Sunday, 31 August 2014

Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell

4.5 stars

Rainbow Rowell first made me wibble with Eleanor and Park. Fangirl has just proved that wasn't a fluke.

A fan of the Harry Potter-like Simon Snow, Cath is just starting out at college. Anxious and insecure, she's away from the father she's taken care of since her mother left and her identical twin, Wren, has decided she doesn't want to room with her. Left with an intimidating roommate, Reagan, whose easygoing boyfriend Levi is always in their room even when Reagan's not, Cath isn't getting to spend as much time as she'd like on her fanfiction (the fans of which do not include her Fiction Writing professor, who thinks it's for bottom-feeders).

And so Cath is slowly drawn out of the comfortable worlds, both real and imaginary, that she ordinarily inhabits.

At first my stratospheric expectations following Eleanor and Park worked unfairly against this, and I was all set to find Cath irritating (especially early on whenever exhibiting any of the traits I have in common with her) but by the time the wonderful Reagan (who I have a total girlcrush on, by the way) had decided to be Cath's new best friend I was won over (and then totally pushed off into the wibbles by the time Levi started yelling at her stories).

It's rare that I find books with romances at their centres so engrossing, but something about the way Rowell writes about falling in love for the first time hits me in my squishy place Every. Damn. Time.

I'm going to make sure I have some on back-up for whenever I need to sigh wistfully for a while.

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