Book Crush: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Yes, I am trying to write a review for a book and I am pretty scared to do it because I am really bad at writing reviews but this book is so good that I HAVE TO DO IT! First things first… this is Cath:

ffaaCath in my head, I mean, since it’s a quick sketch I did in one of my reading breaks. Cath, or Cather, is in her first year of college, has a twin sister named Wren (get it? get it? if you don’t, read the book!), a father who works in advertising and is part of a huge fandom Simon Snow (kinda like Harry Potter in our world, but not really) and she writes a pretty popular fan-fiction.

I connected with Cath at the first page because if you are an anxious introvert girl (not necessarily a fangirl) it’s really hard not to relate to Cath! Like this:

In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can’t google.) Like, where does the like start? What food can you take? Where are you supposed to stand, then where are you supposed to sit? Where do you go when you’re done, why is everyone watching you?… Bah. 

See what I mean? That is so me! And probably so you… some of you. Oh, or this:

“No,” Cath said, “seriously. Look at you. You’ve got your shit together, you’re not scared of anything. I’m scared of everything. And I’m crazy. Like maybe you think I’m a little crazy, but I only ever let people see the tip of my crazy iceberg. Underneath this veneer of slightly crazy and socially inept, I’m a complete disaster.”

Now that you get the idea who Cath is you can probably imagine how hard it is for her to experience college when her twin sister decides they are not going to share a room in the dorm. Like what? They shared a room for 18 years! And now she has to go live with a total stranger (well, an awesome stranger and actually my favourite character in the book – bet you expected Cath to be my favourite since she’s so me, but I guess that’s the reason she’s not).

The novel is some kind of coming of age novel, but it has a bunch of story lines and while there is a boy (or two or three if we count them all) romance is not the main focus of this book – but it’s a pretty good part of it and oh, the feels…

Now let’s jump to my favourite part (well parts) about this book: the characters! They are so varied and it’s hard not to love them all (SPOILER except for Nick, I hated him END OF SPOILER). My favourite character is Cath’s roommate, Reagan – she is older than Cath and she is awesome, she is a great friend and I just loved SPOILER how she treated the whole Levi situation END OF SPOILER. Levi is also an incredible character especially because he is really really good at leaning, oh, yeah.

Also… Wren, Cath’s twin sister… Since we as readers are pretty much living Cath’s life and thoughts it isn’t easy not to hate Wren – well, hate is a big word, let’s say dislike her. Because we empathize with Cath and we feel bad for her and Wren should be there for her, right? But we know nothing about Wren, about her feelings, maybe she needs to be away from her twin sister, she cut her hair because she wanted to be different from her sister, she is different from Cath personality wise, but they still look the same, you know? And when we get to know her better, well, she’s a really funny person.  And she is also a fangirl and a fanfiction writer (they wrote a lot together) and now a big fan of Cath’s popular fanfiction.

Here are some of my favourite Wren quotes:

“I’m here for you if you go manic,” Wren said. “But you’re on your own if you become a vampire.”

“The first few times you do it, you only get graded on attendance.”

And my favourite:

“Happily ever after, or even just together ever after, is not cheesy,” Wren said. “It’s the noblest, like, the most courageous thing two people can shoot for.”

This books is excellent and truly enjoyable. I think I still have tons of things to talk about when it comes to it, but it’s a pretty long post, right? Plus, I am not great at reviewing things, especially things that I loved. I just want to recommend it to all you, it’s an easy-read book… and I forgot to mention the Simon Snow fragments and the fanfiction fragments and, oh, well, maybe next time!

PS: I read this for the tumblr book club! It’s the first tumblr book club, it’s called Reblog Book Club and if you are on tumblr and love reading, well, you should be in it too!

Dear Diary: I am sad

It’s funny how I never write on this blog when I’m sad. I used to do that a lot, but lately I don’t feel like sharing… I don’t have tragedies to be sad about, just little things and moody days.

Right now I am mainly sad because the house is a mess and I am in no mood for cleaning it. Also because I have no idea what to for my BIG project this year – I’m in my last year of University and I also have no idea what I’m gonna do after. I keep reading that it’s ok to be clueless in your early twenties – but is it? After this year I’ll have to get a job, you know? That’s not easy. I don’t even know what job I want…

But my hubby is going to give me a massage and then I’ll spend three hours in the shower brooding over all these things that contribute to my sadness.

NaNoWriMo 2013: My Past NaNo

I participated in two NaNo events this past year; first last year in November… and I failed mainly because of laziness but also school and at NaNo Camp in April and I won that one (NaNoWriMo is hard (also I forgot to tell you that NaNo stands for National Novel Writing Month but you can learn more about it if you google it), but NaNo camp is easier – mainly because you decide your goal (mine was 30,000 words and I wrote a lot more). Last April NaNo Camp I wrote a Harry Potter fanfiction and I had tons of fun. But sure… I had almost nothing to do in April except for school and that’s about it. )

The thing is I love NaNoWriMo not necessarily because it’s a challenge to write a novel in a month, but because it makes me write. I like writing stories, but I always find other things to do before writing (I am getting better at it…) so NaNo is a big help for me because I know I have to write 1666/1667 per day to finish on time and I love dares and challenges.

