7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful YA novel that will resonate with all ages,
This review is from: Fangirl (Hardcover)
As someone who didn't necessarily love college at the beginning I really connected with Cath and her uneasy, introverted nature. However, Fangirl's strength is that there is a whole host of characters that really will cover the majority of the spectrum of potential readers. Cath's university experience is juxtaposed with that of happy-go-lucky Levi; the brutally honest and confident Reagan; and Wren, her sister, who doesn't find herself at college but rather loses herself in the experience.
In Cath's proverbial jump from little to big pond she has to navigate that terrifying moment of embarking on new friendships, filtering out those who are only there for themselves along the way, as well as learning how to leave her home behind while still managing to be there for her family. While adept online Cath also struggles to find her voice in her new classes, a universal theme we all encounter when we take that little step up.
The relationships that Cath builds in the novel, both platonic and romantic, are slow to blossom and all the more realistic for being so. None of the relationships hit you over the head and sometimes you do find yourself questioning where they are going, like real life relationships. As in Eleanor & Park I think that Rowell's strength lies in her honest portrayal of young, vulnerable relationships.
As with Rowell's previous novels her writing is really what makes Fangirl excel as a truly captivating novel. The simplicity of her language and the effortless feel of the dialogue make Fangirl a fun, fluid, and unaffected read that will keep you engaged until the end. Additionally, while the story does seem light and relatively uncomplicated, there is a distinct sharper edge that slowly creeps up on you and lends the book a lingering air that'll keep you thinking about it long after you've finished it.
Unlike a lot of other YA novels there is nothing really OTT about Rowell's second venture into the genre, the story succeeds because of its simplicity and its easy relatibility. While perhaps not as powerful as Eleanor & Park, Fangirl is a wonderful coming of age novel that I think will resonate with readers of all ages.