Like with so many things in life whether we fall in love with a book can have a lot to do with timing. A book can have a killer plot, some truly kick-ass characters and world building that could blow your mind but if you’re not in the right mood or you don’t have the time to commit to it, or it’s maybe just too similar to something you read recently then you’re not going to be able to really get excited about it. Sometimes however, the literary stars align perfectly. You’re in exactly the right place, at the right time and in the right frame of mind to fall head over heels in love with a book. And I was very very lucky to have that happen to me not once, but twice recently. And with back to back books too!
I had heard soooo much about Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell on the blogs. For a time it seemed like I was the only blogger/reader on the planet who hadn’t yet read it but strangely despite all the glowing reviews, I was never able to get that excited about it. I wanted to read it at some point but I wasn’t overly fussed about when that would be. But then one day a couple of weeks ago I was in my happy place, Waterstones bookshop, with a friend and I had literally just told myself I shouldn’t buy any more books until I had finished the ones I already had, when I turned round and there it was. If there had been any windows in that section of the store the light would have been shining in straight onto the shelf it sat on with it’s lovely ‘buy one, get one half price’ sticker on it. Suddenly I just knew I had to have it. My new book excitement was off the charts, I had ‘must buy’ grabby hands and before I knew what was happening I was frantically searching the shelves for a companion special offer book.
And I am beyond glad that it was there when I turned round that day because it turned out to be one of my very favourite reads so far of 2014! There aren’t enough words in the English language to describe just how much I LOVE this book so I’ll have to resort to over capitalisation and exclamation marks!! Fangirl, for those of you who don’t know, is the story of Cath, who has just started college with her twin sister, Wren but while her sister is embracing the whole college experience (sometimes maybe a little too much!), Cath is struggling to come out from behind her laptop where she’s immersed in the world of fan fiction.
Like I said in my last post, while I can’t relate to everything she’s gone through, like her troubled family background, the anxiety of starting college and struggling to fit in was definitely something I could sympathise with. Getting lost in writing or the amazing world of books as a coping mechanism was obviously something I could relate to as well! Rainbow Rowell created such a real, sympathetic and funny portrayal of a young girl struggling to move on with her life and the characters that she met along the way were amazing. I’ve said this before about male characters but I LOVE Levi!! He is exactly the kind of guy that an obsessive neurotic fan of escapism like Cath and myself need, and I really want one of my own! He was perfect!
This book completely drew me in and cheered up every day that I got to read it. When it came time to turn that last page I really felt like I was saying goodbye to a friend and I was really upset that I had to do it. It was a lovely, warm-hearted and easy to relate to story, and it came along at the perfect time for me. I needed a book like this. I needed THIS book and I want to thank all you lovely bloggers who brought it to my attention because I may never have found it otherwise, and would’ve missed out on a wonderful reading journey!
The other book that timing helped me fall in love with was The Rook by Daniel O’Malley. I started to read this one immediately after Fangirl so I was still suffering withdrawal symptoms. All I really wanted to be reading was Fangirl so any book would’ve found it difficult to keep my interest at that point but this one in particular, I had a real struggle with.
I knew it would be an unusual read, after all the tagline describes it as MI5 for wizards and the plot starts with a woman waking up in a park, with no memory, surrounded by dead bodies wearing latex gloves, and a note in her pocket which starts ‘Dear You, The body you are wearing used to be mine…’ Surprisingly though, given all that, I still don’t think I realised just how weird this would be. I don’t think I’ve ever said ‘What is this ****???’ quite so many times when starting a book. I wanted to give up with it, I really did but even though I had a few books left to read, I knew that my head wasn’t in the right place to do them justice, and new books I’d ordered hadn’t arrived yet. I could either go bookless (hell no!) or force myself to keep reading which is what I did. Thank God I did too! Yes it was quite possibly the weirdest book I’ve read in a long time but it turned out also to be really good! I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next and there were a few times that I got funny looks in the train from laughing out loud!
So thank you to the literary stars because you’ve provided me with just the right books at the right time. They were two very different reads, neither of them were my usual kind of read but they helped me with my new year’s resolutions to read more widely, and they were exactly the books I needed right now!
What about you? Has timing ever helped you fall in love with a book or give up with one?