I believe this is my second Rainbow Rowell book that's made my 2013-Favorites shelf... I'm head over heels in love with her and I don't care who knows about it.
Let's start at the beginning...
I love Cather! I think for many woman there is a little Cath in us all. She's smart, nerdy, reads too much and finds herself calling her fanfic online chat friends, well friends. *cough* that's nothing like me *cough* She's 18, headed off to college and sharing a room with someone other than her twin sister, Wren. This has Cath in a tailspin because it's always been Cath and Wren (get it, Cath-wren... Catherine). Now Cath is paired up with her complete opposite, Reagan. An outgoing, smart, brutally honest and deep down loyal upper grads-man.
Like many of Ms. Rowell's novels, Fangirl has this air of authenticity. Cath's world is not perfect, nor is she, but it's so deeply layered you cannot help but dive into this story head first. As the story unfolds about Cath's home life, you cannot help but feel for her but she handles it so unbelievably well, but in the end she also doesn't know any different.
Before I dive deeper into "you know who" I want to touch on one of the reasons I love Ms. Rowell's writing. This is going to be hard to explain so bear with me... I love how she's able to make real life insecurities into something sexy and unique. Like a young mans receding hairline, I mean that's not sexy but somehow Ms. Rowell makes it so.
Cath couldn’t imagine Levi ever being gothy and dark; he had the smilingest face she’d ever seen. He smiled all the way from his chin to his receding hairline. His forehead wrinkled up, his eyes twinkled. Even his ears got into the action—they twitched, like a dog’s.
See, how did she make Levi's receding hairline so damn cute? It's a talent and Fangirl is filled with this natural observations that piece together a real person, not perfect, not fabricated but beautifully real. Or how Levi describes Cath one night...
“How can the fact that your identical twin sister is super hot be offensive to you?”
“Because,” Cath said, still too encouraged by Wren and, weirdly, by Abel, and maybe even by Nick to let this get to her right now.
“It makes me feel like the Ugly One.”
“You’re not the ugly one.” Levi grinned.
“You’re just the Clark Kent.” Cath started checking her e-mail. “Hey, Cath,” Levi said, kicking her chair. She could hear the teasing in his voice.
“Will you warn me when you take off your glasses?”
I want to talk about Cath's love interest... The problem is that's a major spoiler. So be warned, don't click on this spoiler tag unless you want to find out...
When she looked back at Levi, he was dancing, too. Exactly the way she would have imagined him dancing if she’d ever tried. Too long and too loose, running his fingers through his hair. (Dude. We get it. Extreme widow’s peak.) His eyes were absolutely gleaming with mirth. Putting out light.
Levi, oh heavens. I have an unnatural attraction to this plaid wearing, farm raised man. He's honestly amazing, smart, sexy in a non-traditional way. To hear Cath describe his smiles is like staring at the sun too long. It literally made me smile. His character will go down as one of my favorites of all time because of his uniqueness. Cath once described Levi, “Like a dangerous French fur trapper.” I think that's perfect! He's just something she cannot understand. Partly because of her lack of self esteem and also because of the emotions he makes her feel. It all adds up to something wonderful coming off the pages of Fangirl. I could keep spouting all the wonderful things about Levi but Cath said it best,
She wanted to. God, she wanted to tackle him and roll around in him like a cat in a field of daisies.
My favorite quote and what made me smile and almost cry because Ms. Rowell captures true love right in this moment...
“Good. I’m too hungry to rage. Do you mind if we stop somewhere?”
“No,” she said. “Or I could make you something if you want. Eggs.” Levi beamed at her. “God, yes. Can I watch?” Cath smiled. “You’re ridiculous.”
Throughout Fangirl there is the interwoven story of Simon Snow, he's a fan fic characters who's modeled after Harry Potter (or so my smart friend Wendy told me so :). I wouldn't know, I'm saving Harry Potter to read with my boys when they're old enough. Basically most of the Simon Snow connection was almost lost on me. I still enjoyed the book, but I felt that I was also missing out not understand the whole dynamic. That would be my only complaint. Minor one at that.
In conclusion, this is my second Rainbow Rowell novel and i'm now a full fledged fan. Fangirl is a beautifully written story of a girl finding her way in a new world, stepping outside of her comfortable home and finding herself. It's smart, sexy and full of laughs. You wont want it to end, I know I sure didn't. I cannot wait to pick up Attachments.