Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Fangirl is an amazing YA novel about what it is to be me.
No wait, that doesn’t seem quite right. It’s an amazing YA novel about what it’s like to be young and nerdy and part of a world that is super stressful and complicated. And what it means to be in love. And to be betrayed. And to have friends. And family. And pretty much everything else about life.
Cath moves away to college because her twin sister Wren wants to go (but not to be roommates). She’d rather stay at home and write slash fiction about her favourite fantasy novel series, Simon Snow. But like any good coming of age novel, she grows as a person and as a writer over her first year of school. And it all makes a really great story.
I found it amazingly true to my life. It’s going to be really hard to talk about it without giving away the end (which I can’t do because everyone needs to go out and read this book right now) but I’ll do my best. Which is going to be a list, in this case.
It was awesome because:
1) It captured a lot of my experience of being a teenager – confused, lost, stressed out, afraid to try new things, aware of my own inadequacies and not understanding why no one else seemed to feel that way and like I didn’t know what to expect from the adults around me.
2) Being nerdy. I loved how carefully it touched on issues about shame (closet nerding) but also the amazing camaraderie you feel when you find someone else who shares your nerdy passions. That was fantastic.
3) Life is hard and confusing and change makes you want to cling to what you know. Cath went through that. So did I.
4) Such a beautiful job of the ecstasy and anxiety of falling in love.
5) An eerily relatable experience with betrayal and hurt, but also how hard it is to carry that with you for a long time and that sometimes it’s just easier to let go of it, even if you shouldn’t.
6) So much of my experience with weird, outside the comfort zone friend making and how hard but ultimately rewarding it is.
7) Family and how they hurt you. And also love you. But sometimes don’t. And still come through for you. Cath family is real and the effects they have on each other are too. Which is nice to know.
Besides real and moving descriptions of all these things the book touches on mental health, substances, absent parents, religion and the art of writing. That’s a lot of epicness.
Last movie I watched: Winter’s Bone. Before that, Lord of the Rings. What can I say? Some things always make good reruns.
Last TV episode I watched: NEWSROOM. Before that, Angel. Again with the excellent reruns. I forgot how much I liked season two.