Ever since I graduated from high school, the rate at which I read books has drastically decreased. I used to read about a book a day, now it’s about a book a month. I just can’t get interested in anything. I can’t relate to YA books with sixteen year old protagonists worried about dances and whatnot anymore. I just can’t. Not right now. But at the same time, I can’t relate to thirty-something protagonists either. There just doesn’t seem to be a happy medium.
That is, until I found Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. So, here’s the breakdown.
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Length: 433 pages
Time I Spent Reading: 3 days
This book drew me in. I loved Cath, the protagonist. A lot of her characteristics are ones I identify with, such as preferring the company of an empty dorm to that of a party, her geekiness, and her tendency to take things in, to soak them up. She’s even an English major. By no means do I feel like Cath and I are one, but I liked her and related to her, and that’s enough for me.
Now Cath is quite the writer. In fact, it was while I was working my way through this story that I realized I am kind of afraid of writing. That’s not a problem for Cath. She writes fanfiction and has thousands of followers. She’s taking this fiction writing class and on the first day, the professor asks why they write fiction. Cath doesn’t answer verbally, but internally. She says that she writes to disappear. (page 23 if you’re interested). This is pretty much the reason I read. To step out of my own reality for a while and live in someone elses. To experience things that I either won’t or haven’t. To lose myself for a few hours. Anyways, that scene made me realize that I should start writing, so I did.
Other than that little revelation, this book had a lot to offer. There were some wonderful moments between Cath and her love interest. It was sweet. Actually, any of Cath’s social interactions were a delight to progress through, even the painful ones. I just really enjoyed her dialogue, both external and internal. And really, relationships make up a huge section of almost any story, because without other characters, not a lot is going to happen. It would just be one person fighting against either the forces of nature or the forces of his or her own mind. (Which could be interesting now that I think about it…)
The ending is not exactly what I was expecting. I enjoyed it, but it’s the kind of ending where you stop and think “Wait, is that really the last page?” It felt like there should be more, but without really needing more to be said. I was simultaneously irritated because I wanted a bit more closure but also thrilled because it leaves so much for me to explore on my own in the expanses of my mind.
I could spend a lot of time dissecting this book-exploring it deeper, but I won’t. This isn’t one of my literature classes and there is just no need to.
Happy Reading, and Until Next Time,
*One last thing. There needs to be more books that take place during college. They are surprisingly difficult to find.