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  1. The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

    Friday, 28 February 2014



    ‘I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name’s Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after that.’




    Where you can buy: 

    Publication date: April 25th 2013
    Published by: Harper Collins
    Pages: 314 (UK Edition)


    It's so hard for me to form an accurate response to this book. To how it made me feel, and how it made me think. I can't even begin to describe the importance of this book to me, and his wonderful characters. Nathan Filer has done a superb job of getting into the mind of a mentally ill person. Words just aren't enough to tell you how much I loved this book.

    At first, it can be a little confusing. But the flawless prose and real characters make you grip onto the pages of the book, desperate to read on. And the whole time, your brain is ticking over, making your own conclusions and then doing an inward happy dance when you discover that you were indeed correct in your assumptions.

    It is one of those books that you have to read for yourself to believe how amazing it actually really is. I fear that if I tell you the basic outline, it will give everything away. And trust me, with this book, the best feeling is to guess and to anxiously read on to see if you are correct.

    Nathan Filer really gets into his characters mindset and all of the idiosyncrasies of mental illness. He does so without being judgemental, or for one minute harsh. The books is well researched and woven expertly within the pages, in such a way that you really care about the character. You cry, gasp and laugh with them. You just want them to get better, to have the normal life that you think they deserve.

    Please, I implore you. Read this book. In a lot of ways, it might change your life, or at least change your opinion on mental illness.


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  2. 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, 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 fanfiction, 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 fanfiction 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? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?


    Where you can buy:

    Publication date:  September 10th 2013
    Published by: St Martins Griffin (Macmillan)
    Pages: 459 (UK Edition)
    I have a lot to say about this book, really I do.

    From start to finish, the author managed to weave her characters, world and emotions into the pages perfectly, in a way that had me wanting to read on and on and on. Fangirl follows the life of Cath, an 18(?) year old girl, and her twin sister Wren, as well as the love interest (Levi), the roommate (Reagan) among other people.

    Cath writes fanfiction. Like many fangirls do. But in Fangirl, Caths fanfiction is probably one of the most popular fanfictions out there, said to be the real eighth book, in the Simon Snow series, a fictional book series, similar to Harry Potter, by the made up author Gemma T. Leslie.

    Throughout the book, Rainbow Rowell manages to paint a vivid picture of what it's like to be socially awkward and in college, a scary first life experience for many. She really manages to portray the characters feelings and emotions in an unique way, purely original to the authors beautiful voice.

    With its simple, but effective prose and quick, almost no nonsense happenings, Rainbow has really painted a beautiful definition of what it means to be a true fangirl, and also to the worries of being a young girl in modern times. She also manages to crop up real issues such as problems with her sister, her dads mental health, an AWOL mother who suddenly decides to pop back into their lives, and her confusion surrounding the two boys in her life.

    And while Cath seems quite vulnerable, painfully shy and almost pedantic in some senses, the character development is sublime, a real indicator of Rainbow Rowells immense talent.

    Not being an avid reader of Contemporary fiction, I was not expecting to enjoy this book. But I was pleasantly surprised, and as I closed the last chapter, I felt a great sense of loss, as one often does after finishing a great book.

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