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Rainbow Rowell
Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World
Christina Lauren, Lev Grossman, Tiffany Reisz, Rachel Caine, Jen Zern, Heidi Tandy, Rukmini Pande, Samira Nadkarni, Wendy C. Fries, Jolie Fontenot, Randi Flanagan, Tish Beaty, Cyndy Aleo, V. Arrow, Brad Bell, Andrew Shaffer, Darren Wershler, Anne Jamison, Jules Wilkinson, R
This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness - Laura Munson This wasn't the story I thought it would be - or the one I hoped for, to be honest. I haven't exactly been in Laura Munson's shoes, but about thirteen years ago, mine were a very similar style and size. I have to admit that that even now, I was looking to find some validation from shoes that had walked in the same direction.

However, Laura and I are very different people, and she was probably a lot better prepared to face a marriage crisis than I was. She was a more forceful personality (and probably still is). She was much more able to see that what was happening really wasn't about her, and more effective at managing and deflecting the blame both she and her husband directed at her. Despite those strengths, it wasn't all sunshine and unicorns, of course - but unless you've been through something similar and can bring that perspective, I'm not sure the book itself will give you a strong sense of emotionally difficult it most likely was. However, it did seem to be, as the book's subtitle says, "a season of unlikely happiness." My own period of separation from my first husband had its elements of that too, along with the moments of confusion and lack of clarity.

Munson claims to be honest in telling her story, and while a non-witness can't know that for certain, her writing certainly felt honest to me - journal-like in places, with a very conversational tone and frequent use of humor. However, I have to be honest myself; I didn't end up finding her story as compelling as I'd hoped to, and I felt that was in part due to the way it was told. There's a lot of therapy-speak here; most of it's relevant, but it can become grating for me after a while. I found Laura's frequent references to her privileged background both relevant and grating as well. Munson has been a working writer for years, but this is her first published book, and without the notoriety of her New York Times essay, I have to wonder if it would have sold so readily.

This one falls solidly into the "I wanted to like it more than I did" category, but as someone who's been through a variation on Laura Munson's story herself, I may have brought some unwarranted expectations to my reading of it. Having said that, the book is definitely a discussion starter, and I do think it could be helpful, hopeful and inspiring if the reader's in the right frame of mine for it. And I don't think it hurts to be reminded sometimes that life isn't always the story we think it is, either.