Recent Reads, 2/40: Fangirl


Late last night, I finished book 2 of 2014. I realize I have this tendency to finish books right before bed and then I can’t sleep because I decompress from the ways things ended and, even if I am content with it, I toss around all the emotions and the fact that I have to say goodbye to the characters and it’s all very tragic and complicated and I don’t sleep.

Book #2 was Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (a Christmas present from my sister…books are the BEST gifts, in my opinion). This is her 3rd novel, and I’ve read and enjoyed all 3. This is a good thing.
If you are not sure whether you should introduce Rainbow Rowell into your life, read this interview.
Seriously, she has Spotify playlists for her characters and books. That is just…yes.

Fangirl tells the story of Cath, who is just starting college with her twin sister, Wren. The only problem is, Wren is ready to let loose and insisted on them having separate roommates (in separate dorm halls, nonetheless). Cath just wants things to stay the way they always have been. Her and Wren as tight as always, taking care of their father, and working on fanfiction for their favorite book series, Simon Snow. Of course, things are bound to change.
As Cath tries to navigate collegiate life while dealing with the distance Wren has put between them, a coarse and cool roommate, a boy named Levi who never stops smiling and is always around, a fiction-writing class that becomes too much for her, the need to please thousands of fans who read her fic, Carry On, Simon, and her manic-depressive father. Much of her first semester is a storm of stress that comes with the new situation. Some thrive off of change, but Cath is not one of those people. Still, she eventually allows herself to open up to those around her while staying true to herself and her fandom, and it’s then that she can finally come to terms with the various challenges in her life.

As always, there’s so much more to the story, but I hate spoilers and it’s hard to write a good synopsis.

I really enjoyed this book. Rowell writes these simple yet magical stories about figuring yourself out, young love, real life family issues…I suppose it’s because those moments really are both extraordinary and ordinary at the same time.
She knows how to get deep and then make light of things, and isn’t that what we all do?
Fall apart and then try and pick those pieces back up as best we can?

I also applaud Rowell’s use of third-person narrative. I’m used to reading in a first-person perspective, really getting into the brain and heart of the protagonist. In fact, the third-person of Perfect Fifths bothered me after the journal-esque and super personal first and second person storytelling of the previous books. There was a slight disconnect.
Rainbow Rowell does it right. I never felt like I didn’t get to know the characters. I was aware of Cath’s feelings throughout, because it was still focused on her life. Rowell’s writing is admirable.
Also, when I looked her up on Amazon, I saw she has a 4th book coming out this year.
She’s turning out to be mighty prolific.

If you’d like to check out my review of her novel Eleanor & Park, click here!

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