Reading Rainbow Rowell
Just like when you meet somebody for the first time that you just know you’ll become great friends with, it’s wonderful when you find an author whose writing "clicks" with you. This is the kind of author whose books you would buy the day they came out, without having read any reviews, simply because you just know they will be good. It's the kind of author that makes you nod your head constantly while reading, thinking, “I know, right?!” For me, Rainbow Rowell is one of those authors. I can mentally sink in to Rowell’s books as my body would a familiar, comfy chair. Rowell's books aren't your typical cliched YA novels. Though the basic plots of young adults growing up and facing challenges in life and love are par for the course, Rowell's writing is filled with a quirky sense of humor that is extremely authentic and relatable. Her characters feel real and alive and are all people I would love to hang out with. Needless to say, I am super excited for her next book, Landline, which will be coming out this summer. If you haven’t read any of her books, I encourage you to give her a try!
Eleanor & Park (teen)
Get your Kleenex ready for this one. This is the story of an awkward yet real love between two people who are, like everyone, less than perfect and dealing with some serious issues. Half-Korean, punk-loving Park feels out of place in his Omaha school. Eleanor is dealing with a house full of younger siblings and an abusive step-father. The love story between them builds slowly and intensifies until you want nothing more than for Eleanor and Park to triumph over the problems facing them live happily ever after. But this story is no fairy tale and, as situations like these tend to be in real life, things are complicated. Though this book is housed in the teen section, adults will also find Eleanor & Park extremely enjoyable. Teens will identify with the issues facing the young lovers and adults will feel nostalgic as Rowell's touching descriptions of young love conjur memories of their own first love. This book will draw you in with its believable and witty dialogue, likeable characters, and authentic feel.
Fangirl tells the story of fan-fiction author Cath, who is obsessed with a series of novels similar to the real-life Harry Potter series starring a character named Simon Snow. She and her twin sister, Wren, leave home to start college. But instead of sharing a room like they always have, Wren decides the sisters should spend some time apart. So, Cath is stuck with a strangely quiet and largely absent roommate that she finds somewhat initimidating. Being away from home and separated from her sister for the first time, along with trying to learn the campus, having to meet tons of new people, and adjust to a prickly roommate, has Cath overwhelmed. She retreats into her online Simon Snow fandom world where she is well-known for her fanfiction. Her roommate's boyfriend, however, actually takes an interest in her and tries to help her adjust to college life. I liked how Rowell started each chapter with an excerpt from Cath's favorite Simon Snow stories and also included pieces of Cath's own fanfiction. Older teens and adults will enjoy this book about becoming independent, finding your strengths, and trusting yourself and others.
Beth and Jennifer know their company monitors their office e-mail. But the women still spend all day sending each other messages, gossiping about their coworkers at the newspaper and baring their personal lives like an open book. Jennifer tells Beth everything she can't seem to tell her husband about her anxieties over starting a family. And Beth tells Jennifer everything, period. When Lincoln applied to be an Internet security officer, he hardly imagined he'd be sifting through other people's inboxes like some sort of electronic Peeping Tom. Lincoln is supposed to turn people in for misusing company e-mail, but he can't quite bring himself to crack down on Beth and Jennifer. He can't help but be entertained – and captivated – by their stories. But by the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late for him to ever introduce himself. What would he say to her? "Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you." After a series of close encounters and missed connections, Lincoln decides it's time to muster the courage to follow his heart – even if he can't see exactly where it's leading him. Written with whip-smart precision and charm, Attachments is a strikingly clever and deeply romantic debut about falling in love with the person who makes you feel like the best version of yourself. Even if it's someone you've never met.