When we went to Florida in March, I took Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park with me. I devoured it on the plane, finishing it beside the pool in Orlando. I could not wait for my other Rainbow Rowell hold, Fangirl, to come into the library, and the moment I got my hands on it, I stopped reading everything else and dove in.
Rainbow Rowell is one of my new favorite authors. She has a gift for pulling into being these compelling, complicated characters that feel like they are breathing right next to you on your couch.
Fangirl is about a girl, Cath, who is obsessed with a book series, Simon Snow. Her and her twin sister, Wren, have always been in it together, and have been writing fanfiction for years. They are off to college now, though, and Wren is pulling away, distancing herself from the fangirls that they used to be, and Cath is left to figure things out more and more on her own. In the process, she learns a lot about herself, manages to make some new friends, and find a boyfriend, too.
I don’t know exactly what it was about Fangirl that spoke to me. Perhaps it is that I, too, am a fangirl about a lot of things. I even used to dabble in writing fanfiction (though none of it was ever any good). Perhaps it is that I identified very strongly with her first-year-of-college experience, and that I am so attached to my own experience of it, revisiting it in my mind more often than is probably healthy. Perhaps it is that Cath is a bit strange, and I have been working harder lately to embrace my own strangeness, to let my freak flag fly, you might say.
There are a lot of things to love about this book. There were a few times when the romance thing got a little bit off the rails with the gooeyness, but at the same time, I remember those feelings. I remember what it felt like when Bryan and I first got together, and it was a lot like that. So I can’t fault the book for that, since that is just an accurate depiction of how young love feels.
Anyway, if you are looking for a great book with great characters and a fun plot, this is my pick! Go check it (and Eleanor & Park, though a slightly less “fun” read) out of your local library today.