A few weeks ago when I was browsing through new releases online, one caught my eye, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. The book’s description alone made me run to my bookstore the next day and pick it up because I was that college freshman with Harry Potter posters on her dorm room wall (looks around sheepishly). Yes I admit, I was (and still am) in many ways a fangirl. The concept seemed interesting and the novel was written by an author I had never heard of before- I had to get it and I am very glad that I did.
Cather (Cath) Avery is going through a lot of firsts. It is her first semester at college, first time away from home, and the first time that her twin sister Wren has decided that she would like to have a life of her own. Cath is very weary of new people and situations, instead preferring to be lost in the fantasy world of Simon Snow (cough cough Harry Potter) while her sister, likes to go to parties and meet new people. Cath attempts to avoid new situations by sitting in her room and writing her wildly popular fan fiction, Carry On, Simon. Her cranky roommate Reagan and Reagan’s unbelievably nice boyfriend Levi, notice that Cath is missing out on the college experience and encourage her be more involved in the world around her.
One thing I loved about Fangirl was the way Rainbow Rowell developed her characters. They were realistic and seemed like people I would have met during my college years. They weren’t the stereotypical characters that have become so prevalent in young adult and new adult literature. Each of Rowell’s characters have depth and their own unique stories, quirks, and flaws. I found myself becoming emotionally invested in them. Cather (Cath) Avery, the main character, is funny, quirky, yet also lonely and lost without the constant companionship of her twin sister. Reagan is sarcastic yet undertakes an endearing big sister role with her roommate. Levi, is just full of smiles and moments that will make the reader grin and laugh out loud.
Fangirl is a unique coming of age story that sucked me in and kept me reading for hours, making me ignore the fact that I needed to sleep, almost forget that I had to get ready for work, and generally made me neglect my household responsibilities for a couple of days. I couldn’t stop reading and couldn’t help but feel like Rowell was writing about me during my freshman year of college. This novel was heartwarming, funny, and refreshing.
I highly recommend Fangirl to teens as well as college students and adults. So many people will be able to find something in Cath (or one of her off-beat friends) that they can relate to. It left me wondering how on Earth I hadn’t heard of Rainbow Rowell before and you can bet I will be running back to the bookstore this week to pick up her other two novels!
I am a huge fan of Fangirl! 5/5 stars.