Author: Rainbow Rowell
Upon entering college, it seems everything in Cath’s life is changing. Her twin sister and built-in best friend, Wren, has decided not to room with her (a first in a lifetime for them) and is busy with friends and partying–so much so that she hardly seems herself. Cath’s own roommate, Reagan, is brusque and difficult to deal with; fortunately she’s not around that much. Worse, Reagan’s smooth and overly-nice boyfriend(?) Levi seems to be around the room more that Reagan is, parking in the hall outside to wait for Reagan and generally making Cath feel super uncomfortable. While being as super-nice as possible. Not to mention the social awkwardness of dining halls, the challenges of new classes, worrying over her manic dad, etc. Fortunately, Cath always has the world of fanfiction to escape to–a world where she is actually a well-respected and much-followed writer. Now if she can only meet the real world with the same ease that she does the written one.
Rainbow Rowell’s books seem to be taking the realm of young adult literature by storm, and having read Fangirl, I can understand why. The story deals with a huge variety of complex issues facing young adults today in an authentic manner that is also very fun to read. The emotions, the thoughts, the characters, and the situations all feel very real. I can relate to Cath easily. And neither the struggles nor the resolutions feel forced; nor is there a clean resolution to everything, which is nice as a reminder that in real life issues aren’t always just wrapped up that easily. There are a lot of relationships dealt with here–good family relationships, broken family relationships, users-who-parade-as-comrades, friendships, romance–and I appreciated Rowell’s treatment of all of them. I also really enjoyed the inclusion of fanfiction–both as an idea and as written clips included in the book. I feel like it fleshed out the characters, showed facets of their relationships that would have otherwise been hidden, and was just generally fun to read. I would read Magicath. Basically, Fangirl is a solid all-around young adult novel with a slightly geeky (okay, probably more than slightly) that I would highly recommend reading.