Thursday, September 15, 2016

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I remembered reading on goodreads that a few of my friends read this book and enjoyed it. I tucked it in the back of my mind and immediately reached for it when I perused by my neighborhood's library.

Fangirl definitely brought me back to that time where even though I didn't write fanfic per say, I definitely dabbled in the same sort of "using the universe in which the author wrote the books" in the form of online forum role playing.

Though I didn't have the same trouble as Cath did adjusting to her new surroundings, role play "fanfic" was definitely a security blanket for me. It was a place where I went with my friends that I also met by role playing (and now are all, and will forever be my deeply close friends) and we were able to write stories with characters that we created within the confines of the universe of Harry Potter.

It opens up to a character named Cath, who is starting college with her twin sister, Wren. It's revealed that Wren wants to room with other people, which doesn't settle with Cath, who relies on her sister for most things. Cath has anxiety and depression issues, and does not do well with change (and really, who doesn't?). She has a roommate who is older and intimidates Cath and in the beginning, it seems like she is utterly alone. She hates it.

During her year at school, she juggles her writing, classes, her relationship with her sister and her father, along with the new territory of boys. Cath has a boyfriend at the start of the school year, but Wren dutifully tells her that he's more like a piece of furniture than an actual boyfriend and soon he fades into the background.

Throughout the year, Cath is peeled like an onion and her worldview is challenged, ultimately with good results. When I was reading the book, and immediately after, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Now, after getting some space from the book, I realized that though there are many, many good parts of the book, I love the character of Cath, I was rooting for Cath and Reagan's friendship, Cath and her sister's relationship and even Cath and Levi's relationship, the actual story doesn't really have a satisfactory conclusion, at least for me. It sort of drops off after Cath tells Nick to go kick rocks (after he basically steals her part of their story), and Cath goes to sit down and write her final story for her creative writing class. You're meant to draw conclusions and ponder how she finishes her fanfiction, and how she finishes her final paper, but I was disappointed that she got this great grade after hammering it out in 10 hours.

I don't know about you, but my schooling never worked out that way. I was never able to turn out a paper in a day and submit it without even proof reading it. My teachers knew and called me out on it every time.

I was also incredibly disinterested in the Simon Snow fan fiction. I found myself just skipping over all the interludes. I will not be reading the Simon Snow book she wrote as a complementary book to Fangirl.

So overall, it was a good read, if you don't read too closely, and enjoy the ride. Otherwise, the plot just falls through and you are left with more questions than answers... but then again, isn't that what growing up is all about?

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