wren has decided she wants nothing to do with Simon Snow anymore and doesn’t want to be college roommates with Cath either. This leaves Cath wondering if she can make it on her own without her sister in an environment she isn’t use too.
So funny story, it took me over a year to read this book; and it wasn’t because I didn’t like Fangirl because before finishing it I’d gotten all the way up to the last 80 pages. But for whatever reason (I think I lost the book at one point. Oops!) I didn’t finish it until a couple of weeks ago when I did my first 24 hour read-a-thon.
My overall feelings about Fangirl is that I really liked it. Was it one of my favorite books? No, but Cath is a relatable character when it comes to going to college for the first time. Now I’m personally about 10 years removed from my freshman year at North Georgia, but I still remember how it felt leaving home for the first time and experiencing the world that is college (or university, if you like). It’s scary and a hard adjustment in the beginning but you do move past it eventually and Rainbow Rowell captured that pretty well with Cath and her twin sister Wren.
The book was also fairly funny to me with the quick, witty banter between the characters. There were also moments that dealt with serious topics, such as, the mental health of Cath’s father and Wren’s dramatic moment towards the end. These topics blended into the story well without seeming out of place or being random dark moments thrown in for some drama.
The only thing I didn’t love and started to skip toward the end is the fan fiction parts that reflect the Simon Snow fan fiction Cath has written. Simon Snow in this book is more or less a Harry Potter type of book series in the novel. This is were the title Fangirl comes from as Cath through most of the book is deeply involved with the fandom. The main reason why I eventually stopped reading the fan fiction parts was because I didn’t feel that it added to the story at all and I wasn’t missing any plot points if I didn’t read them. Of course others probably love this about the novel, I personally could have done without it.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Title: These Broken Stars
Authors: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Publish Date: December 10th, 2013
Genre: YA/Science Fiction
Rating: 3 out of 5
Lilac LaRoux is the daughter of the richest man in the universe and she crosses paths with Tarver Merendsen who is a war hero on the ship her father built called the Icarus. The spaceliner crashes into a near by planet as it is traveling through space and Lilac and Tarver are the lone survivors who try to find a way home.
What did I think about it?
I found this book to be really boring which is sad to me because I wanted to realy like it and had been anticpating reading it for sometime now. I will say that the beginning of the book goes by really fast and I enjoyed the time on the ship its the other 88% that’s spent on the planet they land on that I found monotonous. Because the story is focused with only two characters and very little interaction with anyother characters except in the beginning and end is why I think it was really boring to me. I literally had to force myself to get through to the end because really how many interesting things can develope between two characters who are with one another all day long.
I won’t be continuing the series sadly but I know there are plenty of other people who enjoyed this book and who knows maybe you might enjoy it too.
Who would I recommend it to?
Teens or someone in their early twenties might want to give it a try.
Who would I not recommend it to?
If you need more than two characters to support a story or tell a story then These Broken Stars isn’t for you.