This month I read Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell. I picked it up at Costco, because I liked the cover:
Costco. Pretty Cover. Easy-peasy lemon squeezy, right?
Fangirl is about Cath, a college freshman whose world is out of whack. Her mother walked out on her family a long time ago (on September 11th - the September 11th), her twin sister Wren (Cath, Wren - get it?) wants space and declines to room together and takes up partying at the frat houses instead, her dad is living alone for this first time in years and struggling with depression. Cath is falling for her roommate Reagan's boyfriend Levi. And the fanfic Cath obsessively writes about Simon Snow (a Harry Potter-ish character/series), isn't cutting it as "original" in her Fiction Writing course.
Fangirl is heavy on dialogue. At times, it felt more like I was eavesdropping on the characters than reading about them. The pacing is slow and the book at times seemed to drag -- although this also made the book feel more real. There are also several long passages of Cath's fanfiction that frankly did not interest me.
But ultimately, I kept reading because of Rainbow Rowell's voice. She has a I-want-to-take-it-behind-the-bleachers-and-get-it-pregnant kind of voice. Fangirl is a story about voice, too. It is about writing and the many different reasons why we write. It is about leaving the comfort of the stories of our childhood and having the courage to write a story of our own. And it has some fun lines about writing, like this one:
“Cath felt like she was swimming in words. Drowning in them, sometimes.”
Or this one:
“Sometimes writing is running downhill, your fingers jerking behind you on the keyboard the way your legs do when they can’t quite keep up with gravity.”
In conclusion, once again Costco came through for me. It always does.