Wednesday, 27 August 2014

My Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

FangirlFangirl by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'd never thought writing could be so simple.
Rainbow Rowell taught me this.

Before reading her work, I almost believed that every writer's work has to be detailed and precisely written. Whichever books that I've read, I've seen how writers have described intricate details of their stories into words.
But Rainbow Rowell's writing doesn't work that way.
Her writing is simple, to the point and focuses more on the 'dialogue part'.
I comprehend the fact that every writer is blessed with a unique writing style and I truly respect that.

To my surprise, Rainbow Rowell's writing awestruck me at the point where I realized she also focuses more on the dialogue part.
Being a writer, I enjoy writing stories where the characters get a chance to interact with one another. The characters should speak for themselves. I do not want to indulge unnecessarily into the detailing of every scene or writing long descriptions for that matter.

I feel more happy when my characters speak and feel relaxed while writing conversations between my characters. This is what made me fall in love with Rainbow because she does the same.
I'd read her 'Attachments' and 'Eleanor and Park' prior to reading 'Fangirl' and I was completely amazed with her writing format and style.

I loved 'Attachments' and 'Eleanor and Park' but there was some special spark in 'Fangirl'.
The major reason for choosing 'Fangirl' over her previous two books is the fact that the character in the former i.e. 'Cather Avery', is quite close to what I used to be in my adolescence years or still I am. A complete 'Crazy' girl driven into the world of imaginations and fantasies.
A girl who is simply not interested in the world and who only focuses on her imaginary characters and fantasy life.
Cath is shy and a bit resistant to meeting new people and developing new relationships.

The reason why I relate myself to Cath is because as a teenager, I was also plunged into writing fan fictions in various Bollywood/Asian forums of my most favorite celebrities.
The idea of writing a book regarding fan fictions was simply amazing. Cath is just how I used to think or believe.

And not to forget the cute 'Levi' in this book. The cute Levi and his cute smiles.
Levi is such a cutie pie! Every woman/girl writer would want to have a boyfriend/partner/husband as supportive and caring as Levi.
Levi understands how Cath's brain works and he supports her writing career till infinity and beyond.
He knows how crazy Cath is. That's what I love the most about his character.

The relationship between Cath and her twin sister, Wren is beautifully described and one you are reading the book, you can easily differentiate between the two characters. They're twins yet so different from each other.
Cath writes the fan fiction and Wren helps her out with plot, story line and new ideas.

All in all, it was a lovely read except for reading the 'Baz and Simon' stories.
Mostly, I skipped reading her Baz and Simon 'fan-fictions' because I wasn't really interested in reading a gay love story; I was more keen to know what was happening in 'Cath's own love story.
Rainbow Rowell, you are a brilliant story teller and authoress. I'm glad to become one of your huge fans!

Happy Reading!
Sara :)

View all my reviews

Monday, 18 August 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Sara Naveed talks about her upcoming book, Fawad Khan + More

At we love to interview people who passionately love their careers (Bare this in mind, that we love it when a passion & career comes together), and in this case SimplyAmina has gone global. Yes, by this I mean I have had to stumble over some rocks to find such talent… And may I introduce to you the beautiful and extremely talented: Sara Naveed.

Sara Naveed: Upcoming Pakistani writer in the making!

