Sometimes the book you’re reading in English class just doesn’t cut it. Sometimes you need a book to make you feel all the feels, to make you laugh and cry and everything in between. That book is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I don’t know how she does it, but Rainbow Rowell knows exactly how to connect to her audience. In some ways, Cath, the protagonist, sounds exactly like me. Consuming words more than speaking them, burying problems rather than confronting them. One thing she does that I don’t, however, is writing fan fiction. Think of your favorite book series or TV show. Think about how much you love it. Let me tell you, Cath’s love for Simon Snow probably overshadows that. In fact, a good amount of Fangirl is Cath’s fan fiction and another part is the “actual” Simon Snow. Woah. Rainbow Rowell writes a story about a girl who writes stories based on another (nonexistent) book that Rainbow Rowell wrote under the name Gemma T. Leslie. Crazy, right?
Fangirl is a coming-of-age story about Cath’s growing independence and acceptance of love throughout her first year of college. Her twin sister, Wren, has an entirely different experience and seems to be growing up, which also means growing apart from Cath. Meanwhile, Cath struggles to make friends but meet various people, her cynical roommate, Reagan, the always present Levi, and her writing partner, Nick. She also wrestles with her family issues and can’t bring herself to forgive her mother for abandoning her family. Basically, if you can’t relate to Cath, I can guarantee that you will connect with at least one of the characters in this book. There is such a variety of personalities and interests that the plot never gets boring.
Here are a few tips before you start reading Fangirl, which I really hope you do.
It’s certainly very cutesy. And some people don’t like that sort of thing. However, the story itself is more than cute. Don’t get me wrong - it certainly has its adorable moments. But you will end up getting much more than that.
2. Pay attention to the chapter dividers.
As I said before, there are excerpts from Simon Snow and Cath’s fan fiction. There’s also the occasional tidbit that provides a little more background about Simon Snow. No matter what it is, it’s in the same font. Sometimes you’ll get confused between the fan fiction and the “actual” Simon Snow. I know I did, so don't rush through them. Also, I know what you’re thinking and please don’t skip them. They give so much more insight into Cath as a character and help build the story. Your reading experience will be very different if you don’t read them.
3. Embrace your emotions!
There’s a lot that goes on in this book. Sometimes you want to cheer someone on and other times. you want to give someone a little kick because of their behavior. It’s okay. It’s normal. Enjoy it. Be a fangirl--or boy.
Are you a part of any fandoms?
Rainbow Rowell is known for creating very relatable characters. If you’ve read any of her books, who do you feel you relate to the most?