My Rating: 5+++ of 5 stars
I loved this story to infinity and beyond…
My favorite types of books are the ones that speak to you; directly to the reader. The ones that resonate so deeply within your psyche that you feel as though you’re actually learning things about yourself in the process.
That is exactly what I experienced while reading Fangirl. If you were to judge by the cover and blurb alone, you may think this story is nothing but a quirky, fun read about an interesting girl addicted to writing fanfic. But I persuade you to take a peek inside, because it’s really so much more…
There is nothing over-the-top about this plot; no heavy drama infiltrating these pages. This story thrives in its delicate simplicity—and offers power through its unique relatibility.
Whether you find yourself in the insecure girl who’s afraid of life; the happy-go-lucky guy always ready with a smile; the self-centered sister; the deceitful friend; the emotionally disabled dad; the outspoken, honest roommate; the talented but uncertain writer; the intellectual or the one who falls short; the life of the party or the one hiding in the shadows—there are bits and pieces of everyone scattered throughout this story; representing all the highs and lows that make us exactly who we are.
Cath is an introvert whose discomfort with social settings leaves her dwelling in the backdrop of real life. She has become at ease hiding within her fanfic stories: a world that holds her captive and lives on through her writings. Her insecurities equally broke and warmed my heart. I loved the way fan-fiction was explored and dissected; really presenting a good feel of its value.
“Sometimes writing is running downhill, your fingers jerking behind you on the keyboard the way your legs do when they can’t keep up with gravity.”
Levi is the lovable guy who lights up a room with kind words and a perpetual smile. His character was genuine and honest, and won me over instantly. He is the first person Cath meets as she reluctantly moves into her dorm to begin her first year of college, and his charm became contagious.
The relationship between Cath and Levi was gentle and slow building. Levi initially gave off subtle and sweet hints of his interest, and I liked that you didn’t see this relationship forming from a mile away. It was more about their solid bond than a steamy connection, and was a refreshingly honest portrayal of a young relationship.
And here’s where the story skyrockets to that unreachable 6th star: The writing. It was genius. Clever and unique and so entirely captivating that heaps of drama weren’t present OR needed. It was fluid and natural, allowing every situation to become relatable. The dialogue was witty and funny, with an effortless feel. There were pockets of insight that were never in your face, but hidden…waiting for the right moment to present itself, and I LOVED IT.
“And sometimes you held somebody’s hand just to prove that you were still alive, and that another human being was there to testify to that fact.”
Although this story seems like a fun read—and it certainly was—there was a distinct and subtle coating of sadness. Nothing major, or heartbreaking—just the raw honesty of life creeping up to sideswipe you. Broken families; feelings of not being good enough, smart enough, pretty enough–it all became so emotional and life-like.
Fangirl definitely breaks the mold and doesn’t display the standard rise and fall outline. It was steady…with random bumps in the road; like life. No dramatic peaks or disastrous downhill plummets for emphasis. It was easy. And that was the beauty of it. And then it just ended. No climactic finale or highly distinctive finish. There was a certain amount of closure, but the story felt like it was still moving even after the last page was swiped. As if it continues…just like Cath’s fanfic.
And I hope it does.
▪ Genre/Category: YA/NA Romance
▪ Steam Caliber: Mild/clean
▪ Romance: Slow burn. Friendship first. Drama-free.
▪ Characters: Relatable and distinctive.
▪ Plot: Centers on a college introvert who writes fanfic coming out of her shell.
▪ Writing: Witty, fluid, unique, gripping.
▪ POV: 3rd Person Perspective
▪ Cliffhanger: None/Standalone