Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell


Nebraska author? Check.

Set at my Alma mater? Check.

Hardcore fangirling? Double check.

I have been accused once or twice of being obsessed with something (this is a lie, my husband tells me on the daily). Therefore, I identified pretty strongly with Cath, our novel’s protagonist. Cath’s happy in her fictional world with Simon Snow but accepts (grudgingly) that moving on to college is a necessary evil. Despite joining a high-level writing class, Cath keeps herself isolated. Her twin sister Wren takes the opposite approach to college, joining the party scene with gusto.

Their college experience has it’s ups and downs: learning the dining halls, parties, midterms, jerkface English majors, manic dads, hands-off moms, roommates.

Cath is the uncertain, shy, awkward kid in all of us who just wants to read and be left alone. Honestly, I would have totally understood if by the end of the novel she was like “Nah, I’m gonna stay with Simon” but it wouldn’t make for very compelling storytelling.



Favorite quote:

Smiling is confusing, she thought. This is why I don’t do it. (page 208)


“No. Because they remind me that we live in a place where you can still get away with, even get excited about, Ugg boots. In fashionable places, you have to pretend that you’re over them, or that you’ve always hated them. But in Nebraska, you can still be happy about new Ugg boots. That’s nice. There’s no end of the innocence.” (page 256)

(as a Nebraskan, I endorse this message)

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

carry on

Magic! Vampires! Boyfriends! Dorms! References to past adventures! Victorian dresses! Platonic friendships! Catacombs! Wizard School! Goblins! Pigs! Magic spells! More vampires! Swords! Rats! Fancy estates! Parties! Horrible pining! Frenemies!

If you read one book this year, make it Carry On. This novel is perfection.


Favorite quote:

I swear he gets less ruffled the more that he’s threatened. (When I’m the one threatening him, that’s infuriating. But it’s kind of cool now.) (page 332)

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

me before you

Let’s talk about books I shouldn’t read on airplanes.

The flight from Omaha to Denver was fine. Louisa was positively adorable. Her boyfriend was a dud. Nathan was a sweetheart. Will was an asshole.

Everything was smooth sailing. Louisa and Will were slowly falling in love. There were ups and downs and horse races and movies. Ridiculous outfits. Treena being snippy. Dinners. Concerts. Tattoos. Love it.

Denver to San Diego…was not fine. The world is horrible and I ended up sniffling on the plane to the point where I’m sure the two giant dudes in my row thought I’d been dumped. Even hours of plane travel couldn’t stop me from finishing the book that night.

I just love ripping my own heart out.

And even better, there’s a sequel! Which I’m sure is lighthearted and fluffy. And I will read it when I emotionally recover from Me Before You.


Favorite quote:

“I just…want to be a man who has been to a concert with a girl in a red dress. Just for a few minutes more.” (page 166)