Let me say I love Rainbow Rowell. She is the spunky and mindful sort of writer that I hope to be. That being said, I don’t give recommendations on books because I adore the author. I give recommendations because I adore the story. This post originally came out on December 6, 2013.
St. Martin’s Press, 2013
(This is my first book recommendation since completing NaNoWriMo…YEAH! I CAN READ AGAIN!)
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is the kind of book I didn’t think I wanted to read. The first real paragraph on the inside jacket said it was a story about a pair of twins who got through their mother leaving them to live with their father by writing fanfiction. This didn’t just reach out to grab and shake me around saying READ ME!
Don’t get me wrong. I have absolutely nothing against fanfiction. I’ve even read a few stories online about the further happenings of Harry Potter. Plus I now know what else Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett have been up. Fanfiction is just a fun way to keep characters alive once the author finishes telling their story.
The reason I wasn’t sure I was interested in this book was because the girls’ mother left them. That’s sort of heavy. I don’t always want to tackle traumatic moments just before I fall asleep at night.
I am not too proud to admit that I was wrong on so many levels. The book did grab me and shake me around. Good and hard. It ended up yelling READ ME so loud I could hardly put it down. There was even one day at work that I barely got anything done because I kept sneaking breaks to read what was happening (It’s a good thing my husband and I have our own business).
Fangirl is told from the point of view of Cath, the introvert of the twin pairing with her sister Wren. After their mother left when they were eight, the two of them became engrossed in the fictitious world of Simon Snow. Now that they have graduated high school and are moving on to college, Wren wants to ditch that part of her life. Cath can’t. She is a highly successful fanfiction writer with followers hanging on her every word. This is her sanctuary; what she believes is her reason for being. It’s all she wants to do.
During her freshman year she learns a lot about herself. The cast of characters that support and trip her up along the way are charming, clever and work so hard to pull you into Cath’s story. It was these side players that kept me turning the pages to see what would ultimately happen with Cath, especially in the romance department (no spoilers).
Like so many others before me, I’m strongly recommending this book. I am glad I was able to listen to these suggestions instead of going with my gut instinct on this story. It was definitely worth my time.
You should also check out Rainbow Rowell’s website (rainbowrowell.com). It is also charming and clever…just like her characters.
On a side note, Rainbow Rowell first began this journey with Cath and friends during NaNoWriMo. That gave me such encouragement while I trudged away with my own NaNo novel. I had hope the whole month because something great really CAN be accomplished in just 30 days. Check out Rainbow Rowell’s NaNoWriMo Pep Talk. Maybe it will inspire you as well.