Hello and welcome to my first edition of the BBRBF Book Club! I’ve always loved to read, but now I get to do it alongside some fabulously stylish gals: Kristina of The Eyre Effect, Sara of In a Nutshell…, Lyndsey of Dressed in Mascara, Noelle of The Classy Junk, and Kathrine of The Miss Information Blog!
This month, we decided to read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Now, I’m not a “young adult” genre kind of bookworm, I never have been and I probably never will be. But something about Fangirl grabbed me within the first few pages. It’s a coming of age story about an introverted college freshman, named Cath, who has an obsession with Simon Snow, a Harry Potter-esque character, who her and her twin sister, Wren, write homosexual fanfiction about.
When it’s time for them to head to college, Wren decides that she doesn’t want to room with Cath and this is where Cath’s world slowly begins to unravel, and where I started relating to the story.
What’s interesting about Cath, besides her overt hatred of everything besides her sister and Simon Snow, is that she has this innate ability to trust, which eventually sends her already crippling anxiety over the edge. Her instability is introduced in the form of social anxiety. It’s so bad that she refuses to go to the cafeteria for her first month and subsides off of protein bars that she’s hoarded under her bed. You quickly come to see that she is also carrying the burden of her bipolar father, who frequently goes manic when no one is there to take care of him, and Wren, who is quickly drinking her way straight into the hospital.
On top of this, she’s simultaneously crushing on her midnight writing partner, Nick, who betrays her by claiming he wrote a story for their Fiction Writing class that they wrote together, and Levi, who she assumes is her roommate’s boyfriend, ends up kissing and then catches him kissing another girl. Her naïve trust, which she eventually abandons, is almost shocking since the ultimate form of trust, that between a parent and a child, is broken when her mother leaves her and Wren as children.
When Wren begins talking to their mother, their father becomes hospitalized from a manic episode, and Levi tells her that their kiss meant nothing Cath’s frustrations come to a head and she decides she wants to transfer to a school closer to home.
Maybe what captivated me is that Cath and I are the same person, or at least the 18-year old version of me. There I was at a school I didn’t want to attend, trying to figure out how to transfer, who I was, how to balance my anxiety and depression while keeping my scholarships, and why boys weren’t straight forward with their intentions. I, like Cath, struggled through the first half of freshman year.
But those aren’t the only things that her and I share. Cath’s resilience shines through when she decides to return to school after winter break. Even when Wren ends up hospitalized from alcohol poisoning, Cath forgets they ever drifted apart in the first place. When she finally confronts Levi, they end up falling in love and she finally finds something a little more important than finishing her fan-fiction about Simon Snow. By the end of the semester everything works out, just like my freshman year.
I chose this vintage dress from Gypsy Goth Vintage because of its color scheme. It has subtle notes of teal and yellow, representing the cover of the book and Cath’s sweater, along with a red belt to match the red font. And let’s not forget the yellow shoes! To me, this outfit represents Cath’s personality, if she would only embrace it: creative and quirky.
I read this book within five days, and I don’t generally do that. I read it on the train to work, on my lunch breaks, even at the gym. I honestly didn’t want the book to end. And while I’m still not thrilled by the idea of “young adult” books, Fangirl has opened my eyes a little bit wider to the genre.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the book club’s reviews and adorable outfits!