Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: September 10, 2013
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars
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?
This is one of the books I read during Hurricane Florence with my little flashlight. I wanted something light and easy and I had heard great things about Fangirl and I figured it was a good time to read it. I went into it with a bit more clarity than when I read Eleanor and Park so I wasn’t nearly as disappointed when I realized that Fangirl was slightly over-hyped. I did enjoy reading it, and it helped pass the time really well. I liked most of the characters, though I wasn’t deeply connected to them. I thought Levi was adorable and he easily became my favorite character. He kept things closer to reality and seemed to be the voice of reason in most cases. Reagan was also likable and refreshing in her unfiltered honesty. Professor Piper is the once character that I identified with more than anyone. She had high standards as a teacher and didn’t let students get away with stupidity. To be honest, the character I liked the least was Cath. I know a lot of people identify with her and I will admit I did see a lot of myself in her: the nerdy-ness, the social ineptitude, the introvertness. But overall, she became that typical millennial stereotype who refused to look outside her tiny, safe bubble, and didn’t like doing things simply because they were too hard.
And listen, I love Harry Potter as much as the next booknerd. But I also realize that while books are an amazing escape, they cannot be substitutes for life. Watching Cath spend all her time writing characters that didn’t belong to her, refusing to use her creativity in any other way, actually using her fanfiction as an excuse to quit classes and justify bad grades . . . not cool at all! Even the college drama didn’t bother me as much as Cath did. I read a book about college, I was willing to accept all the drama that came along with it. But Cath and her attitude really bothered me. I bought Fangirl along with a copy of Carry On, but honestly, I don’t even want to read it now. Overall, I did enjoy reading this book, it was an actual escape from the hurricane and loss of power and I appreciate that to no end. But in an honest review, I have to say that Fangirl still disappointed me and I doubt I’ll be reading any more Rainbow Rowell books.
Today I am part of the blog tour for The Coco Pinchard Box Set by Robert Bryndza. I will be sharing my reviews for the two Christmas novellas in this series. These were two enjoyable novellas and I look forward to reading the rest of the series! There is also an international giveaway going on to win signed copies of all the books in the series!!!
**For the first time, all 5 books in Robert Bryndza’s bestselling Coco Pinchard romantic comedy series are available in one! And this box set includes a new introduction by the author. They are currently on SALE:
‘Coco Pinchard has to be one of my favorite female characters. If you love the Bridget Jones series, then you need to check this out!’ Kerensa, Amazon Reader
Book 1: The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard
If you enjoyed flipping through Bridget Jones’s diary, you’ll love perusing Coco Pinchard’s emails! Coco confides in her quirky, supportive friends as she deals with her life falling apart. Read the emails that tell the heart warming and often hilarious tale of Coco picking up the pieces, in this fun, feel-good Romantic Comedy.
Book 2: Coco Pinchard’s Big Fat Tipsy Wedding
Coco thinks she’s on the road to happily ever after with Adam, until he inexplicably breaks up with her. Will one mistake cost them their whole future? Coco sets out to discover what has really happened, and uncovers a shocking secret Adam has been hiding from her… Full of hilarious twists and turns, Coco Pinchard’s Big Fat Tipsy Wedding is a witty, heart-warming, romantic comedy – the stand-alone sequel to no.1 bestselling, The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard.
Book 3: Coco Pinchard, the Consequences of Love and Sex
Coco Pinchard has a great life, a bestselling memoir, and a handsome second husband. Things are going exactly as planned — until her adult son runs into disaster, her ex’s mother butts back into her life, and she finds out she’s pregnant! Maybe life is more fun if you throw your plans out the window… The third book in Robert Bryndza’s bestselling Coco Pinchard series (which can also be enjoyed as a stand-alone story) is a hilarious diary with Coco’s trademark wit and honesty, tracing the raging hormones and extraordinary twists that take her to motherhood for the second time.