In November I tried to write a historical fantasy… I got the idea for that story when I first came to University two years ago and NaNo was the perfect time to actually sit down and write it. I failed… but I am still working on that story now (I changed it a lot). NaNo is not easy. That was my first lesson. I thought writing 1666 words every day was a piece of cake…

But guess what? Missing a day is horrible… those words add up, missing more days is even more horrible… having to focus on my University and my social life and NaNoWriMo is no easy task. Also… having people over in November doesn’t make writing anymore easier. Plus my birthday is in November, so is my mum’s, grandma’s, my two little cousins’… I go home every November on my mum’s birthday (I live miles away, but it’s a tradition and I can’t skip it because of NaNo)…

And those things add up, you know? I can’t be to my own birthday party and spend my time on my laptop… writing? Right? But now I know all these things. I know I have to write a lot before I can skip days. I know that I need to focus on school and family before NaNo and that not writing 50,000 words in 30 days is not the end of the world. So I guess I am pretty much ready for this NaNoWriMo… or at least I won’t be sad when I fail again. I am ready to fail this time but I’ll do my best not too.

Herbstfest! and Best Thing in the World: German Shepherds!

Herbstfest is a German festival that I attended this weekend. It doesn’t take place in Germany, but it’s fun anyway! So October is officially my favourite month – it’s Halloween, it’s sunny and rainy and awesome and Cluj has tons of festivals going on! I mean… just this weekend we had three or four festivals – isn’t that crazy?

oohh

me and my boyfriend changing roles

Saturday was a great day for me! It started with an awesome brunch. We had a friend over and made crepes with Nutella, bananas and biscuits. And then we went to the German festival where we had a 10 minute course of German – and now I want to learn the language (but I will do that next year, hopefully).

too

Then we went for a walk in the park and visited Bookfest again. We entered the contest to win any three books from the fest and I want to win because my books are awesome – I picked Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (since I didn’t buy it), Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and a book by Truman Capote. They aren’t much, they aren’t that expensive so pick me, choose me, give me those lovely books!!

suuuun

After the walk and picking chestnuts and colored leaves we went to eat and I had a delicious Falafel, since I rarely eat meat.

fallaf

And then Herbstfest had a nice show with German Shepherd dogs and get ready to see tons of pictures with those awesome dogs (also… more on my tumblr). German Shepherd is my favourite dog breed because I grew up with them. My uncle has a huge passion for dogs and he had a German Shepherd called Lassie – I don’t remember her because she died when I was about three, but then he bought another German Shepherd called Lord and he was my pal until I was 15! Then he moved and I only saw Lord from time to time, he died when I was 17. So yeah… those dogs were my best friends for a long time – I don’t remember my adventure with Lassie but my family told them to me hundreds of times and they are part of my memories now.

Spam with bad quality pictures (I was way to excited for the show to pay attention to the camera) of awesome dogs (most of the dogs you are about to see are trained and prepared to be loyal friends, protectors but also to save people and some of them participated in missions and helped saved the life of humans so they are really really great dogs!):

dooooooooooooooooof dogpppppups dooogg dooooooofff4444

Bookfest 2013!

Bookfest is back in Cluj-Napoca!! It’s the second edition and I also went to the first one last year and bought one of the best book ever with the best illustrations ever: The Diary of Edward the Hamster 1990-1990 by Ezra Elia and Miriam Elia (one of them made the illustration, the other wrote it I think…).

This year I wore my book earrings and my outfit was pretty much inspired from an awesome book I’m reading (Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell): blue tights, pink cardigan.

boookkkSo Bookfest has a bunch of event like book releases and stuff like and a lot of interesting people come to talk about those books. Unfortunately I have stuff to do or courses at Uni and can’t ever make it to a Bookfest event. But I still can go and browse through all the nice books – and they have lots of sales too. Since I am a book hoarder and I have tons of books unread (like hundreds, seriously!) I am not allowed to buy more than one book.

This year I got Lust for Life by Irving Stone. But I must confess it was hard to pick just one book. Since I don’t have tons of money I usually only buy cheap books and Polirom has this awesome collection called Top 10+ and they relaunch awesome novels but they are cheaper – sure, the pages aren’t the best quality but they aren’t flying or anything (the bookbinding is pretty ok, it’s just the paper quality that bothers me a bit but I can’t complain for that price, right?).

boofkAnd from that collection I picked two books that I really really really wanted: Lust for Life and Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. I wanted to read Lust for Life since high-school but my local library didn’t have it. As for Never Let Me Go… I watched the movie and it was such a good movie and then I found out there’s a book by Kazuo Ishiguro and I adore Japanese literature. So what’s a bookworm to do? Flip a coin, duh!

