Spoiler Alert – Proceed at your own risk.
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Release Date: September 10th, 2013
Published by: St. Martin’s Press
The Hook: Eleanor & Park was awesome! And so was Attachments.
Okay, the fact that I haven’t reviewed this book yet is appalling. I read this last September and really enjoyed it, but it seems I never got around to actually reviewing it. Of course, when you only have time to read between classes and you are trying to binge read to reach your reading goals, reviews tend to get missed. Which is really sad. Which I should be doing a better job. Which is why I’m reviewing this one now.
I decided to give Fangirl a shot because I love Eleanor & Park (and can you believe that I didn’t review that one either! I am not worthy) and I love Attachments (which I did review >> here. Thank goodness I reviewed at least one of her books prior to this one. She really is a good author). Since I enjoyed two out of the two books I read I decided to see if this one was just as good. And it was. I also couldn’t pass up a story about a gal who wrote fan fiction (which I talk about in this week’s Table Talk and the reason I realized I haven’t reviewed these wonderful books!).
Isn’t that such a good scene?
Summary: This story is all about Cath. Cath has found herself facing college by herself, left stranded by her twin sister, Wren, who wanted some independency from the whole twin thing. This throws Cath for a loop. She expected to room with her sister, which didn’t happen because Wren wanted a different roommate and she even ended up in a different building on campus. Cath is the more reserved, more serious on of the duo while Wren is the outgoing and popular one and that’s a problem for Cath because she is now has a stranger for a roommate, who seems to have a different guy each week except for this one guy who doesn’t seem to leave. To help her cope, she focuses on her fan fiction. She’s a legend in the Simon Snow fandom and fans of her own. This all changes when her roommate actually asks her a question: “Do you have an eating disorder?”
Verdict: What can I say? I love Rainbow Rowell’s style. There is just something about it. It reads well. It flows well. It just works. I like that she writes in sections. Something like mini scenes within a chapter that helps break down the story which makes it easier to process. I also like that the story isn’t one continuous block. I’m not sure if I’m explaining this right, but in some stories chapters are this huge block of text, somewhat dense as the story unfolds. One scene flows into another with no pause or break until the next chapter or when there is a change in scenery or when there is a switch in perspective in the narrative. Rainbow Rowell doesn’t do this. Scenes are short and to the point. I think she writes her scenes the way we think instead of writing it like you’re reading. Does that make sense?
“She liked to sit next to him and watch all that good come out of his hand. Watch the jokes spill out in real time. Watch the words click together.”
“But she wanted to be alone, just for second. Wanted to process the fact that these killings dated back to the year of her parents’ death. They had started then. Her father and mother had been first.”
Do you see the difference? The second quote is from Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare. I tried to pick almost similar thoughts and concepts. Both characters are thinking, but Rowell’s writing reads shorter and much simpler.
And before you bite my head off, every writer has their own voice and I love Dark Artifices. I am merely trying to point at the different styles. Okay?
There has been argument that nothing happens in Fangirl, that there really isn’t any real conflict therefore no really plot or story. I can see their point. The story just follows Cath and her challenges as she goes through her first year of college. There are ups and there are downs, but nothing dramatic happens. However, I like the conflict and challenges of this story, and there are challenges that Cath has to overcome. They just aren’t as dramatic like a fake boy friend or a passionate love. It shows how Cath overcomes the challenge of stepping out of her comfort zone. She doesn’t have her twin to lean on anymore. Well, not lean on, but she doesn’t have a twin to take the spotlight while she hides in the shadows. She has to fend for herself and I like that.
I love the characters. Aside from Cath, I really love Reagan and absolutely love Levi. They are good for Cath and they end up being their for her when no one else wanted to. And Cath really didn’t have a choice. They didn’t give her one. They just was there.
I haven’t added this book to my library, yet–because I will add it. That’s only because I’ve been buying so much other books! I know, I know.
If you love it that much you would have added it already.
I haven’t bought it simply because I don’t have enough money to buy all the books I love and I am focusing more on the book series I have invested in, three or four books invested in. Fangirl is a stand alone (which I love! No painful cliffhangers!). I have thumbed through all my favorite parts at least twenty times the first time I borrowed it from the library. And I recently borrowed it again so I could thumb through the story, again. So, my library card is saving me from going broke and I just have to deal with that for now.
So, I definitely recommend this book. It’s a good read for teens and older, though adults may find this book lacking. And it may very well be if you forget the fact that it falls in the Young Adult genre. And I definitely recommend it for anyone who loves Rainbow Rowell’s other books. You won’t be disappointed.