23 January 2014

Fangirl (Rainbow Rowell)

Look, if you pay attention to YA at all, you've heard of Fangirl, probably in the context of that Kermit-arms gif that was the most articulate thing I could summon about Megan Abbott. And it is, indeed, all that and a bag of kale chips (hmm, I haven't had kale chips in ages, I should make Chris get some): read-it-in-one-day-and-oh-look-at-the-time involving, sweet and funny and fun and wise.

(And yes, totally affirming of my ridiculous hobby.)

Cath is starting her freshman year at a Nebraska university, and for the first time in her life, she doesn't have her outgoing twin, Wren, to rely on--her sister didn't want to be roommates, so Cath is stuck with Reagan, who is brusque and confident and absolutely terrifying. Even worse, she's stuck with Levi, Reagan maybe-boyfriend, who hangs out in their room constantly, won't stop talking...and is really, seriously cute. All Cath wants is to be left alone to keep up her real life in the Simon Snow fandom--she's a massively popular writer of fic set in this Harry Potter-esque world, chronicling the romance between Simon and his nemesis/roommate Baz, and she's trying her darnedest to finish her version of the series' denouement before the last book comes out in spring. Meanwhile, she worries about her bipolar dad, unsure whether he can get by without his daughters taking care of him--and as the year wears on, she worries about Wren, who's partying a bit too hard for comfort.

Cath's story is interspersed with excerpts from the Simon Snow books and her own fic, and Rowell does a killer job showing the development of Cath's voice, as well as building a whole fantasy world in these few paragraphs that makes you desperately wish the series was real. There's a lot going on here (sometimes a bit too much, actually) about growing up, detaching and connecting, what it means to be a writer and what it should mean. I'm totally in love with Cath and Levi and Reagan especially (I think she both reminds me of myself and who I really want to be), and the ease of Rowell's writing, which can delineate feeling in a few strokes. Definitely worth staying up too late to finish.

My only real complaint? Coulda used more slash. ;)

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