Monday, January 13, 2014

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Last summer, I read the book Eleanor and Park by this same author and fell in love with her writing style. I have been reading a great deal about Fangirl and didn't realize it was written by the same author, or I would have picked it up sooner. I am so glad I read it this weekend. I started it Saturday morning and could not put it down until I finished it Saturday afternoon. What a great way to spend a Saturday! Fangirl is written for students in high school, although I think I would put this one in an intermediate classroom, there is a bit of swearing, but not much else. The main character Cath is just starting her first year at university. She is nervous about going because she doesn't like meeting new people, and her twin sister declared that she doesn't want to share rooms when they are away. Cath struggles to really find her place at school. What keeps her going is her obsession with Simon Snow (a character from a book/movie) and her ability to write fan fiction online for her followers. But what Cath doesn't realize is that there are people out there who are going to pull her into the land of the living, regardless of how she feels about it. Cath is a really interesting character. I can relate to her complete obsession over a character. Reading about how she learns to navigate life, school and relationships was very rewarding and I can see that many readers would identify with her challenges and struggles. I will admit that at first, the similarities between Simon Snow and Harry Potter put me off the book, however, once I got over that, I found that the way Rowell wove in Cath's fan fiction, the author of Simon Snow's story and Cath's story was really fascinating. I don't usually tend to read or look for meaning in quotes/poems etc. that are shared in fictional novels, but I found myself looking for links between the different stories. This was a fabulous book, but I would warn anyone teaching grade 7 & 8 to read it first before giving it to students. I wouldn't hesitate to give it to students, but I would want you to make that decision yourself. Regardless, it is a great read!

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