Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Let me preface this by saying that Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park is probably my favorite book right now. It woke me up to reading again and renewed my faith in writers to make me feel something deep and meaningful. So I had pretty high expectations when Fangirl was finally released.
That being said, I was a little disappointed in it at first. I read it steadily, but didn't devour it like I did E&P. I actually set it aside for a week while I read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry for my new Book Club and didn't even miss it. I didn't really identify with the characters at first. I'm not a twin. I didn't go to UNL (or any other university). And I wasn't frenzied over the cult of Harry Potter, which is similar to the Simon Snow books that Cath and her sister are into.
But the more I read, the more I wanted to. Once I got past the things that I couldn't identify with, the more I identified with Cath as a person. She's smart! And she's a writer! And she waits until she's written her piece before reading what anyone else has to say about it. I'm in a writing group where we all write about the same topic, but I always wait until I've written mine before reading anyone else's for fear of their words clouding my own. I really loved the scenes with Cath's writing professor and wish I had one of those in my back pocket!
I also loved Levi's character... he reminds me of Dane in a way. Easygoing, Ag major, perfect gentleman.
I always like the local references that Rainbow adds to her books, although the East Campus bars are pretty nonexistent as far as I know. I've made the trip from Lincoln to Omaha more times than I can remember, and the Sapp's Coffee Pot is a local landmark! The Hi-Way Diner used to be one of our haunts back in the day as well. It's also timely that the book came out around 9/11, since that plays a role in the storyline. My own 9/11 story has some similarities to Cath's, so it was satisfying to see part of my own experience in print.
All in all, 4 stars!
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