FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell
I don’t normally pick up a YA contemporary book. Most especially when I have a lot of unread fantasy novels lying around. But, I’m glad I took a shot with Rainbow Rowell. It was, as Chandler would say, “Nice shooting!”
What It’s About – Twins Cather and Wren (geddit? Cather Wren? Catherine? How fudging clever is that?!) start their freshman year in college. Cather is dreading it because the fear of being separated with her twin – even if she is only a dorm building away – terrifies her. She soon acclimates to college, mostly with the help of her room mate Reagan – who displays tough love on her – and her ex- boyfriend from High School Levi.
Cather is your cookie cutter indoor kid. She likes to stay indoors and would not leave the safety of her room even if she’s really hungry. The friends that she has exists on the internet where she writes fan fictions of a Harry Potter-esque like book by a fictional author.
The book revolves around Cather’s struggle with college life. Her relationship with her twin and the rest of her family; her loopy father and her estranged mother, her relationship with her room mate, her feelings for her room mates ex boyfriend and her struggles to remain the same in a place where she is constantly being forced to change.
What I Think About It – I loved it. I would absolutely re-read this book sometime in the future. Maybe it’s because I read an epub version, but I didn’t appreciate the fanfiction or the sections that we’re taken from the fictional book. No matter, because I didn’t dwell too much on that.
Most people who recommends this book would say, “If you like Harry Potter then you would like this book”, which could be misleading to a HP fan who is looking for some magical elements in the book. There are, but nothing written like Harry Potter. But you do get the idea that Cather loves fantasy. So you don’t necessarily like the book because it has an HP feel to it, you love it because the character is real, like Cather could even be you.
There are many parts of the book that I really like, or would even say gushed over. Most of it involves Levi, who is the perfect first college boyfriend and I love Reagan’s tough love, “I don’t care about you attitude”. Without giving away too much, there is this section of Chapter 28, where Cather is confronting her estranged mother, where she says, “I’m making it about me. It’s not my job to want you or not want you. It’s not my job to earn you.” That line is so powerful it’s Sundance Film Festival worthy.
There is nothing else to say about the book other than I really really liked it. And it made me feel something I have not felt about a book in a long time. I thought at first that the ending was kind of anti-climactic and I almost felt betrayed that was how the ending went. But then I realized that the book wasn’t leading me to a grandiose ending. Then I think it was perfect.
Read This Book When – When you’re starting out in college! You’ve finished with all of Stephanie Perkins’ books. If you want a feel good no lovey dovey read. Read this because of Levi, who is the sweetest guy ever. And of course for Reagan, because well, she’s my favorite character from this book.