"Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather, and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know." - John Keats

"You're not allowed to say anything about books because they're books and books are, you know, God." - Nick Hornby

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Review #38: Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell

It's no secret that Rainbow Rowell is one of the darlings of the Cannonballer Read crew, and now I understand why. I haven't gotten around to reading Eleanor & Park or Attachments, but after reading Fangirl, which I stumbled across quite accidentally on NetGalley, I've bumped them up to the top of my Goodreads list.

Cath and Wren are twins, off to their first year of college. For Wren, it's an exciting time, a time to reinvent herself, find herself, experiment with freedom, be independent. For Cath, it's a struggle. Wren doesn't want to be joined at the hip any more, and Cath isn't sure what to do without her. She throws herself in to the only thing she knows she can do - writing fan fiction. As it turns out, Cath and Wren are the anonymous authors of a very successful fanfic series starring Simon Snow, who, from the snippets Rowell gives us, appears to be a Harry Potter-esque character with a little bit of vampire love thrown in for good measure. Wren has abandoned Simon, but Cath can't leave him, not until she finishes writing his story.

I felt a strange sort of kinship with Cath. She is a reader, to the point of distraction. To the point of tuning everything else out. To the point of not seeing anything in front of her but her books and her characters. Who among us hasn't said they would just read one more chapter, only to realize it's three in the morning, the dishes are undone, the laundry is piling up, and you're sobbing over the end of a novel? Only someone who truly loves to read can write a character like Cath, and I think that's what made me fall in love with Rowell a little bit, that realization that she loves to read just as much as I do.

The secondary characters in the novel are superb as well. I want to detail them all, but I don't want to give anything away. Just know that everyone should have friends like Reagan and every girl should have a Levi at least once in her life. And every reader should have Rainbow Rowell in their library.

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