Tuesday 13 October 2015

GoodRead - Fangirl

IT FINALLY HAPPENED, INTERNET! I must be one of the last YA bloggers I know who has only got round to reading this - my first Rainbow Rowell book and the big mama of her books, Fangirl! And I have known about this since its publication date and I have own (ok, won) a copy since the end of last year. But two things happened that made me go "Ok, I need to read this now".

1. I wanted to read Carry On. I mean, wizards. Kissing. Magic. And it's same sex kissing. But I was told that if I might want to read Fangirl before I consider buying Carry On to "get" it.
2. It felt like time. I felt ready to tackle it. I mean, the book must be good to get the hype and attention it's getting. But the hype worried me a little - what if the book didn't live up to my standards? Well, I won't know if I don't read it, will I?

So, *deep breath* here we go...

Cath and Wren used to do everything together. But they're off to uni now and Wren wants to be dance, drink, meet boys, leave Cath behind. But Cath would rather write her Simon Snow fanfic.

But going to uni will have to force her to be more open. Whether she wants to or not, life isn't going to stand still.

Ok, that's not the best description of this book. I'm sure a ton of blogs have written it better, but I don't want to talk about Cath's fan fiction writing. I want to address that later.

Once I got into the story, I liked it. I didn't hate it - but I didn't love it either. I liked it to see why everyone I know loved this book. I get why you love this book, Internet! I do! But, I did have issues with this book - and I will blame the hype around this book for this.

Let's talk about the positives of this book. I liked the characters. Well, all bar one - but I got why he was the way he was. I liked these characters because these characters were refreshingly flawed. They were flawed to a point which, at times, I did go "No one can be this messed up". And that's nice to read about. Humans are flawed and messy and we have more than one flaw. And the characters in Fangirl are flawed. I had mixed emotions over these characters - at times, I was totally on their sides and on others, I wanted to throw the book across the room (I feel sorry for Lucy aka LucyTheReader for, when we met at the Young Adult Weekender a few weekends ago, I had a rant at her about one of the characters. Did I, Lucy? Or was I quite kind? I can't remember - too nervous over our talk)

And I really liked Rainbow's writing. Once I found my stride, I sped through.

But it did take time to get into her writing. Now, I can't tell you if I had problems getting the hang on Rainbow's writing or if I had trouble getting into the book in general (aka the hype around this book). Let me explain. This book has been sold as the book to read if you have been inside a fandom. That this book gets a fandom. And as someone who has/is still part of the Harry Potter fandom, I should be totally on board with this.

But this book ISN'T about fandom. Let me make this perfect clear. This book is about a girl who is figuring out her life - trying to figure out her life and her place in the world now. And oh, she writes fan fiction. The fandom has NOTHING to do with this book - it's part of this girl's life but it isn't the driving force of this book - Cath is.

Now, I have one tiny nitpicking thing which annoyed me - it's no biggie. But it bugged me and I have no idea why. In my edition, it has bonus content. On the inside cover at the start of the book, there are cartoon drawings of the main characters in the books (see right). Which is cool. I like seeing them. Up to a point. I like imagining the characters in my head, but these drawings pushed themselves into how I saw these characters. The only character that fought tooth and nail to be different from the cartoon was Reagan. In my head, she was black (so was Professor Piper, actually). But she wasn't in the cartoon - she was white. Maybe these drawings should have been at the back (but then, where would that cartoon strip on the back inside cover go? It's revealing a scene and that could be seen as a spoiler...).

So, yes. I have read this book and I liked it. Not loved it like the rest of you guys (sorry - actually no. I'm not sorry. We are all allowed to have our own opinions). But I am going to read Carry On sooner or later. Maybe I can be brave and read one of Rainbow's other books *eyes Eleanor and Park...*

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