It’s now been several years since I graduated college, and have moved on to find my one true calling in life—librarianship. I honestly thought all that was done and settled. I’d never have to live or feel the college experience ever again.
And then I read Fangirl.
I was privileged to hear Rainbow Rowell speak at BEA in 2015 and let me tell you—she’s incredible. First of all, she was so funny and seemed so nice and, in the spirit of Cath and Levi and not being weird at all, she has AMAZING hair. To summarize: I really wished I could be her friend.
I hadn’t been too motivated to read her books before BEA due to the horribly-large selection of YA dystopians I was consuming by the bucket-load. But then everything changed. And by “everything changed” I mean my coworker threatened to kill me if I didn’t read Fangirl immediately. So I did.
Rainbow Rowell has managed to masterfully recreate not only my freshman year dilemma, but also recreate the exact feeling of being in college for the first time. I felt this book in my chest—I was Cath completely (minus the twin and the hot boyfriend). I didn’t drink, I stayed in all the time and I just didn’t get it. I was scared of having sex because everyone else was already more experienced and most importantly, I ate ramen noodles from my closet because I didn’t know where the dining hall was and I was too scared to ask anyone.
Rowell captures the betrayal of changing best friends and the hardship of having a parent with a mental disorder. It’s all there, ready to sock you in the feels.
She gives us hope too, at the end, and that’s exactly what freshman year felt like—failure fixed by friendship, self-discovery and hope.
Rainbow Rowell has very quickly become one of my favorite authors of all time—may she write one hundred thousand books!