Welcome to Sara its’ awesome to have you on here: “It is my pleasure to be interviewed by you”; (I was over-whelmed by her sweetness) Count down: 3,2,1 GO…
What inspired you to write your first book?
Fawad Khan. (We stop abruptly to acknowledge her answer: GASPS))Yes, you will be surprised with this answer but this is the actual truth. The idea of writing this book only popped up when I had this one person in mind. (Sara has #FawadFever, we love her spirit)
Do you have a specific writing style?
Not really. I keep on writing whatever comes in my mind. I don’t restrict myself to a particular writing style. As a writer, I want to explore myself in different sorts of writing styles. Sara can you join our team?
What is the title of your book and what genre is it?
Honestly speaking, I am not in a position to disclose the title of my book because the book is still under wraps. I’m in talks with a few interested publishers and I can’t disclose the name till something concrete matter comes up. However, the genre of my book is romance or I can say romantic tragedy. We will be the first to know, won’t we Sara?
Is there any particular message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I would like to quote one of my favourite lines from Paulo Coelho’s works on this note:
“And, when you want something, the entire universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.
This is the same message I want to spread out for my readers as well. What you believe is basically all that you can achieve. Be led by your dreams and make them happen in real because to only dream is nothing; having a plan to achieve it is everything. (We absolutely are obsessed with her analysis, thumbs up for Sara Naveed)
If you had to choose one author to mentor you, who would it be and why?
Though many authors have inspired me so far, there’s one particular author whose work and stupendous stories have awestruck me the most. He is none other than Mr. Khaled Hosseini. (We love his work too). I really admire his writing style and I wish I get a chance to interact with him sometime in this lifetime. (We hope you do Sara and take us with you)
Are the experiences the characters in your book based on someone you know or events in your own life?
The male protagonist in my book is purely based and inspired from Mr. Fawad Khan. (Team Fawad here)
Which books have influenced your life the most?
Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It is highly inspiring book that teaches so many good things about life. It teaches you not to give up on things you love and desire.
What book are you currently reading?
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. The story of the protagonist in this book is somewhat similarly to mine as far as writing aspect and passion is concerned.
Can you share a little sentence from your upcoming book with us?
“Never judge a situation merely with a negative perspective. Look at the positive side too.” He added. “And if you do that, you will eventually feel better.” (Exclusively just for SimplyAmina, we love you Sara)
Name one entity that has supported you from outside (excluding family members)?
My proof-reader and editor has immensely supported me throughout my writing process.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
For every writer, learning comes naturally and for me it is the same. Whenever I pick up a subject or come across a fascinating story, I try to grasp things and learn at every step of the writing process. You only learn when you experience something and for that purpose, you need to be bold enough to take an initiative.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep on writing no matter what happens at a later point. Writing defines the characteristics of your personality and temperament because you are what you write. Never stop the writing as the essence of becoming a writer would die once you stop the process.
Tell us a bit about your background and childhood, where you were born?
I was born in Sialkot, Pakistan which is basically my hometown. Then I moved to U.A.E with my family where I spent almost 12 years of my adolescence. We moved back to Lahore in 2002 and currently still residing here.
Being a writer has always been a dream; in fact, it’s a passion that resides deep inside my heart and soul. Having written in many fan fiction forums; my interest grew and my writing skills improved. I’ve finished working on my first book and Insha Allah, plan to get it published soon. I earnestly hope people appreciate my writing; an asset, I most deeply covet.
As a kid, I was mostly fond of Archie Comics, Nancy Drew mysteries and R.L Stine’s Goosebumps. Though I’ve completed my Masters degree in Banking and Finance, literature has always been my love interest. Yes, literature is my utopia. I’m a person who loves fiction and I would love not do anything except dwelling on fantasy forever.
As SimplyAmina is devoted to all things Bollywood, I managed to ask Sara: Who her favourite actor or actress is in Bollywood?  And why?
There are so many to choose from. Hrithik Roshan, Ranbir Kapoor and Fawad Khan (Since now he is counted as a Bollywood actor too). All of these actors have shown versatility as far as their acting skills are concerned. Plus, they’re extremely good looking. (We like her choice, do you?)  Among the Bollywood actresses, Kareena Kapoor Khan is my most favourite because she is simply love.  (Sara is a bundle of cuteness, don’t you think?!)
What are your interests outside of your writing career?
If not writing, I like to spend time with my family and friends or dwell myself into reading something interesting. 
Do you want to say anything specific to your readers?
This book is not constricted to any age group as it is intended for everyone. Even a sixty year old person can read it. I hope people focus more on the fact that this is my debut work and I’ve put in a lot of hard work and meticulous efforts to bring it out to the public. I wish people can relate to the characters in this book and love them as much as I do.
Links to Sara’s blog and other social media? (Below) Go follow Sara… Now!!!
Facebook page:
Twitter handle:
Personal blog:
If you loved reading this interview, make sure you comment below telling me what you thought. And subscribe to my blog because I make new blog-posts everyday!!! Oh… yes Sara Naveed is a friend for life and we wish her tonnes of success…. #authoroftheyear (We love you Sara)