“Look at you. You’ve got your sh*t together, you’re not scared of anything. I’m afraid of everything. And I’m crazy. Like maybe you think I’m a little crazy, but I only ever let people see the tip of my crazy iceberg. Underneath this veneer of slightly crazy and socially inept, I’m a complete disaster.” – Cath Avery (“Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell)
As only my second NA (that’s New-Adult fiction) book, I was excited to dive in and get reading immediately. As much as possible, I want to make the most of my young years, where I’m still considered as part of the Youth Fiction Target Market (YA/NA).
And turns out, “Fangirl” was unlike anything I’ve read. I mean it in a good way.
Here’s a short synopsis:
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?
Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
I underestimated this book a lot in the start. Let’s get real: the cover looks a lot cheesy- like those usual chick-lit books I wouldn’t normally pick up. Based on reading the synopsis, I was worried the book would be “trying-too-hard” hard as well. It doesn’t always work when “grownup” writers write realistic young characters- especially at today’s time when technology is fast-changing. It would be hard to pull it off especially when your Target Readers are very quick-to-react (thank you, internet) when something seems unrealistic. This is especially a brutal thing for fandoms. But turns out, my assumptions were wrong: the author wrote the main character, Cath, to perfection. She was very very real, and I saw a lot of people (myself included) in her. Yep, so real that I felt I was visiting a real Tumblr person’s blog every time she voiced her opinion on things.
The book now belongs on my top list because it was well-written and it connected to me in so many ways. Tumblr commoners will probably be able to relate a lot too. I love how Rainbow Rowell created a loveable, geeky socially awkward protagonist (Cath, you’re awesome!). That’s very uncommon in the world of NA fiction and I do wish, with a cherry on top, that authors write more characters like this. It’s the 21st century- we need more quirky, introverted protagonists. I also love how even if Cath’s character developed in many ways towards the end, she still remained very true to herself. That is something I stand up for: not being afraid to be who you are.
Thank you, Rainbow Rowell for writing this book!
The Feel of the Book: Like reading someone’s Tumblr blog; Harry Potter (the Simon Snow parts)
How I would sum it up with adjectives: Realistic. Relatable. WELL-WRITTEN. Different.
Read this if: Anyone who devotes themselves to a fandom
My Personal thoughts: I didn’t expect to, but I enjoyed this book immensely! I am now looking into Rainbow Rowell’s other works.
Would I read it again: YES.