Hello everyone! I have been on vacation this past week, and it was super awesome to just get away from everything for a few days. I did quite a bit of reading on our drive, and I have two wonderful contemporary books to review! I have Now a Major Motion Picture by Cori McCarthy and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I have seen a lot of good things about Now a Major Motion Picture on Goodreads, and it sounded like a super cute, fun read. I have been meaning to read Fangirl for YEARS and I’m so glad I finally got around to it! Both books were so sweet and fun, and anyone in need of a good romance would enjoy them!
Now a Major Motion Picture by Cori McCarthy
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: YA Contemporary/Romance
Unlike the rest of the world, Iris doesn’t care about the famous high-fantasy Elementia books written by M. E. Thorne. So it’s just a little annoying that M. E. Thorne is her grandmother—and that Iris has to deal with the trilogy’s crazy fans.
When Iris gets dropped in Ireland for the movie adaptation, she sees her opportunity: if she can shut down production, the Elementia craze won’t grow any bigger, and she can finally have a normal life. Not even the rascally-cute actor Eamon O’Brien can get in her way.
But the crew’s passion is contagious, and as Iris begins to find herself in the very world she has avoided her whole life, she realizes that this movie might just be amazing…
As I mentioned earlier, I had seen quite a few people reading or talking about this book on Goodreads not too long ago, and it sounded like a fun read. I picked it up from the library recently, and I am so glad I gave this book a chance! It is a super cute, nerdy story that embraces the power of women and the greatness of fandoms!
As many of you may know, I ADORE good characters and believe a great character can carry the story. This was a perfect example of that, as all the characters are dynamic and evolve throughout the story, especially Iris, the main character. Iris has been in charge of watching her younger brother for most of his life, and she is very close-minded about his safety and their adventures in Ireland. However, she is the epitome of a dynamic character. She changes drastically from someone who has a very narrow line of sight to a capable young girl with the mindset to do and be anything. I very much appreciated her change throughout the story, and that played a huge part in making the book successful.
Similarly, you get to know each and every character in the story on a deeper level, and you can see how each one of them transforms. They are all among a group that I could root for, and I really became invested in the story. One of my personal favorites, Eamon, is massively adorable and has his own way of weaving himself into Iris’s life. Gah, their relationship is soooo cute!! I cherished every scene with the two of them, and I was very satisfied with how everything worked out for them!
Plus, the director of the movie, Cate, is the ideal woman of strength and leadership. She is massively creative and has a great amount of courage. She is working to end the idea of women living in a man’s world, and she does everything in her power to help inspire those around her.
Along the movie idea, I loved the little tidbits about movie production! I know basically nothing about actors or how movies are made, and seeing these little pieces thrown into the story made it deeper and more realistic. Not only that, but there were many references to The Lord of the Rings and other aspects of pop culture. That added another fun element that made the story relatable.
I also really enjoyed the writing style and the incredible descriptions of Irish scenery and the events taking place. I could really picture what was happening in the story, and that is always a plus! There are many unexpected twists and turns throughout the story that make you want to find out what happens next! I was always eager to keep reading, which is most definitely a good thing! Plus, each chapter had a fun title that made you eager to see what would happen!
Overall, I loved this cute, quirky romance! The hints of movie production, love for creativity, and inspiration for women allowed for a fun story with depth and personality. I adored the characters and all of their individual quirks, especially how much they changed throughout the story. If you are in need of a sweet, summery romance, definitely check out Now a Major Motion Picture!
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: YA Contemporary/Romance
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?
I have been excited to read this book ever since I read Eleanor & Park, which was quite a while ago, and I am soo glad I finally picked it up! Fangirl is a super cute read involving fan fiction, first loves, and a new life in college. I really enjoyed the characters and the writing style in this book! (And I am using it towards the 2018 Backlist Reader Challenge!)
Cath and her twin sister Wren are just starting college, and Cath is worried about leaving her dad behind and growing apart from her sister. I loved how much Cath cared for her family and friends, and her worries were very genuine. She wanted to ensure that her father was safe, happy, and cared for all while wanting to maintain her relationship with her sister. There are so many changes in moving to college that Cath was worried about, but she eventually learns how to handle her fears and create a balance in her life.
As for her personality, she reminded me a lot of me. She was always worried about something going wrong, and she was afraid of meeting new people. As I am getting ready to go to college in the fall, I can completely understand all of her fears. I think I read this book at the perfect time, because it was incredibly relatable with all the college stuff. And just because we kind of think alike.
I loved Levi and all his little quirks! He’s the cute love interest of course…. but he’s also Reagan’s boyfriend? He kind of annoyed me at first, but I really began to like him as the story went on. He is super sweet and always kind to Cath, and they are just really cute together!
Reagan is Cath’s roommate, and she was definitely a little frightening at first! If I had her as a roommate, I would have been a little afraid of living with her. However, she is actually really nice to Cath and they get along well. They are complete opposites, but I think Reagan was good for Cath as she introduced her to various aspects of college that Cath may not have explored otherwise.
I actually really enjoyed the witing style despite the book being written in third person. Usually, I am afraid I will be disconnected from the characters in third person, but I really got a lot of Cath’s thoughts and feelings. However, the plot was lacking a little bit. There was enough to keep me reading, but nothing super surprising or plot twisty.
Overall, I loved Fangirl! I really enjoyed reading about Cath’s experiences as a freshman English major, and I could easily relate to her experiences starting college. The book is full of changing relationships, and I loved watching Cath’s relationships with Reagan and Levi begin to develop, and how Cath learned to balance her family with school. If you love writing, college stories, and first love, definitely check this one out!
Have you read either of these books? Do you enjoy reading about fandoms or fan fiction? Are you participating in any challenges this year?