Turtles All The Way Down Review

Today was the release of John Green’s long-awaited new novel: Turtles All The Way Down. I wouldn’t be a Frenzied Fangirl if I hadn’t immediately run to the nearest Waterstone’s to grab myself a copy, and I’ve just finished reading it. Here are some thoughts. Please be warned that this review contains SPOILERS. Although it does not go into the plot very much, if you want to approach this book without any prior knowledge of its subject matter, leave now.

IMG_20171010_173450.jpgHere’s a picture of our cat, the book, and the awesome t-shirt and bracelet I also got.

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A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad)

I’m still raising money for suicide prevention everyone. You can donate here. But I’m also doing something that is equally as important, if not more so: raising awareness. You should all be aware that thousands of people all over the world are struggling with their mental health everyday. If there was more understanding for their struggle, the world would be a better place.

What I’m about to do now is going to be super-frustrating: let me recommend a play to you. It is a play you can only see if you can manage to travel through time, and it is called A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad).

I saw the play at the Edinburgh Fringe this August, and it means a lot to me. I won’t wax lyrical about life-changing experiences or some such, because of course the real life-changing experience was my depression itself. But to see my illness recognized, understood, and performed so brilliantly and accurately on stage was a huge relief.

The play is accurately named. Its presentation, full of glitter and singing and chorus lines, is super happy. It’s subject matter, ranging from alcoholism to depression and suicide, is anything but. The writers and performers have managed to unearth the comedy inherent in anything that is bleak or sad, and made use of that comedy without devaluating the terrifying experience that is mental illness. Bravo.

I always tell people that no one is alone in their fight against mental illness, but I don’t always believe it. Jon Brittain and Matthew Floyd Jones made me believe it, and that felt incredible. Of course you can’t travel back in time to see this play, but you can do the next best thing: read it.  Paperbacks and ebooks are available from Amazon

Happy International Kissing Day

Oscar Wilde: “the curve of  your lips rewrites history”

You got that right. Today, July 6th 2017, is International Kissing Day. The perfect time for Frenzied Fangirl to list some of her favorite kisses in pop culture. Why? Well why the hell not?

For a fuller experience, check out the playlist I made of all my favorite songs about kissing.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES IS MY BEST FRIEND LILA TO ENTER THIS BLOG POST. IT HAS MANY WONDERFUL SCENES IN IT THAT SHE STILL NEEDS TO EXPERIENCE IN THEIR FULL GLORY, NOT CHOPPED UP INTO GIFS.

Lila, love, the first one is Dean & Rory – Gilmore Girls. You know it already. Do not click the “Read more” link!

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Becky’s Bookshelf: Required Reading For Fangirls

I haven’t done much with the Character’s Bookshelf series lately, but it is still a concept very close to my heart. So today, let me offer you Becky’s Bookshelf. Becky Rosen, of course, is the fangirl from within the Supernatural universe, the Mary Sue made flesh, the ultimate defiance of the fourth wall. She is a fan of the same characters every Supernatural-fan is a fan of: the Winchesters. And here’s what she, and any other fangirl, should have on their bookshelves.

Fic by Anne Jamison

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Fic is an incredible book by an incredible author. Anne Jamison is a professor of English at the University of Utah. She holds a PhD from Princeton, and she’s written an entire book about fanfiction and the way it’s changing the landscape of literature and culture. Apart from a number of surprising insights into the world of publishing and internet fandom, I also got an endless list of to-read fics from this book.

Get your very own copy here:

Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World

 

Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon by Melissa Anelli Continue reading

Prospects & Presumptions: The Ebook

Ladies & Gents,

My 2014 novella Prospects & Presumptions is now available as an ebook. You can buy it through Amazon here.

As a special treat I’ve decided to publish an excerpt on this blog. Enjoy!

Part I: Northing Cottage

It is generally considered rude to wake people with bad news. However, like most unpleasant things, bad news usually has unpleasant timing. That is why Mr Porter came to Northing Cottage that night. He dismounted, wiped the rain from his brow and knocked on the door. Northing was a small house that could, with a great deal of cramming and good manners, lodge five people at most, and so it often did. This particular evening, however, it housed only three.

