Thursday, October 10, 2013

To really be a nerd, she'd decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one.

I read Rainbow Rowell's third book Fangirl a week ago. I almost missed my stop on the train. I've come close but never actually been surprised to realize I am at my stop and need to get off the train right now. Or else have a very unfun morning commute. The saddest part? I was reading the acknowledgements. I really was not ready for things to be over.

I was planning on a the very least liking this. I still read Attachments pretty much anytime I finish whatever Kindle book I'm reading but don't feel like starting something new. (It's really great for this cos it's easy to put down for a month+ and then pick it up again, no problem.) Then there's Eleanor & Park which is wonderful and makes me wish I had enough money to buy everyone in the Minnesota Anoka-Hennepin district a copy of this book. Fangirl did not disappoint. You know, if the fact that I almost missed my stop wasn't obvious enough. I really can't decide which one I like best. Every time I make a decision, I change my mind and remember the other 2 exist. So just know they're all wonderful and you should probably read them all right away if you haven't already. Even if you have, maybe read them again.

Cath is, I believe, a classic introvert.* She and her identical twin sister Wren are starting college in the fall and to Cath's disappointment, Wren doesn't want to room with her. She thinks it's about time they meet other people. She doesn't want to go exploring, not even to find the cafeteria, which means she spends a lot of time eating granola bars in her room. She doesn't want to meet new people, not even her roommate Reagan, who can be a bit intimidating but is also sharing a tiny space with you so maybe say hi. Cath is out of her comfort zone all the time. Except when she's writing fanfic about Simon Snow, which is Harry Potter (except HP is also a thing in this world). I don't know what else to say about the plot without giving things away but there's so much good stuff with Levi, Reagan's friend that is always hanging out in their room and seems unnaturally nice, and Cath's writing classmate Nick, and Cath's dad, and Wren with her more "traditional" I guess collect experience. I'm trying really hard not to start rambling and how much I like this, and it's not going all that well.

Rowell makes me happy because first she makes Eleanor a redhead BUT she's not Irish, and she has brown eyes which is so nice to see (because seriously, not every redhead has green eyes). THEN this time she writes this:

"I can't decide what color [Cath's eyes] are. What does it say on your driver's license?"
"They're not blue."
"They are on the outside."
"And brown in the middle," [Levi] said. "And gray on the edge and green in between."

And TOTALLY nails what my brother's eyes look like. Maybe I have a doppelganger family living somewhere in Nebraska.

What's that? You'd like some more example quotes. Well, if you insist.

In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can't google.) Like, where does the line start? What food can you take? Where are you supposed to stand, then where are you supposed to sit? Where do you go when you're done, why is everyone watching you?...Bah.
(I go through this pretty much anytime I'm in a new situation and it's why I end up getting lunch at the same few places. New things are stressful.)

"I feel sorry for you, and I'm going to be your friend."
"I don't want to be your friend," Cath said as sternly as she could. "I like that we're not friends."
"Me, too," Reagan said. "I'm sorry you ruined it by being so pathetic."

"It makes me feel like the Ugly One."
"You're not the ugly one." Levi grinned. "You're just the Clark Kent."

"I don't like hello. It makes me sound like I have dementia, like I've never heard a phone ring before and I don't know what's supposed to happen next. Hello?"

I'll stop now, but know I could keep going.

I really liked this book. I liked Levi, I loved Reagan (and would like to add her to the list of fictional people I would like to be BFFs with), I like Cath's dad, I even grew to like Cath and it didn't even take that long. Which is good goes she's the main character so you spend a lot of time with her. I can't say the Simon Snow and Carry On chapters were my favorite thing, but I liked them more than I expected to. Not as much as I like the "real world" chapters, but still.

If this was a different author and you told me to read a sort of YA**, sort of love story that centers around a very shy girl who writes fan fiction, I would smile and nod at you while thinking that I will never be getting around to this. But as soon as you say Rainbow Rowell wrote it, well I am there. And I love it. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to continue reading all of those lines I highlighted.

*I haven't read Quiet yet but it's on my radar. And I assume once I get to it I'll be an expert.
**I really have no idea what is and isn't YA. This is why I never organize my books by genre. Or at all.

Title quote from page 299, location 4721

Rowell, Rainbow. Fangirl. St. Martin's Griffin, 2013. Kindle edition.