Thursday, August 8, 2013

Up and Coming: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

It's almost too good to believe that we have another book from Rainbow Rowell after the fantastic Eleanor & Park which only came out THIS MARCH! But it's true. If you haven't read that yet, stop what you're doing and go read all of our posts from Eleanor & Park Week on the blog! There's even an interview with the author who is fast becoming one of our favorites here on TATAL.

But, most of you have already read E&P, right? Okay, good, then let's continue with the Fangirl review:

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Release Date: September 10, 2013

Cath and her sister Wren have always been close. Not just because they are twins, but because they are friends. Friends with the same likes and obsessions, just like any other friends you'd come across. It makes sense to Cath that she and Wren would room together when they go to college. But, Wren had other ideas. Now Cath has a stranger's name on a piece of paper while her sister has been on Target shopping dates with her new roommate picking out matching comforters.

On campus, Cath is alone and anonymous. She doesn't want to bother her roommate or be one of the freshmen who are so obvious in their desperate search for a new friend, so it's pretty miserable. But online, Cath is far from a nobody. She's one of the most popular writers in the Simon Snow fandom. Fans all over the world are rabidly awaiting her chapters. But being the queen of fan fiction isn't helping her find a place on campus.

How can her twin sister be having such an easy time of it when Cath can't even figure out if her roommate hates her or not. Also why is Regan's overly friendly boyfriend always in their room, being charming, is this another college thing she's going to have to get used to? Everyone says that college is the best time of your life, but what if Cath just can't figure it out?

There are a lot of things that I love about Rainbow Rowell's writing. Her world building is just as deep as any science fiction writer's. Not only does she create a college campus where you can feel your flip flops sticking to the bathroom tiles, but she also creates the world of Simon Snow. That's an entirely different fictional world of wizards and magic that Cath uses as a jumping off point for her fan fiction. It's wonderful. She also creates characters who are flawed and who legitimately grow and change over the course of the book. There's a part in the book where Levi, Regan's ever present shadow, says that college years are like dog years. He's not kidding. In college a person learns so much about themselves and the larger world around them in such a short time and Fangirl totally reflects what it's like to be hit by the tidal wave of new all at once.

Some books hit you right in the heart and this one was definitely one of those for me. My mother called me after reading it to say how much it reminded her of visiting me at college. But although I'd like to say that my college experience could have been written by Rowell, I think my mother is probably just recognizing how perfectly the author has captured the feeling of freshman year. Fangirl, feels true enough that you might want to expect a call from your mother.

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