Book 4: A Very Coco Christmas
It’s 1985, and eighteen-year-old Coco Pinchard is home for Christmas after her first term at University. She’s fallen hopelessly in love with Daniel Pinchard, but Coco’s mother wants her to be with Kenneth, the son of posh friends Adrian and Yvonne Rosebury, who will be joining them for Christmas.
As snow falls softly over the city, and Coco tries to juggle a series of hilarious events, the stage is set for a Christmas lunch like no other. A Very Coco Christmas is a delicious, stand-alone prequel short story to Robert Bryndza’s smash-hit Coco Pinchard series.
Book 5: Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story
A sparkling feel-good comedy, which asks the question – how far would you go to get your child the must-have Christmas toy?
It’s December 1992, and children are going crazy for the Tracy Island toy – almost as crazy as the parents! Christmas day is fast approaching and Coco Pinchard is desperately trying to track one down for her four-year-old son Rosencrantz.
From dodgy dealings in a motorway lay-by, to extreme shopping in Hamley’s with a Sylvanian Families fanatic, to having a go at the Blue Peter make-your-own Tracy Island, Coco tries everything in the hope that four-year-old Rosencrantz will open his must-have toy on Christmas morning.
Author: Robert Bryndza
Published: June 3, 2015
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: October 25-26, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
This is a short novella that introduces us to Coco (AKA Karen). I knew Bryndza wrote crime thrillers (which I plan to read at some point!) but did not know he also wrote some chick-lit/romantic comedies! Needless to say I jumped at the chance to read it. This is my first Bryndza novel and I really enjoyed it!
A Very Coco Christmas is a great introduction to Coco or would be a great ‘look back’ at her earlier life if you already know her. I personally want to read the whole series now! I can tell Coco will be a character I will enjoy reading with the crazy adventures she is bound to go on!
This short story takes place in 1985 and she has just finished her first semester of college and goes back home for Christmas…. Christmas can be a crazy time of year for everyone and chaos ensues for Coco: She can really find herself in some ‘interesting’ situations! You will need to read this one to know what I mean! There is even a turkey in this story…. And he has a NAME!
If you are a fan of chick lit and fun yet crazy in a good way stories, give Coco a try! You will be sure to enjoy it!
Author: Robert Bryndza
Published: October 1 ,2015
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: November 2-6, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
It is 1992 in the UK and the ‘must have’ toy of the year is the Tracy Island. Coco’s son wants one: The problem is that these toys are in very high demand and there is a limited supply! The Tracy Island is so popular that there are also directions available to make a ‘homemade version’!
This is the beginning of the novella and the many situations Coco finds herself in to locate a Tracy Island. Each time Coco is in a situation to procure one, things fall apart. Each situation is more outlandish (in an entertaining way) than the previous one.
I don’t have children, but I know parents will identify with this Christmas novella’s situation: How do you make your child happy when they want the most anticipated toy out there that is nearly impossible to get your hands on???? What extremes will a parent to go to get their child this particular toy?
This is an enjoyable novella that shows the chaos of Christmas and finding that certain gift. **What I did not realize until I started working on this review is that the Tracy Island was a real toy in 1992! I cannot help my ignorance in this: I am an American and have never heard of Tracy Island before this novella! I have no idea if this show even aired in the US! I wish I had known while I was reading the novella that it was a real toy!
These novellas are very enjoyable, and I plan on reading the rest of the series. Buy these books and get to know Coco; you won’t regret it. I look forward to reading more from Bryndza!
About the Author:
Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller The Girl in the Ice, which is the first in his Detective Erika Foster series. It has sold over one million copies.
The Night Stalker, Dark Water, Last Breath and Cold Blood are the second, third, fourth and fifth books in the series. The sixth book, Deadly Secrets, has just been published.
Robert’s books have sold over 2.5 million copies and have been translated into 28 languages.
In addition to writing crime fiction, Robert has published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels. He is British and lives in Slovakia.
