Why did you read this book? We recently read Eleanor & Park by the same author.
Has Beckie read it? Yes, before we started these book reviews. She gave it 5 stars on Goodreads.
42 word review: Harry-Potter-style fanfic author’s freshman year at college. Her identical twin and former co-author wants to be wild YOLO college girl, while protagonist retreats into her fantasy world. Protagonist gets perhaps-too-good-to-read-true boyfriend, and after much angst, mushy bits ensue.
“You’re a sad little hermit, and it creeps me out. So get dressed.
We’re going bowling.” Cath laughed. “Bowling?”
“Oh, right,” Reagan said. “Like bowling is more pathetic than everything else you do.”
“How can the fact that your identical twin sister is super hot be offensive to you?”
“Because,” Cath said, “It makes me feel like the Ugly One.”
“You’re not the ugly one.” Levi grinned. “You’re just the Clark Kent.”
Rating: 4 of 5 dorm-room makeout sessions
Special extra on Rainbow Rowell in general: The comparison I made to Beckie is that Rainbow Rowell is like the TV show Parks & Recreation. I really enjoy Parks & Rec, in part because you can count on it to leave you with a good feeling, part of which comes from how all the main characters are ultimately good and sweet people. But, while I enjoy Parks & Rec, I will never revere it the way I feel about Breaking Bad. At heart, it’s comfort fiction — excellent comfort fiction — but not quite daring or edgy enough to get full marks from me.
Also, reading Eleanor & Park and Fangirl close together highlights how the boyfriends are so unfailingly understanding and always saying just the right thing. Reading it as a guy, the boyfriends end up feeling more like fantasy men than real men whose motives one can relate to. It’s like the manic pixie dream girl trope; although neither manic nor pixie (nor girls), there’s still the issue where you don’t quite follow what they see in the protagonist.