If you don’t already know, I am participating in #Rereadathon and #NAAugust this month and the perfect book for each of these is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. This is not the first time I have reread Fangirl, nor will it be the last. When I first started really thinking about New Adult, it occurred to me that Fangirl is actually NA.
If you haven’t read Fangirl yet, than why not? Go on. Go read it. I’ll wait…. Have you read it? Yes? Fantastic! So, as you now know, because you’ve read it, Fangirl is from the POV of Cath, an eighteen-year-old college freshman struggling to work out where she fits in in her first year of college. She no longer shares a room with her twin sister, Wren, and their relationship becomes strained, so finds herself sharing a room with a surly person called Reagan, who really does start to grow on you and really it is a story of facing fears and finding yourself.
What I love about this book is the characters and how relatable it is. The characters are varied and I find Cath so relatable.
…didn’t feel up to braving the dining hall; she still didn’t know where it was, or how it worked….
In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can’t google.) Like, where does the line start? What food can you take? Where are you supposed to stand, then where are you supposed to sit? Where do you go when you’re done, why is everyone watching you?… Bah.
Has anyone ever had thoughts similar to these? I have. Anxiousness about new situations. I read this and thought YES! it is the more mundane–usually thought to be the simplest things–that can be the trickiest. I’m a big Cath fan.
‘I feel sorry for you, and I’m going to be your friend.’
‘I don’t want to be your friend,’ Cath said as sternly as she could. ‘I like that we’re not friends.’
‘Me, too,’ Reagan said. ‘I’m sorry you ruined it by being so pathetic.’
There is more to this quote and I loved reading this whole conversation because it made me laugh. Reagan may seem mean, and well, she is, a little, but that’s just Reagan. She’s bold, says what she thinks and is a loyal friend. She really does grow on you. Reagan and Cath are good for each other, I think.
There is romance but it’s not EVERYTHING the book is about. It just happens to be a part of Caths’ story. It’s slow burn which is wonderful to see and Levi is just incredible. Everyone needs a Levi in their life, whether as a friend or romantic partner, everyone needs a Levi. He brightens everything.
There is such an authenticity to Fangirl. It’s realistic and again relatable. For example, I don’t have a twin, but Rowell’s portrayal of twins seemed so real. I could completely understand Cath’s concerns and insecurities. It can be difficult with any sibling but with identical twins…to look just alike and wonder if someone would like your twin better… I’m not sure I’m explaining this very well…
‘It’d be different if you’d grown up with us, or if you’d met us both at the same time—‘
‘What would be different?’
Cath shrugged and scraped at the omelette with a wooden spatula.
‘Then I would know that you had enough information to choose me.’
‘We sound the same. We kind of talk the same. We have all the same gestures.’
‘True,’ he said, nodding, holding her chin up, ‘but it’s almost like that makes your differences more dramatic.’
‘But it’s not you. You don’t push through every moment. You pay attention. You take everything in. I like that about you–I like that better.’
Cath closed her eyes and felt tears catch on her cheeks.
‘I like your glasses,’ he said. ‘I like your Simon Snow T-shirts. I like that you don’t smile at everyone, because then, when you smile at me…Cather.’ He kissed her mouth. ‘Look at me.’
‘I choose you over everyone.’
Hope that explained what I was trying to say better.
I enjoyed seeing Cath’s writing journey and her discovering that, yes, she can write something other than fanfiction–there’s nothing wrong with fanfiction, but I think Cath was hiding in it. (Cath writes very popular fanfiction about Simon Snow, which is kind of like ‘Harry Potter’.)
Fangirl also deals with mental health issues and I found that this time this resonated with me even more. Fangirl is such a beautiful and realistic portrayal and will always hold a special place in my heart. (Oh, man, I’ve become all emotional.)
Who has read this beauty? Did anyone else not originally think of it as NA? Go check out #NAAugust on Twitter.