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Carry On, Simon

I first read Carry On before I even had a blog. Had I had one at the time, I would have written about it as once, but it was not to be. However, this book is so brilliant and fluffy and reassuring that I felt a strong urge to re-read it 0ver Christmas break (if you’re not reading about British wizards and/or detectives and speculating where they fall on the Kinsey scale, is it even really Christmas???) So I’ve re-read it, and here is my review. Contains Spoilers

Five stars. Brilliant book. Amazing. Such lovable characters. Give me more of the magnificent world of Mages, please. Carry On tells the story of Simon Snow’s final year at his wizarding school Watford. It addresses the difficulty of being the “Chosen One” and criticizes the Harry Potter universe in a way that is so respectful yet so accurate.

I’m going to oversimplify a little for the sake of making my point, but you’re going to have to deal with it. Continue reading

Dumbledore’s Army Readathon SCORE

For the first two weeks of 2017. I participated in the Dumbledore’s Army Readathon, and here’s my final score.

For the sake of clarity: “an own voices book is a book featuring a marginalised perspective, written by an author who shares the same marginalised characteristics.” says Read At Midnight.

Uncharacteristically, I read one whole book and parts of three more, because I was just that eager to get started on all of them. I’ll finish them soon though, promise.

Find out how many points I earned for Gryffindor House…

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Dumbledore’s Army Readathon

From now until January 15th, I’ll be participating in the Dumbledore’s Army Readathon, and I will track my progress in this post.

For the sake of clarity: “an own voices book is a book featuring a marginalised perspective, written by an author who shares the same marginalised characteristics.” says Read At Midnight.

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A marginalized group I don’t often read about: prisoners. Orange Is The New Black by Piper Kerman.

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Own voices book: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison.

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A book that empowers women: Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys: race, gender and mental illness? How marginalized can you get?

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An issue of personal significance. For me, that’s would be feminism, disability or mental illness. I’m going with Girl, Interrupted, by Susanna Kaysen.

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A book from my To Be Read: Paaz by Myrthe van der Meer, an account of bipolar disorder.dareadathon-stupefy

An internet hype: Everyone seems to be talking about I Love Dick by Chris Kraus.

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A book recommended by a fellow blogger: I don’t know! Perhaps A Room Of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf? Not recommended by a blogger, but recommended by a friend.

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  • Each 10 pages you read will earn you 1 House Point.
  • Each book you complete will earn you 5 House Points.
  • Each book you review specifically for the #DAReadAThon will earn you 5 House Points.
  • Crosspost your review to Amazon for 1 House Point.
  • Post an image of your #DAReadAThon ID on Twitter for 1 House Point, and it allows other members of your House to find you!
  • Tweeting on the #DAReadAThon hashtag (with meaningful tweets about your current reads, recommendations of #OwnVoices) will earn you 1 House Point each. You can have a maximum of 20 House Points from Social Media interactions.
  • Photos of your #DAReadAThon books or TBR pile will earn you 1 House Point each. This contributes towards the maximum of 20 House Points from Social Media interactions mentioned above.
  • We will catalogue the points at the end via a masterpost, and find out who the Hogwarts House Champion for Diversity is!

My Score:

The Hogwarts House I’m in is obviously Gryffindor.

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Goodreads Reading Challenge

I challenged myself to read 52 books in 2016 and (drumroll) I succeeded!

The longest book I read was Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire. The shortest was probably The Lady With The Pet Dog by Anton Chekhov. I read two books of poetry, one by Richard Siken and one by Alan Ginsberg. I read eleven books I would classify as Young Adult and only one play: Brecht’s Dreigroschenoper.

Here’s a top five of my favorite books I read for the first time this year.

5. Doktor Glas by Hjalmar Soderberg

4. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

3. Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig

2.  The Yellow Wallpaper & Other Stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

1. Americanah by Chimananda Ngozi Adichie

My least favorite book with absolutely no competition was:

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Here’s the full list of books I read in 2016:

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