- Tuesday, 10 June 2014 -
Somewhere over the Rainbow...
Hello my dears and darlings! I actually can't fathom the sudden burst of gorgeous weather we've been experiencing here up north compared to how miserable it's been over the last few days - like I actually had to walk home from work in a thunderstorm this weekend and now every time I step outside it feels like a torrid vacuum; with no air in the atmosphere, just HEAT. However, come rain or shine there's always been a reliable constant in my life that can whirl me away to an entirely new world whatever the weather, yes dear readers, I'm talking about reading! So, about a week and a half ago I was doing my customary research on Goodreads, scrutinising the categories and sussing the authors. I'm generally quite an open-minded person and can read just about any class of book - fiction, fantasy, horror etc. But lately I've found myself favouring Young Adult books a bit more, perhaps because they're more relatable or maybe it's just me feeling nostalgic over my own youth, either way, these books have been a ray of sunshine and an amazing form of escapism for me recently!
Somewhat jaded by the hype John Green has been receiving, I decided to seek out a new author I can worship. It turns out that I didn't have far to look because her name alone sucked me in like a magical literary vortex: Rainbow Rowell. Her breakthrough piece of literature 'Eleanor and Park' has been on my radar for a while, but fearing that the hype of it didn't exceed my expectations I decided to bide my time. It was admittedly Waterstone's trusty 'Buy One Get One Half Price' offer that made me give in!
Eleanor and Park - From my experience, there's not a lot of books that can swallow you whole within the first few pages. Usually I have to persevere or just read on contently, trusting that the author will have woven in a few promising climaxes here and there to keep me going. But not Eleanor and Park - I devoured this book in one day because I physically could not put it down. The story focuses on (surprise, surprise) teenagers Eleanor and Park, whose completely diverse worlds collide when they are pushed to sit together on the school bus. Eleanor is the new girl at Park's school; she's rambunctious and robust, but she's also compassionate and eccentric and that's what initially draws Park (and everyone else in the school for that matter) in. Park is her polar opposite, coming from a strict family he's perceived as quite reserved but the two soon find solace in each other, sharing their worlds, their lives and their hearts. The book details both Eleanor and Park's individual lives and taps into their thoughts, depicting their highs and their lows - honestly, this book had me on such an emotional rollercoaster and I couldn't recommend it more.
Fangirl - Oh em gee. I actually feel that this book was written for me, that this book and I were destined to be together. As an individual who always saw herself as somewhat different and breaking normal social conventions, this book REALLY struck a chord with me. Teenage twins Cath and Wren are taking their first steps into adulthood as they're headed straight to college during the commencement of this novel. Cath is petrified to leave their single father to his own devices at home and is basically just a big ball of anxiety. Wren on the other hand can't wait to inaugurate her newfound independence by cutting herself off from Cath completely. The story follows Cath as the protagonist and we see how she loves nothing more than losing herself writing fan fiction during her stay at university, it serves as her coping mechanism as opposed to her sister who's still "finding herself" by going out drinking and partying until the cows come home, and then partying with the cows. But slowly, very slowly, we witness Cath ebb away her social anxieties and coming out of her shell with the help of the stunning Levi, her roommates ex boyfriend no less. As opposed to Eleanor and Park, I DID want to put this book down all the time. Why you ask? Because I never wanted it to end.