The magic about flipping a coin is that an impersonal object gets to decide for you and the coin is not conditioned by anything. The coin doesn’t know what the books are about and it doesn’t know my “history” with the books. You choose which face is which book and then you flip it (yes, guys, I am giving you a tutorial for flipping a coin!) and and winner book is *ta-na-na-na* Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Bet you didn’t expect that! Flipping the coin is not about letting the coin decide for you, is about helping you to decide. When I realized the coin picked Never Let Me Go I was so sad and devastated (this is an exaggeration for the sake of this post, but I really was a bit sad) and that’s when I realized that the book I really wanted was Lust for Life, I just didn’t know that until the coin flipping.

bookdWhen I bought the book they also gave me two free tickets to any film from Comedy Cluj (a film festival that’s gonna start next weekend and it’s gonna last for 10 days!). Also walking from stand to stand I got a free bookmark! So Bookfest is really fun. And the best part about this festival is that it’s not just about books, but about culture and arts in general and they also have free-entry cinema and I am going today to Edvard Munch a Norwegian film from 1974 directed by Peter Watkins.

Stay tuned for more posts about different festival because my town has a bunch of them this month!

October List: Eating Habits&Food Journal

I said yesterday about my October list with things to improve about myself… or just do. Anyway, you can find the list here, but I want to go into details with the whole eating habits and food stuff.

I am a student and I don’t live with my mum anymore and it’s really easy to eat only instant ramen or instant mashed potatoes or to eat out, and that’s not really healthy. Fortunately for me I love cooking. But finding time (and the mood – I am such a lazy cat) for cooking is rather difficult.

I was never able to keep a food diary. So this summer I kinda did that on my tumblr with pictures because it’s way easier to photograph what you eat rather than writing it down. But guess what? I think it’s better to write it down. Since last week of September I started a meal diary that I want to continue this month too. Since then I discovered some unhealthy eating habits that I have so this month I’ll also try to work on those.

About the meal journal: I have a binder and I write everything down in there because it’s easier to organize it and I always work better on plain paper than on a notebook really. I usually write after I eat if I’m at home, if I’m not I just make a note on my phone. I write down the meal, the hour and what I was doing while eating (it’s hard not to multitask while eating and I know it’s not good, but IT’S HARD!). I don’t think to much about how many calories I have on my plate, I try to estimate them after I’m done eating but it’s ok not to be exact – because it’s hard especially with home cooked meals.

But a meal journal is great for observing what you tend to do like I tend to snack a lot between my meals, I also snack more when I’m in bed with my laptop. And the best part about the diary: it helps you get better because you are aware of your bad or good habits.

Eating habits list: Here is the list with things I want to improve or work on when it comes to my meals.

  • try to respect the three main meals – being in college makes it very hard to do so, fortunately this is my last year and I have lots of free time because I need to work on my big project and all that jazzSo I’m gonna try to have breakfast early in the morning (11 am is not early in the morning), lunch around 1 pm or 2 pm and dinner… well, dinner is the tricky one because I have days with classes till 7 pm or even 9 pm so… I’m gonna try to eat it around 6-8 pm depending on my day.
  • eat breakfast daily – I got a lot better at this one, but it’s still hard to do it every day and sometimes I just pretend it doesn’t exist. Not good! 
  • stop snacking so much – I will try to snack once between the meals and maybe once after dinner because sometimes I go to sleep at really late hours.
  • no fizzy drinks or “natural” juices from the supermarket – I am not a fizzy drink person, but I still drink them when I visit my friends or when I go out. I will continue to drink Frugo from time to time because that it’s just the best juice ever!
  • cook a new thing weekly – because cooking is fun.
  • don’t eat on the street – it’s just a trick to keep me from snacking and also, it’s not that nice, is it?

I’m not gonna try to stop “doing stuff” (and by doing I mean watching tv) while eating because that I really can’t. And I think this is it. Wow, I really expected to have more things on the list but it’s great, right? Well, wish me luck. I guess.

Random Monday #3: All about backpacks… not really

What better way to start blogging again if not with more randomness?

1. School starts today and I wish I had a backpack like this one. But I rarely wear backpacks to school since I don’t have much to carry in them. And the times I wear backpacks is when I need my laptop at me and I don’t thing the cute one can hold my Rory (Rory is my laptop’s name).

2. One month till NaNoWriMo… and my birthday.

3. We still don’t know anything about the season 3 from Sherlock. I am going crazy over here.

4. My Halloween recommendation for the Halloween month for you, anime lovers: Shiki (also Another!).