Rainbow RowellCather and Wren (get it?) were inseparable, well they were, then they went to college. Then Wren cut her hair and started parting while Cath(er) was left to figure out social protocol. Things like finding the cafeteria intimidate her and she finds it easier to stay locked up in her dorm, and inside her own head, with nothing but the fanfiction she writes for company. College is a time for new experiences though, and when she starts to make friends with Reagan and her ex boyfriend Levi things finally start to look up. Now it's up to Cath to have the courage to be brave and jump head on into life if she ever wants a chance at being happy.
Fangirl should be required reading for first year college students. Admittedly I was never as bad as Cath but I definitely remember the anxious about little things like the dorm cafeteria and new classes. That really is what is so great about Fangirl. It deals with real feelings and so rarely get seen in media. Introverts get the short straw when it comes to represenation. They're awkward or strange or just erriley quiet. Here we get to see inside Cath's head, and let me tell you Rainbow Rowell gives the reader a full, fleshed out character.
Characters are actually Rowell's strong suit. She understands them. Even secondary characters feel real. No one is one dimensional. It would have been easy to make Levi perfect or Reagan harsh but they're just shades of those things. Even Wren, who we don't see much in the first two thirds of the book, could be seen as just a party girl but Cath (and Rowell) makes sure we know she is so much more.
All in all I don't have anything bad to say about Fangirl. I finished it and was immediately sad because I'll never get to read it for the first time again. I actually thought about rereading it right then and there. When I read Eleanor and Park I thought Rainbow Rowell was good, but maybe over hyped. Now I can honestly say that I'm part of that hype wagon.
Oh, did I mention the fan fiction? Yeah. Cath writes fan fiction for Simon Snow series. That's where the fangirling comes from. She loves Simon like I love Harry Potter (actually Cath wins that fight hands down). But these snipets of Fic and real series intersect the chapters, and they're each brilliant!
It's not often that I can't organize my thoughts about a book. As you hopefully know I like to give real reason for why I liked, or in cases, didn't like a novel. This review was a struggle for me because all I could think of was the warm fuzzy feeling I got when I read it. That might say more than all my other paragraphs combined.