Thursday, September 19, 2013

Review: Fangirl

FangirlTitle: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Romance

Why I Read It: This one has had some really good reviews, and seeing as I too am starting university (I'm in Canada, so we call it university here, but from what I've gathered, it is very similar to what colleges are in America). Also, the premise of this one makes me think of Tumbr. (they're actually doing it for a book club there...)

A Quick Intro.: Cath lives for her fandom (Simon Snow, which is this universe's Harry Potter). She reads the books, watches the movies, has all of the memorabilia and writes fanfiction. She's always been withdrawn, and does everything with her twin sister, Wren. Until Wren decides that she doesn't want to share a room with Cath when they go to college, and Cath is thrust into a completely new situation without anyone to hold her hand.

What I Thought: Having just been through the first couple weeks of post-secondary education (what else should I call it? I sound like a guidance councilor) myself, I can relate to being in a pretty new, foreign situation. I'm lucky enough to be rooming with a friend of mine, and not too far from home, so I don't have the total culture shock that Cath goes through. While I'm a big fan of a lot of things, I've never really been one for fanfiction, but I could connect to trying to explain or avoid explaining a fandom you are part of to people (has anyone tried to summarize a book, only to realise that you sound crazy?) even if I've never been that far into a fandom. So those were two aspects I could connect to. The anxiety that Cath felt hasn't been too much of a problem for me so far, but I've had my moments.

I really enjoyed this book. Realistic fiction has never been my prefered genre, but this one was a fun read. It had moments of seriousness (Cath's family situation, her stress about writing her own work in her own world, her fear she might have inherited their dad's mania). She's just trying to find her way, and she's really not sure she can do it.

Cath's room mate, Reagan was great. She terrified Cath in the beginning, and eventually ends up taking Cath under her wing. She's a very energetic, alive character- she's older, she seems comfortable in her own skin, which is part of why she intimidates Cath. The love interest, Levi, was a pretty decent guy. He seems like a person- someone with character quirks and flaws, and he genuinely seems to care about Cath.

This is definitely my favourite realistic fiction this year so far. It has a lot of elements that I think a lot of readers will identify with. We all feel a little lost sometimes. Goodness knows we all feel awkward. So this was a sometimes fun, sometimes serious, quite connectable read.

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