Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
6 stars! No, 10 stars!
“I don’t trust anybody. Not anybody. And the more that I care about someone, the more sure I am they’re going to get tired of me and take off.”
You know when you find a book that just clicks with every part of you? That one special book that feels like coming home? That’s what Fangirl is to me. A second home between a bunch of pages. I first read this book when it came out and I adored it. But as time went by I found myself sneaking short little rereads of my favorite scenes; reading them between books and reading them when I was supposed to be reading something else. I even have three copies. Three. An ebook, the original hardcover, and now the B&N Special Edition. Honestly, with this full reread, Fangirl is up there among my all time favorite books. And it’s up there with Harry Potter.
^^^Fan art on the inside cover of the special edition. I love it!
For some reason, Cather and her character really resonate with me. She’s extremely relatable to me. No I’m not a twin. No I don’t write/read fanfiction (except for that phase when I was 13 with the Buffy fanfiction but let’s not go there). I don’t have an absentee mother. And I don’t live in the midwest. But much of what Cather feels throughout this book is what I have felt many times before. That lost feeling when you start college with no friends. Navigating a new world like swimming for the first time without floaties.
“In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can’t Google.)”
I’m getting ahead of myself. If you are not familiar with the plot this book is about college freshman Cather who starts at her school basically being ditched by her twin sister Wren who is going through some kind of identity crisis. Left with no friends, Cath writes Simon Snow fanfiction. Which is kind of like this world’s Harry Potter. With Harry and Malfoy (Simon and Baz) as gay lovers (in Cath’s stories anyway). Cath’s roommate is incredibly intimidating and always brings around her guy friend Levi, the nicest guy you’ll ever meet.
“Real life was something happening in her peripheral vision.”
I love practically everything about this book. The humor and the wit in the dialogue are just spot on.
“I feel sorry for you, and I’m going to be your friend.”
“I don’t want to be your friend,” Cath said as sternly as she could. “I like that we’re not friends.”
“Me, too. I’m sorry you ruined it by being so pathetic.”
“Are you on drugs?”
“Maybe you should be.…”
But there’s also a great balance of seriousness in the book as well. Cather’s struggles with writing things other than fanfiction. Her father and his mental breakdowns. Rainbow Rowell did an absolutely perfect job blending the humor and the real together.
Now to the big one. Levi.
Whenever I think of Levi, I think of this:
Friends, I NEVER thought after all of my alpha male romance reads that I would fall head over heels for the NICE guy. Seriously, Levi is one of the best book boyfriends out there in the verse. He’s unique; he loves all people, smiles all the time, lanky, positive attitude and more. I just wish Rowell would stop referencing his receding hairline. It does not make for a great mental picture lol.
“I really like you. Like, really like you. And I want that kiss to have been the start of something. Not the end.”
I love that there is no over the top drama or mind melting angst in this book. Just a wonderful, captivating story with characters so real you wish they really were real just so you could meet them. Rainbow Rowell is just absolutely astounding as a writer. I love her writing style and her voice. It honestly is what makes this book so so special.
“Just… isn’t giving up allowed sometimes? Isn’t it okay to say, ‘This really hurts, so I’m going to stop trying’?”
“It sets a dangerous precedent.”
“For avoiding pain?”
“For avoiding life.”
Hopefully I haven’t overhyped this book for anyone out there. I can only hope that my review convinced you to read this, and that you connect with it just as much as I did.