Book Review: Fangirl

Hey everyone! Sorry for disappearing for a bit! We moved and stated new jobs and the last few week have been crazy! But, I’ve actually gotten quite a bit of reading done this month and am excited to post some reviews!

Today, even though it’s not a new book, I’d like to post about Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell! I was initially incredibly skeptical of this book, even though everyone liked it, because I’m not a huge fan of YA Contemporary. But, since the main character is in college, I gave it a shot and I am super glad that I did!

Cath is a super-fan of the Simon Snow series (think Harry Potter and its epic fandom). She and her sister spent much of their childhood diving deeper into obsession: writing fan-fic and participating in forums, dressing up for midnight leases, and theorizing constantly on characters and the new books, and distracting themselves from their challenges at home. Now, Cath is a hugely popular Simon Snow fan-fiction writer, a pastime that the two sisters formerly worked on together. While Cath’s sister Wren has grown out of the intense fandom as she got older, Cath is still just as obsessed. As the two sisters go off to college, this divide intensifies when Wren decides she doesn’t want to be roommates with her sister, and the two are faced with some serious obstacles to their relationship. Add boys,  new friends, parties, and classes to the mix and things get even more complicated. As Cath struggles to cope with all the new chaos around her, and still find time for her dedicated readers, she learns to find the delicate balance between growing up and letting go.

Cath’s social anxiety and desire to live inside the fantasy world of her favorite books have created are so relatable for me, and probably for many of us in the book blogging community! That feeling of finding comfort in the characters you love and the world you are dying to spend just a few more pages in is palpable. And Cath’s anxiety is really expertly rendered. She feels nervous and awkward and prefers not to go out, but sometimes she does. Even though she is afraid, sometimes she is able to stand up for herself or take a chance. She feels like a real person, not just a textbook representation of anxiety. The book is a nice reminder too not to give up on the things you love, but find a way to make them work with the other things you love. Growing up doesn’t have to mean throwing away your childhood, as Rowell shows us.

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