Ever since Eleanor & Park, I’ve been a total Rainbow Rowell fan! I can’t lie to you, I just love her writing so, so much. It makes me FEEL, which is something that I can’t say about a lot of good writers out there. Attachments followed soon after (review here) and now Fangirl. I will get my hands on Landline soon enough, but I just have to decide whether to buy it in hardback or in paperback, when it comes out. Oh, decisions, decisions, life is full of such dilemmas! XD
It was probably because I had already read two of her books when I started reading Fangirl, but I thought this one was a little lighter than those other two. Don’t get me wrong now, it’s a wonderful book, no doubt about it, and I read with such pleasure that you can’t even imagine! I just thought it lacked something, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I won’t bore you with the story, because it’s available online, so you can go check it out there. What I want to do is write a few words on the character development, on the plot and on the writing. Here we go!
First of all, let me just tell you that I loved Cath! Even though I don’t have any siblings, I felt exactly the same as her when I first left my town to go to college in another city. I felt all alone, even though I had friends near me, I felt uprooted, and I also felt like I didn’t belong anywhere at all. However, just like Cath, I slowly managed to fit it and I found out that life was incredibly complex and amazingly beautiful. Diversity is a wondrous thing and for some people, like Cath, it may take a while to get used to it. 🙂 Her evolution as a character was simply perfect, I could ask for nothing more. On the other hand, her sister, Wren, was SUCH a pain in the ass! Wren is more the outgoing type, she’s popular with the guys, she drinks and she parties. Nothing unusual so far for a college girl (or at least that was what I thought…). Their lives seem to drift apart, despite them being twins, and while Cath is pretty upset about, it is not that weird since their personalities are so different. However, the story becomes very interesting when their family troubles come into the picture. The plot becomes more complex and the reader becomes fully immersed in the story. We find out that the two girls, as well as their father, are still trying to get over the fact that their mother abandoned them, and that their father has some psychological disorder and he has moments when he slips into his own little world. This is nothing short of a family drama, which spices up the book and turns that “light” feeling that I was talking about at the beginning into something heavier, something more suitable for adult readers. Fangirl is definitely a bildungsroman, for both Cath and Wren, despite the very different manner in which they seem to “grow up”.
Apart from the “family” part, which was very complex and very well-written (the relationship between the girls and their father, and between the girls and their mother, was so… real, so unlike any “happy ending” books or movies that one may across, that I was completely baffled!), I also enjoyed reading the fan fiction parts: a Harry Potter-esque story about a young boy, Simon Snow, who is a wizard, and his adventures during his years at a wizardry school. However, R. R. gave an interesting twist to the fan fiction sections, as the “original” story was very H. P., but the fan fiction written by Cath and Wren was about the love story between Simon (a.k.a. H. P.) and his roommate, Baz (a.k.a. Draco Malfoy – hey, just guessin’ here 😀 ), something that is sure to attract any reader’s attention. I sure was intrigued by it, and I sure as hell loved it! I also noticed that each chapter was preceded by an excerpt from either the original Simon Snow story or the Simon & Baz fan fiction story, which sometimes seemed to give away what that particular chapter was about. If it was about love, then we’d also find love in the excerpt, if it was about courage, then we’d find the same in the excerpt, etc. A very cleverly written book, if you ask me.
Now, for the lovey dovey part, I must warn you that you’ll be disappointed. As much as I loved the parts about Cath and Wren, or about them and their parents, I didn’t feel the same appeal when it came to Cath and Levi. Sure, Levi seemed like a great guy, a wonderful guy, in fact, but I didn’t feel that spark between them. I know they’re “just” characters in a book, but come on, love is love no matter what. Immediately after I finished the book, I didn’t find anything strange about it because I was still in love with the whole story. But now, considering that some weeks have passed since then, I think that Cath & Levi weren’t all that on the whole. For example, I adooored Eleanor and Park as a couple, as well as the couple from Attachments, but this couple? Not that much. I appreciated immensely, nevertheless, how they come to be an item. It doesn’t happen overnight, like you find in most YA or NA books. No. It happens gradually, sweetly, almost tentatively. And I completely understood that, it was so life-like. But the actual lovey dovey scenes between them? Not sure if I still dig them as much as I did at that moment…
Unfortunately, I am aware that I must stop my ramblings before I write a whole tome on Fangirl, although I confess that this is what every Rainbow Rowell book does to me! It makes me talk and write about it as if I were a fountain of words. Over all, you must know that I loved Fangirl with every tiny bit of my soul, and that I intend on rereading it in 2015 because… feels. 😀 If I also manage to get Landline, I’ll be one happy bunny and my life will be complete. ⭐ I totally recommend Fangirl to all sap-lovers out there, to all optimists out there, as well as to all frowny adults who believe life holds no more secrets to them. It does. You just wait and see. Read it, read it, read it!
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