Throwback Thursday: Rainbow Rowell

Throwback Thursday: Rainbow Rowell

*Contributed by Kayla King, Blog Manager & Staff Reviewer*

 

Nostalgia is a fickle friend, finding us when we least expect it. Such a thing happened recently when I returned to New Hampshire for my friends' graduation. I got to thinking about all of the trips back and forth between my home and my mountains. And in doing so, I tried to remember how I'd returned from my first residency. It was back in January 2014 when the snow storm, "Hercules," left many of my peers stranded in Manchester, major highways closed, planes grounded. I took the bus for the first time for five hours to Vermont, and it was freezing, and a long journey, but I had Eleanor and Park. 

 

 

Thinking about this brought back all of my memoies of Rainbow Rowell's books, and I realized, every time I read one of her books, I'd listened to the audiobook first. That bus trip with Park and Eleanor and The Smiths and Watchmen was my introduction to the world of audiobooks. And let's be real, I was completely spoiled by the beauty of this book: both the writing and narration. The nostalgia of this moment and all it encompassesed flooded through me on my trip back home some two and a half years later, and I missed that first read, that first audiobook; the first time Rainbow Rowell broke my heart. 

 

Now there are certain authors who offer different things with their books, and I often reread them to find those things again. In many (if not all) of Rainbow Rowell's books, you will be sure to find charcaters who feel real: flawed and weird and perfect in their imperfections. And these characters will break your heart with their authenticity. 

 

Eleanor and Park is the book that made my sister a reader, so I feel a debt to this book, and a connection because of the storm and the bus ride and graduate school. And when some months later I queued up Fangirl for my long car ride to Myrtle Beach, I fell in love once again. Spoiled by the same voice who reads for Eleanor, I fell in love with Cath. Rebecca Lowman (who also narrates Landline) has a softness that sort of breaks you when she reads Rainbow's words. It makes you pay attention to them. 

 

As a fangirl myself, and Potterhead, I adored Cath and the other characters within Fangirl. I remembered feeling shy and anxious in my first year of college, rereading Harry Potter to feel better, just as Cath uses Simon Snow (yes, I know I need to finish Carry On) in the same way. And for this I will always feel nostalgic. 

 

  

 

The final Rainbow Rowell book I listened to was Landline. Though this is not technically YA, there are moments from the characters' past, which show Georgie and Neal in their youth, and it's just as real and adorable as her YA books. I feel a strongest kinship and nostalgic ache for this novel in part because it was my most recent read, in part because this novel played at some of my own current fears in life. Once again, I listened to Rebecca Lowman narrate this stunning book. This time, however, I had to purchase the book and immediately reread it because the words were just too beautiful, and I wanted to keep them. 

 

 

With heartbreak, love, friendship, life, and a touch of magical realism, Landline still has me thinking. And some days, it is critically, most, nostalgically. Rainbow Rowell has a way of taking even the smallest moments: sharing comics and secrets, reading a book together, long chats on old phones, etc. and she makes them feel like everything. And maybe this is what I still love, what I find myself looking for in other books, and in life; an attention to the small moments in life that pass us by, the perfect minutes we look back and remember because they are fleeting and shouldn't exist. 

 

And for this, I will always be grateful for Rainbow Rowell and her novels. 

And for this, I will think back longingly to the first listens, the second reads; the characters and stories still so real in my mind.

Five Books to Read If You Love...Independence Day:...
Featured Review: And I Darken by Kiersten White

Related Posts

 

