Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl is the second book by Rainbow Rowell I’ve read this year. Every time I sell another copy of her first YA novel Eleanor & Park my first Rainbow Rowell , I get so excited because I loved it so much. When I finished it I made special shelf talkers for it (and I have to make three of them!!) and knew for sure it would be in my top five for the year. That’s how much I loved it.

Then I found out there would be a second Rainbow Rowell book this year and it was like finding out there would be a second Christmas or Birthday with all the good parts–lots of presents–and none of the bad –not turning older. But would it really be as good as promised or would a second Christmas just end up being a complete disappointment?

I’m happy to report that second Christmas was the BEST EVER and I might have TWO Rainbow Rowell books in my top five this year.

Fangirl is about Cath and her twin Wren and Simon Snow. Cath’s future may not be perfect and is actually a little scary but with her sister Wren by her side she thinks she can pull it off. Cath and Wren are heading off as roommates for their first year of college together, Cath’s fan fiction of Simon Snow has tons of fans and should be finished before the final volume in the Simon Snow series is released and she has a steady boyfriend, even though he’s heading off to a different college. Then Wren (who in my opinion, was a bitch for most of the book) drops the bomb that she doesn’t want to be roommates with Cath next year and throws Cath’s whole world upside down.

I could so relate to Cath-she is shy, quiet, sure everyone is looking at her and watching every move she makes. She’s so afraid of doing something wrong she doesn’t do anything.

“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 supossed to sit? Where do you go when you’re done, why is everyone watching you?…Bah.”

I understand how she feels and how at times it feels easier and safer to to nothing and say nothing because then you won’t make a fool of yourself. I know how it feels to be obsessed with a series of books and characters like she is with Simon Snow. When I was a teen I loved Madeline L’Engle and so wished my family was more like the Murray’s or that I could be a Murray or Austin or O’Keefe. I read and re-read these books and would quote parts to people who couldn’t have cared less. I was a weird booky girl.

Cath is lucky because her roommate Reagan takes pity on her and practically forces her out of their dorm room. With her boyfriend Levi they help Cath break out of her shell, even though she’s still socially awkward.

There’s lots more I could say about this book but part of the joy is saying just enough to tease and give in to that feeling of anticipation. When I finished I wished it was already published and not months off so I could start recommending and handselling it.
Being a bookseller is great!!

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