Back in mid-April, I was perusing books similar to The Fault in Our Stars on Goodreads, when I came across Rainbow Rowell. Intrigued by her name, the ever-growing fanbase for Eleanor and Park, and an approval from my favorite author John Green, I knew I had to check out all of her books. Not too long after this research, I did just that. I went to the library, picked them all up one after the other, and wound up finishing them all a week shy of Rowell’s new novel Landline hitting the shelves.
Aside from Eleanor and Park, which I disliked, I enjoyed this binge-reading experience. It was something I’ve never done in such a short time span before and it was interesting to see what all the fuss around Rowell was about. Though I overall enjoyed Rowell as a writer, Fangirl was the only book of hers to really grab me and reel me in. I finished Rowell’s second young adult book and her third book overall a few weeks ago and I have not shut up about it since. It was definitely the first time in a long time where a book just hit me in all the right places.
For those of you who haven’t gotten the chance to pick up the book, Fangirl is about a teenage girl named Cather, who is just about to start her freshman year of college. Cath is an introvert who spends a lot of her time writing fan fiction on a Harry Potter-esque character named Simon Snow. In the book, she starts college and meets Levi, who wounds up turning her world upside down. After a relationship buds between the two, Cath begins to come out of her shell.
The reason why I loved reading this book so much was because I really connected to Cath. Just like her, I was an introverted young adult, just trying to find my way in the world, while writing about it incessantly. I too wrote many fan fiction stories online so reading about Cath really brought me back to those days. I also loved how Levi was so supportive of Cath’s fan fiction, so much so that he practically begged her to read it to him. I felt so embarrassed to showcase my fic to anyone in my teenage years so Levi’s enthusiasm gives me hope that the future teenagers of America will eventually be more accepting of the literary genre.
When I see comments like “Rainbow Rowell really knows what it’s like to be a teen,” I want to hold up Fangirl and shout “This! This is why!” This novel is the quintessential coming of age story, perfect for any reader young or old. I’m so glad I discovered Rowell and I’m proud that she is out there connecting with today’s young adults.
Landline is now available in online bookstores everywhere. Check out our recent review of the book here.