I love Rainbow Rowell.
I could waste a tremendous amount of time pulling out passages I loved from Fangirl, such as this pop culture reference:
“Reagan was sitting up at Cath's desk when Cath woke up."
"Are you awake?"
"Have you been watching me sleep?"
"Yes, Bella. Are you awake?"
Or this description:
"But even small things seemed to irritate Wren - the way Courtney wore heels with jeans, or the way she thought "boughten" was the past participle of "bought."
Rowell's use of humor and sarcasm is simple, but effective. Many authors fail miserably in this area by writing "funny" passages that sound completely unnatural and cliched. Rowell understands how to balance humor with serious moments, which made Cath's college experiences that much more believable.
Cather - wow, I feel sorry for that girl. Not only because of her unfortunate name, but also because I completely relate to the intense level of anxiety she felt as she attended college for the first time. I graduated a few years ago and I'm in the process of changing my career. Change, no matter what form it takes, is terrifying.
Cath's solution to her social struggles is to pretend the world doesn't exist and lock herself in her dorm room to write Simon Snow fanfiction. Of course, her passion for writing fanfiction gradually bleeds into real life, creating some serious personal and academic conflicts.
For me, the weakest part of the story was the fanfiction itself. I'll admit I skimmed some of the Simon Snow material. However, I enjoyed seeing how Cath's love for writing fanfiction impacted her relationships, particularly with Wren, Levi, and Reagan. The stuff involving her parents was okay, albeit melodramatic. Why are most fictional parents absent, crazy or drunk? WHY????
Anyway, the characters in this book were brilliant and possessed distinct personalities. With the exception of a certain self-serving asshole character, they will all have a special place in my heart. The romance in this book is also very sweet, although somewhat chaste for a college relationship. Still, I'm happy with the end result.