Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
The first book I read of Rainbow Rowell’s was Eleanor & Park (review can be found here) and I loved it, loved it, loved it. So many times whilst I have been waiting for the train I have perused the bookshelves of WHSmith’s (other book shops available) and so many times I picked up Fangirl, read the blurb, stroked the cover, smelt the pages (do not judge me) and put it back, until one day I just bought it.
This year I was fortunate enough to get a week’s holiday in Cornwall (which is probably one of the most beautiful places in the UK) and I decided to read Fangirl whilst there, on the beach and just see how much I could relate to it. You see, you may not think it to look at me, and it’s not something that I tend to publicise but for once I am going to have the strength to admit that I am a FANGIRL. Not a fangirl that just buys the merch or never misses an episode/book/film but an actual fangirl that writes…you know…fanfiction! Yes, that’s me!
I post my stories under a pseudonym in a secret place away from prying eyes of the general public and by general public I mean family/friends/work colleagues. Writing fic gives me so much life, it helps me breathe and deal with the trickier aspects of my anxiety. Being able to escape into a world of much beloved characters and manipulate them to act out my stories, my thoughts, my ideas just makes me breathe in a way I can’t even describe. So I could REALLY relate to Cath and this book, like in ridiculous way. I gushed about it so much to poor Rainbow Rowell on twitter that I’m surprised she didn’t block me!
Anyway I digress, back to the book. Fangirl follows the story of twins Cath and Wren who are heading off to college, but Wren surprises Cath by saying she want’s do her own thing, something Cath can’t quite wrap her head around considering they’re usually pretty inseparable. Throw into the mix Cath’s worries about her father being alone, Cath’s anxieties about having to live with a stranger and the general day to day worries that going to college throws up and you have one hell of a story.
The moments in the book that really stuck out for me, were how easy and attached Cath felt to her writing (have I mentioned how easy I could relate) the moments where she felt hurt and conflicted by Wren’s behaviour and I just LOVED Levi (like seriously I think he’s the first literary fiction character in a LONG time that I have fallen in love) **SPOILER ALERT HERE** The way Rainbow Rowell wrote the first kiss between Cath and Levi made me melt into a puddle, it was just so…perfect and honest.
I did adore this book, truly. It highlighted the internal dialogue anxiety sufferers have, the things we do to avoid certain situations. It highlighted a love and respect for fanfiction which, I feel, tends to get laughed at and criticised by most people, which is another reason I could relate to Cath being reluctant to be open about writing it. The relationships were sincere and believable and some of themes like parental abandonment were dealt with perfectly. Sometimes, just sometimes a book comes along that speaks to you on a whole new level, and for me, this was that book.
Thank Rainbow, I found my passion for fic writing came back after reading this.
Star Rating out of 5: 5
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