Monday, May 26, 2014

Actually Adorkable:: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I'm up at my cottage for Memorial Weekend, which means lots of beach time and lots of beach reading! This is the second book I've finished this weekend, and I'm 133 pages into my third.

Starting her freshman year at the University of Nebraska could not be worse for Cath. Her twin sister, Wren, has deserted her for party girl roommate. Her father, still troubled after their mother left them years before, is taking the sudden loneliness hard. She can't connect with her roommate, who is constantly going out with different boys. The only thing that gives Cath joy is writing Simon Snow (basically Harry Potter) fanfiction. Her most recent fic has thousands upon thousands of readers and she has fans from around the world. That's all a girl needs in life, right?

I found this book while walking around the local B&N and I stopped to read it for twenty minutes and was hooked. So I went to the library the next day and checked it out. I got really into it quickly, as the story is so approachable. The voice is so true teens/college kids that it really jumps from the page. Perhaps in 5 years this story will feel dated, but now it feels so real. 

In some ways, Cath reminded me of myself when I was a college freshman- a little bit scared and awkward (who isn't), but a little bit judgmental too. In the way almost all college kids do, she finds a way to overcome this, which was relatable and reassuring. Her experience though has something relatable for everyone- whether you like fanfiction, farming, family drama, ect. There are so many points of entry into this story, so it has a broad appeal to readers. Rowell does a great job of giving Cath a well rounded life- she has a very fleshed out family, friend, and boy life. I like how the plot moved. Things seemed really bleak in the beginning, but things kept getting better for her throughout the book, with still keeping a sense of drama. I really liked Levi. I'm not one to fall for the "tall, dark, and handsome"stereotype that you find in most YA, so I loved him for being the opposite of that!

There were only a few things that I didn't like. The third person narration made me feel a little too distant from Cath. I think the story would have been much stronger in first person. It was hard to always tell if the narrator was using "style indirect" or was just a witty narrator. I also didn't always believe that Cath was 18 and in college. Most the time, she seemed mature, but other times she seemed vastly immature. There is a scene where she turns a piece of fanfiction into her Fiction Writing professor and is upset and angry when her prof calls her out for plagiarism. It seemed silly to me that a girl who got into an upper level Fiction Writing class as a freshman would consider that acceptable. 

I definitely recommend this book. It's a good balance of cute and heavy, and the sort of book that really makes you care about the characters.

Perfect If You Loved:: Just One Day (especially if you liked her college bits), fanfiction or being part of fandom in general
Rating (Out of 30):: 23

Have you read Fangirl? What did you think?

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