You can find out more about the author at www.robertbryndza.com and on Twitter and Instagram @RobertBryndza
Sign up to Robert Bryndza‘s New Release Mailing List here: http://eepurl.com/UITxz
Enter to win signed copies of all the books in the series- You will read one and want to read them all: I do! And since the box set is currently on sale, I bought my copy!!
Check out the entire tour here:
Today I share my review on the blog tour for Till it Stops Beating by Hannah R. Goodman. This one was published on July 5th!
Seventeen-year-old Maddie Hickman’s senior year begins with the good (the reemergence of The One That Got Away), the bad (a cancer diagnosis, not hers, but it might as well be) and the WTF (an anxiety attack that renders her writhing on the floor like an upside down crab).
Adding to her spiraling anxiety is Senior Project, in the form of I’ve Decided To Write A Book about The Other One That Got Away (And Crushed My Heart). Compounding it all is applying to college and keeping up with her friends. The ever mounting stress eventually rips her tight grip on all that she holds dear.
Her break down leads to an unexpected road trip where she is forced to listen to her wildly beating heart. It is only in the back of a convertible with pop music blasting, that she discovers she must risk everything in order to really live.
Author: Hannah R. Goodman
Published: July 5th, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: September 28-October 6, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars
I did not realize this was book four in The Maddie Chronicles when I started it. The first three in the series are:
My Sister’s Wedding
My Summer Vacation
Fear of Falling
When I found out it was the fourth then things made sense: I felt I was ‘missing’ pieces of information during the first part of the novel. I would advise you to read the others in the series before reading Till it Stops Beating.
OK, now that that is over…..
Till it Stops Beating is a coming of age novel for Maddie. She is transitioning from childhood to adulthood and along the way faces some difficult issues, among them anxiety and cancer. Hannah also deals with heartbreak in relationships, family issues and of course: jelly doughnuts. The first few chapters had me craving doughnuts!
Goodman did a good job capturing a teen dealing with anxiety and an unknown future that makes up one’s senior year of high school, which really is a year of change and big decisions. Then in addition to all of that, she has to deal with a relative’s cancer diagnosis and that unknown can be heartbreaking
I enjoyed the second part immensely; I felt I really got to know Maddie through the road trip she took with friends.
You will laugh and might tear up reading this one. The ending is a pleasant one with hope for the future. And the title just gives you all the feelings once you have finished the novel!
About the Author:
Often referred to as “the teenage whisperer”, Hannah R. Goodman’s twenty-year career working with teenagers includes the titles teacher, tutor, coach, and, more recently, mental health counselor. Hannah has written essays about mental health for various online publications. Her work has appeared on MindBodyGreen, OC87 Recovery Diaries, Zencare.co, and The Mighty. Though she has previously earned the title author with her first three books, the last was released in 2009 and all were self-published. This time around, indie publisher Black Rose Writing released her novel Till It Stops Beating this summer.
Hannah’s first YA novel, My Sister’s Wedding, won the first place award for The Writer’s Digest International Self-Publishing Contest, 2004, children’s book division. She published the follow-up, My Summer Vacation, in May 2006, which went on to win a bronze IPPY in 2007. The third Maddie book, Fear of Falling, was released in the fall of 2009 and was praised by teachers and readers for tackling subjects like homophobia and coming out. She’s published young adult short stories on Amazon’s Shorts, in an anthology entitled Bound Is The Bewitching Lilith, and in the journal Balancing The Tides. She also has written columns for The Jewish Voice & Herald. Recent, previous projects include Sucker Literary, which features emerging YA authors and All The Way YA, a group blog of writers telling the real deal about writing and publishing YA fiction.
Hannah is a member of ARIA (Association of Rhode Island Authors) as well as a graduate of Pine Manor College’s Solstice Program in Creative Writing where she earned an MFA in Writing For Young People. She resides in Bristol, RI with her husband, two daughters, and black and white cat named Zoe.