Comments

Already Registered? Login Here
No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Butterfly Yellow
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Ibi Zoboi, and Erika...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The definitive collection of art, poetry, and prose, celebrating fat...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seventh-grader Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Still reeling from her recent battle (and grounded until she...
Cog
Cog
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Cog looks like a normal twelve-year-old boy. But his name...
Homerooms and Hall Passes
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the mystical realm of Bríandalör, every day the brave...
Susan B. Anthony: The Making of America #4
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the fourth installment in the Making of America series,...
Hazel's Theory of Evolution
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hazel knows a lot about the world. That’s because when...
Sublime Karma
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
When Brie’s stepfather moves the family for what he...
Goddess Ascending
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Promised to the Light. Hunted by the Dark. Two...
Crown of Coral and Pearl
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and...
#Murderfunding (#MurderTrending, #2)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
WELCOME TO WHO WANTS TO BE A PAINIAC?, the...
Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Harry Black is lost between the world of war...
Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Kazi and Jase have survived, stronger and more in...
The Lady Rogue
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Last Magician meets A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and...
A Very Pikmi Halloween (Pikmi Pops)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Pikmi Pops(TM) are the latest collectible craze! Join these cute...

Latest Member Reviews

Butterfly Yellow
 
3.3
"BUTTERFLY YELLOW is a heartfelt and engrossing historical fiction. H?ng is in the US, searching for her younger brother. After..."
 
5.0
"3 Reasons You Need THE OTHER F WORD on your shelves: 1.) The list of contributors: The range of..."
 
5.0
"Tristan Strong isn't doing too well. He lost his best friend, Eddie, in a bus accident, lost a boxing match,..."
 
5.0
"*This review contains spoilers for book one, A BLADE SO BLACK* A DREAM SO DARK, sequel to A BLADE..."
Cog
Cog
 
4.0
"Cog looks like an ordinary twelve year old boy, but he is an advanced android that the scientists at uniMind..."
Hazel's Theory of Evolution
 
4.0
"Hazel lives on a farm with her two mothers and her older brother Rowan. They have a heard of goats..."
Homerooms and Hall Passes
 
5.0
"Albiorix is a young Medieval wizard from the mystical realm of Bríandalör who is Hall Master for the role playing..."
Susan B. Anthony: The Making of America #4
 
4.0
"Why we still need biographies of first wave feminists: "A married woman taking her husband's name reflected that under legal..."
The Lady Rogue
 
5.0
"THE LADY ROGUE is an absolutely thrilling historical fiction/fantasy. In the vein of THE MUMMY but in Romania and with..."
The Burning Shadow (Origin Series, #2)
 
3.7
"What worked: I'm a huge fan of the Lux series and LOVE Daemon. The relationship between Daemon and Kat is..."
The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away
 
3.0
"THE OWLS HAVE COME TO TAKE US AWAY is a middle grade sci-fi/horror (though not too scary) that follows a..."
A Very Pikmi Halloween (Pikmi Pops)
 
4.0
"Celebrate Halloween with the Pikmi Pops in this cute story about friendship. Wubbs the Bat and Vampy the Bat are..."
Apocalypse Taco
 
4.0
"APOCALYPSE TACO is a horror graphic novel that follows two middle school aged boys, Axl and Ivan. Axl and Ivan..."
Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black
 
3.3
"VOYAGES IN THE UNDERWORLD OF ORPHEUS BLACK is a story about brotherhood, war, and the power of art. Harry is..."
Awesome Achievers in Technology: Super and Strange Facts about 12 Almost Famous History Makers
 
4.3
"AWESOME ACHIEVERS IN TECHNOLOGY is an approachable middle grade non-fiction book about people behind every day inventions that you may..."
Firebrand: The Initiation of Natali Presano (Firebrand, #1)
 
5.0
"This comic book is an interesting print form of a webtoon series that captures season 1. Natali Presano was born..."
Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue
 
4.0
"Kitty wants to be a superhero like her mom, but she's afraid to go out in the dark. Her mom..."
Kindergarten Big Skills Workbook: Sorting for Stem
 
5.0
"'Sorting for STEM Big Skills Workbook' deals with core concepts. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are the focus in this..."
Math Practice; Extra Big Skills Workbook
 
5.0
"'Math Practice Extra Big Skills Workbook' has a large variety of fun activities to help students build their math knowledge...."
Kindergarten Skills Workbook: Handwriting
 
5.0
"'Handwriting Skills Workbook' does a great job of informing students and parents alike about the importance of focusing on how..."