Friday, October 11, 2013

#FridaysReads 'Fangirl' and 'The Lost Sun'

I'm currently reading Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl and loving it! The synopsis from Goodreads:

"From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor and Park.

"A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love. 

"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?"

Simon Snow, for those who don't know, is a fictionalized version of Harry Potter. (A fictionalized version of a fictional character? It's kind of meta, but that's what it is.) Cath and Wren are well-know in the Simon Snow fandom as the co-writers of an ongoing romance series between Simon and his roommate Baz. Baz is, essentially, Draco Malfoy. Essentially, Cath ships Drarry - really, really hard. If you've ever been in a fandom and you're familiar with fanfics and shipping, you'll probably find this book highly amusing. 

If you find it highly amusing that there are people who get into fandoms and know terms like fanfics and shipping, you'll probably find this book highly amusing. 

Cath and Wren are from Omaha, Nebraska

I'm also about 100 pages into The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton. Its Goodreads synopsis:

"Fans of Neil Gaiman's American Gods and Holly Black's The Curse Workers will embrace this richly drawn, Norse-mythology-infused alternate world: the United States of Asgard. Seventeen-year-old Soren Bearskin is trying to escape the past. His father, a famed warrior, lost himself to the battle-frenzy and killed thirteen innocent people. Soren cannot deny that berserking is in his blood--the fevers, insomnia, and occasional feelings of uncontrollable rage haunt him. So he tries to remain calm and detached from everyone at Sanctus Sigurd's Academy. But that's hard to do when a popular, beautiful girl like Astrid Glyn tells Soren she dreams of him. That's not all Astrid dreams of--the daughter of a renowned prophetess, Astrid is coming into her own inherited abilities. 

"When Baldur, son of Odin and one of the most popular gods in the country, goes missing, Astrid sees where he is and convinces Soren to join her on a road trip that will take them to find not only a lost god, but also who they are beyond the legacy of their parents and everything they've been told they have to be."

Gratton has written this book in a fairly brilliant way. It's set in a contemporary, familiar world (the 21st century U.S.A.), using familiar modern language, yet there's just enough Norse mythology and Germanic folkways to make it resonate with the time-honored sagas of the English language and its cultural ancestors (think Beowulf). Gratton is a scholar of Old English, but this novel is in the voice of a modern teenager. 

I don't think I'm explaining it well, but it's really well done. 

Heather at Blonde, Undercover Blonde had a good idea today: to link to all the reviews she's done so far in 2013. I don't want to link to every single one, but here's one for every month:

January - The Count of Monte Cristo
February - Cora: The Unwilling Queen
March - The Art of Disappearing
April - Hemingway's Girl
May - Lover At Last
June - In the Body of the World
July - Divergent
August - Insurgent
September - Finding Esta
October - Princesses Behaving Badly

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