Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Oh. My. Gosh. FANGIRL was the best book I've read in a long, long time. That is saying a lot considering I tend to be a bigger fan of scary thrillers ... and FANGIRL was a contemporary coming of age story.
The writing was excellent. (I even looked past the over use of those three little dots ... because the story totally sucked me in.)
The only thing I did not like about this story (and in the end, I couldn't ding a single star for it because the greatness outweighed this one detail): the book is peppered with the F-word, a lot. Most of it is in the first half of the book. And I found it more jarring in this story, because it reads like a young adult book.
However, this is NOT a YA book.
The main character, Cath, is attending her first year of college with her twin sister, but her sister wants to cut all ties and go her own way. Cath has a hard time finding her way at first and has a hard time finding the words to connect with the people around her, which is ironic because she can easily find the words to write a profuse amount of fan fiction for her favorite young magician series. Hmm. Yes, the author does a great job of nesting Cath's fan fiction within the story about Cath. Then when Cath turns in a piece of her fan fiction for her fiction writing class, her professor tells her it's plagiarism. Ruh. Roh. Then to make matters worse, her writing partner from the same class claims some of her writing as his own. Cath doubts her ability to ever become a writer, and she doubts her ability to ever be able to be her own person. But it not even just about her sister ditching her, or her settling into college life, or making new friends, it's also about her father's struggle with mental stability and her mother's abandonment and boyfriends and roommates and first loves ... sigh ... SUCH A GREAT BOOK. I didn't want it to end. I kept checking to see how many pages were left, and I tried to read slower to make it last longer, but at the same time I had to read faster to find out how it would end.
Granted, I would have loved a few more pages, a few more details, a few more closures, but I still enjoyed the ending.
My typical notes about sex, violence, and language: Even though this book is about college life, and parties were represented, there were no sex scenes. Some of the fan fiction sections have minor violence and a budding romance between two boys, but nothing significant happens within the writing. Other than the F-word, this is a very "clean" story.
This is the first book I've read by Rainbow Rowell, and I can hardly wait to read the rest of her books.
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