Thursday, June 6, 2013


by Rainbow Rowell

Release date: September 10th, '13
From Goodreads:

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love. 
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?
Or will she just go on living inside somebody else’s fiction?

A word about the cover:  I think it's perfectly adorable. I love illustrated covers and this one is so pretty and sparse and clean it totally gets you into the mood. And I LOVE the blue! Also, the font. And the thought bubbles. And the lanky guy and the nerd girl. It IS perfect.

My Thoughts:

Guys, this book made me feel so good, I can't even tell you how much. Even thinking about it makes me smile, such heartwarming goodness it was.

When I saw this one up on netgalley I just knew I had to read this. I mean, fandoms (Harry Potter/Supernatural/Game of Thrones, ftw!) and fangirls - such nerdsomeness - what could get better than that?

The first thing for which Fangirl won brownie points from me was the setting. Guys, guys, guys, this book is set in college and I LOVE that. Why aren't there more books set in college that don't become just this huge flesh-feasts? Not that there's anything wrong with that but you know, there's more to college than just sex. Like, um, classes and roomies and friends-who-aren't-potential-love-interests and maybe, sometimes, fandoms. (Okay, so maybe I'm being biased about the last thing, but you get what I mean, right? You need things like Harry-Potter-talk because HOW DO YOU SURVIVE OTHERWISE. Okay. I'm going to shut up right now)

My favourite thing about this book was the characters and their relationship with each other, which altered and wavered and stabilised and developed in so many ways throughout the course of the novel. That's the other thing I really liked about this. The pace. No quick-mode, no insta-anything, nothing overtly dramatic. Fangirl was a leisure ride with things taking place at a realistic pace and in such a believably real-life way.

The characters were so well-rounded. Cath and Wren. Levi. Nick. Rowan (damn, I loved Rowan!). Cath and Wren's dad! It's really nice to read books where the parents matter, for a change, and where they aren't the devil incarnate. And it's even nicer when the dad is an adorable creative genius.

So this is the first YA book written in third person past that I've read in quite a while and it was so well done! The writing was so good that I was inspired to write the next whatever-I-write in third person (and no, I'm never inspired to try third person) - it's just THAT good.

Read this book, okay? It doesn't come out till September but pre-order it if you have to, just read it. It doesn't matter what your reading tastes are, Fangirl, I'm sure, will appeal to everybody.

You know, the kind of coming-of-age that happens in college is different from the coming-of-age that happens before that. It's just this whole other thing - this living away from home, actually having to take things into your own hand (whether you like it or not) and Rainbow Rowell captures all that in her book with subtle brilliance. Read it for the feels. And the fandom.

Did/do you write fanfiction?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Verse: He left.

                                                        (Image source)

He left without goodbye,
picked up his bags, left a note,
while she was still serving diners
at the Seven-Eleven,
two blocks down the road.

She arrived exhausted,
with flowers for his birthday,
couldn’t find the vase
which he had packed with him
when he’d cleared his life
out of their home of two years.

She tried his phone.
It rang and rang and went to voicemail,
playing his – ‘leave a message’
in his old voice –
the one she knew,
the one he’d forgotten.

He heard the silent phone rings
as he waited for the tube to the next city,
fingers hovering over the ‘Receive’ button,
he debated.

She made dinner,
arranged for his favourite movie
and the big surprise waiting in the bedroom.
All the while she tried his phone,
not knowing that it was
ringing in the dustbin,
of a subway,

ten kms from her kitchen.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I'm not dead. I just haven't been there.

And yes, you're looking at the blog formerly known as Dreamcatcher's Lair.

So now that we are on slightly familiar ground, HELLO.

I know I've come up with several apology posts in the past year, but believe me when I say that I hope this will be the last. I reallyreallyreally hope to up my reading list, set my work-in-progress rolling and blogbomb your feed with more posts that won't necessarily be more fruitless promises to get back to, well, blogbombing.

Ever heard of the quarter-life crisis? I won't be surprised if you haven't. Everyone's so busy angsty-ing up the midlife crisis that nobody gives a damn about that thing that hits you when you're a twenty-something with a bucket list of things to do before you turn old and then you realise that, wait, you ARE old. You're so old that in another 3, 4, at most, 5, years your family and relatives - who ironically end up showing some concern  only in this aspect of your life - will be expecting you to settle down, which basically means legally binding yourself to another person and, I don't know, making babies with said person (!) And no, there's nothing wrong with that (I think) but it's a most frightening thought when you're going through an existential crisis and need a lot of figuring out to do.

And that's a LOT of figuring out to do, really. Like what-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life, who's-gonna-give-me-a-job, should-I-be-a-student-forever-and-accumulate-degrees, oh-god-university-is-killing-me-I-should-quit, I-don't-care-about-the-world-I-should-just-go-backpacking, damn-I-have-no-money kind of figuring out. See, it's enough to give someone a life spasm. And then, imagine you have all of this figured out and somebody, SOMEBODY, possibly the last person you expected to do so, comes along and breaks your heart. Why didn't anyone ever mention that heartbreaks are ten times harder in your 20s than they were when you were in high school? And suddenly that entire part of your life with that person becomes a lie, which you have to remove along with all the plans made and goals set and the dreams dreamt around this time, which basically involves just removing a chunk of your life. A chunk. Which also means that you will have to replace that chunk with something else so that it doesn't end up being this massive gaping hole because that would suck. Like, really.

See. Existential crisis + chunk-removal-from-your-life event = Catastrophic Quarter Life Crisis.

Which is what I had been going through the entire time I was M.I.A. It wasn't fun in any way. Ever tried falling off a cliff? No, don't try that. Think it. Think falling off a cliff when you don't want to fall off a cliff. Think trying to climb back up and falling off again and again. And again. And then when you've finally managed to get yourself up there, all bruises and scars of you, imagine a car running you over. Not a pretty picture, is it? The last few months of my life have been pretty much that - one cliff-fall after another, one car crash after another.

While most of the last few months I've spent swinging between self-pity and misanthropy, rage and hate and sadness and utter despair, now I actually feel, I don't know, wiser. Experience does teach you a lot. And when a trunk full of experience flies out of nowhere and lands on your back, at first you wobble with the weight, but then it gets to be okay. You get to be okay. And you realise that you get to be okay because of that trunk, so you can't really be mad about it, because with the trunk, you grow up.

I feel like I've grown up. I've grown up at 22. What I had to go through to collect the stuff that makes up the trunk was eventful and despairing and melancholic and ridiculously frustrating and so utterly devastating, but the trunk's a part of me and that's fine because it's stopped being all those sad and not-sad things. It's like a manual book I can go back to when I'm thinking about what I want and what I don't want out of my life. It's like a chance at a fresh start.

That's what I've decided to do. Give myself a fresh start at just everything. Starting with this blog, which now has a new title and tag line. Also, I've decided to use my full name, Bidisha, because, what the hell, I like my name.

I know this is a long and rambly post and you've had to bear with me the whole long and rambly way, but, hey, thanks for doing that. It's nice to know that somebody out there, anybody, is listening to you vent. And if life sucks for you right now, believe me it'll get better. It will. Even if it doesn't seem so at the moment. You will come out stronger. And grown up.

Hang in there.

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