I finally read my first Rainbow Rowell book! I know, I know, it took me forever. Especially since I’ve owned both Eleanor & Park and Fangirl for months. Probably close to a year. It’s been a while. And they’ve just been sitting on my shelves, looking pretty. But about a week ago, I was in the mood for a nice, light contemporary young adult book, so I picked up Fangirl. And, just in case you’re one of the very few people who has yet to read Fangirl, here is the synopsis:
Cath is thrown for a loop when her twin sister, Wren, informs her that they won’t be rooming together at college. Now, Cath has to live with a complete stranger. Which doesn’t stop her from not making friends. But Cath doesn’t need friends, she has Simon Snow. While Wren, and Cath’s roommate Reagan, are out partying, Cath spends her days (and nights) sitting in her dorm room, writing her Simon Snow fan fiction. Which thousands of people read every day. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have problems. Her roommate’s boyfriend is always hanging around, even when she isn’t there. She can’t help but worry about her dad, who is alone for the first time and slightly off his rocker. There is the fiction writing professor who thinks fan fiction is plagiarism (and Cath can’t seem to write anything else). The cute classmate who only wants to talk about words. And the sister who is using her newfound freedom to party a little too hard. Cath has to overcome the pressure of school and life, stop worrying about her family, and find herself.
Underneath this veneer of slightly crazy and mildly socially retarded, I’m a complete disaster.
Fangirl is exactly what I wanted it to be: a cute young adult romance with even cute characters. I really enjoyed the fact that Cath was a writer. It made me really want to write fan fiction (which I have never tried, and after sitting at a computer for an hour, decided that I probably won’t be able to do, which is fine). I identified with Cath for so many reasons: she’s a writer, an introvert, a homebody, a worrier, the responsible sister who always has to deal with the crap of the irresponsible sister, obsessed with a Harry Potter-like story, and not fully aware of her own worth. I kind of loved her. Really, I enjoyed all of the characters in this book; Levi is great (where can I get one, please?), Wren is realistic, Cath’s dad is crazy but fun, and Reagan is kind of badass.
I also really liked Rowell’s writing. It was cute and fun without being overly cheesy or flowery. The only complaints I had about this book were that the Simon Snow parts kind of interrupted the flow – I liked the story, but I didn’t particularly like it inserted the way it was in the story (though, to be fair, I can’t think of a better way to have done it) – and it was a bit too long. It was a quick read for me – I read it in about two days – but I found myself wishing some of the parts had gotten cut. I also didn’t care for Nick, Cath’s writing partner, so I didn’t really enjoy the parts he was in. But, overall, great book! I can’t believe it took me this long to read it!
I’m not sure I’ll be reading Carry On – which is a real book that’s also the full Simon Snow fanfic Cath writes in Fangirl – but I will definitely be reading more Rowell books in the future. If you’re a fan: let me know which I should read next! I own Eleanor & Park, but am definitely intrigued by Landline and Attachments, too.