Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell


What I’d pay: $15

To sum it up: Twin sisters go off to college and grow up.

I laughed. I cried. I fell in love with this book.

Ultimately, this is one of those stories that you already know the ending to, but getting there is such a wonderful experience that it is totally worth it. It’s a coming of age story told from the perspective of a shy, introverted sister who is headed to college with her extroverted, party-girl twin sister. She gets stuck with a mean roommate and her annoying boyfriend, but a lot of things can, and do, change over the course of a freshman year at college. One reason the book is so special, is that many of us quiet introverts (myself included), can so identify with the main character’s social struggles and her ability to find calm and solace in her writing and reading. In fact, the passages from her fan fiction writing that are woven into the text really give us readers even more insight into her character. I appreciated that the fictional book series she is obsessed with in the book is so clearly meant to be an analog of Harry Potter, which was nostalgic for me. Some of the passages are really spot on, from the characters expressions to their conversations, and it just felt so real.

Bottomline: This book features realistic, flawed, but lovable characters, awkward and funny situations, and some really emotional and poignant moments. I love the main character and the way she grows up over the course of the book. She goes from being completely closed off to others and herself, to figuring out who she wants to be and then going for it. Even if this doesn’t sound like your kind of book, I would say to give it a shot, there’s something very special here. Bought it from B&N for $10 but would have paid much more. 

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