January 3, 2014
Fangirl, a book review
published in 2013
a chocolate covered 5/ 5 stars
Goodreads / Amazon / Rowell's Website
Fangirl is everything. It's everything that's good about chick-lit, it's everything that's good about YA. It's so honest and genuine that sometimes I wonder if it's actually written, or whether it's just the previously recorded words and dialogues of an 18 year old girl living her life. I guess it's kind of a both. This book is like the voice of a college freshman, rendered into a fresh prose that makes it so delectable to read. (If this book was a food it'd be chocolate to the power of chocolate).
Meet Cath. She loves Simon Snow, the book series that has taken the literature world by storm. As teens, she and her twin sister Wren read and wrote Snow fan-fiction, mainly as a hobby, but also to keep themselves grounded, after their mother left when they were little. But now with college looming around the corner, Wren has taken a more independent approach on life, and has mostly grown away from Snow fandom, and has told Cath that she doesn't want to be roommates. Cath has never felt this alone, and her sulky roommate (who happens to have the world's most positive boyfriend) doesn't help the mix. Oh and her fiction-writing professor doesn't approve of fan-fiction. Cath is now facing the biggest hurdle of her life, but also a door of great opportunities... And as she acts on both of them, Cath will discover that to live, sometimes you got to step out of your comfort zone.
Fangirl is honestly the best book I have read in a long time. Everything in this book just felt right, it felt like it belonged. All the elements were so balanced, from the quirky friendships, the blossoming romance (sigh), the AWESOME fan fiction, and the family situations. It's a coming of age novel that really enraptures you, and after a while it doesn't even feel like you're reading. It feels like you're living the story, it feels like you're being.
Cath was great. She wasn't one of those open books, in fact, quite the opposite. Every chapter, you discovered a little more about her, and that just made the story that much sweeter. She wasn't a mysterious protagonist either, but there was always that desire to unlock more of her personality and her ways. But this book wasn't just a one-man show. Although the story revolved mostly around Cath (obviously), I thought the supporting characters brought a great amount of energy and purpose to the book. They helped deepen Cath's character, as well as create new story lines to keep the book fresh. And the relationships Cath had with them just felt so meaningful. Whether or not it actually worked out, every relationship brought a unique element to the book, and together, it helped shape Cath's story.
Now, let us take a paragraph (or two, or three...) to acknowledge Rowell's prose. It's demure, yet powerful... Simple, yet so vivid. It's the style of writing you never get tired of, and can't enough of. It makes the story feel so vast. Like if Rowell were to write about a pencil, you wouldn't just be imagining the pencil. You would be imagining the table it was sitting on, the room that it resided in. Her writing makes you see beyond the person/ object of focus, and gives you freedom to roam around the world she has created. It's beyond brilliant, honestly.
If you feel like reading a book right now, read Fangirl. If you feel like doing something, read Fangirl. Read and reread it and you will discover (if you haven't yet) what a good book can truly offer to you.