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review 2017-03-17 19:25
Book 9/100: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Carry On - Rainbow Rowell

This book took a little while to get going for me -- at first it felt as if Rowell was clearly out of her element writing fantasy -- and as someone who reads a lot of fantasy, I couldn't help but notice the shortcomings in worldbuilding, and just how LONG it seemed to take to set everything up; the story was about 1/3 of the way in before the plot really got going. Everything else was just showing us what it was like to be a student at Rowell's version of a magical school.

However, this book can really be read on two different levels: as a fantasy story in its own right, or as commentary on the world of Harry Potter.

It's passable as a story in its own right, but as commentary on the Harry Potter franchise, it is brilliant.

The parallels and nods to J.K. Rowling's worlds are obvious -- after all, the book started as an obvious stand-in for Harry Potter and Potter fan culture in its original incarnation in [book:Fangirl|16068905]. It's in the departures from Rowling's world that Rowell really drives her points home. Her version of a magical wizarding school is far more culturally and ethnically diverse than Rowling's, and it includes gay characters who don't have to wait for the whole series to be completed before being "outed" (::coughcough:: Dumbledore being gay after the fact was a copout ::cough cough::). It is, of course, much edgier than Rowling's world, with plenty of swearing and some making out, although certain aspects of it were strangely chaste. (Like, why did we never know the extent of Simon's and Agnes's sexual relationship even though they had been together for three years? Am I the only one who wondered about this?) It also examines the whole idea of the "chosen one" mythos and especially takes a jab at the somewhat creepy/inappropriate/irresponsible relationship between Dumbledore and Harry that is glossed over as perfectly healthy, warm, and admirable in Rowling's book. By contrast, the Mage (Dumbledore's stand-in), is an ethically ambiguous character, ultimately more dark than light, but for a long time Simon sees him through an adoring child's eyes much the way Harry sees Dumbledore. The difference is that Simon's perception of the Mage matures; Harry's never does.

It's somewhat strange to come in reading the "last book" in a series when the earlier books in the series do not actually exist. I couldn't help but notice how much more of an impact this story probably would have had on me if I had been following these characters' lives for years rather than being dropped into their world in the final act. I'm not sure I would have wanted to commit to seven books of this, anyway, but it's definitely a worthwhile read. It's got that Rowell "relationship magic" if that's what you go in for, but it's also a smart, incisive critique of what is arguably the most influential children's series of our lifetimes.

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review 2017-02-23 02:20
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Fangirl by Rowell, Rainbow (2014) Paperback - Rainbow Rowell

I'll start off by saying that this is not the kind of book I usually like to read. My favorite genres are fantasy, mysteries, science fiction, historic fiction and non-fiction. This is - I don't know. It's definitely YA. Drama? Maybe.

At the start of the book, the main character, Cath, is about to go away to college. Her twin sister, Wren, has told her she won't share a room with her. When Cath gets to the dorm, she meets a boy in her room. For a moment, she thinks he's her room mate. He isn't, but he starts hanging out there a lot, with Reagan, Cath's real room mate.

There were some things I could definitely relate to when it comes to Cath. She's into writing (fan fiction) and she has a sister. In the end, there are several things I don't quite understand so well, but all in all I really love this book. Reading about going to college brings back memories of when I was trying to study at the university. To be honest, at times, it made me feel terrible, but despite that, I mostly enjoyed the book. It's well written and the characters are interesting and engaging.

So... Do I recommend this book to other readers? Yes. If you read the blurb at the back of the book and it sounds like something you might like, I think you will enjoy it.

Source: crimsoncorundum.dreamwidth.org/177904.html
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review 2017-02-09 17:26
Bound by the Wolf - DiscontentedWinter

3.5 Stars.

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review 2017-02-09 17:13
Word Soup - DiscontentedWinter Word Soup - DiscontentedWinter

I only read the stories with the Stiles/Derek pairing and they were all amazing and beautiful stories and these are my Favorites:

 

 

Chapter 7: You are not alone (not even you)

Chapter 10: Happy Birthday
Chapter 12: Fluffy Yellow Towel
Chapter 23: Good Boy
Chapter 24: It's A Shadow
Chapter 26: Fixed it for you, Jeff
Chapter 27: Best Friends
Chapter 33: This Means War

 


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review 2017-01-06 09:57
Sourwoof - DiscontentedWinter

Wonderful story with the perfect blend of sweetness, sadness and so many feels, and that ending made my heart melt.

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