Sunday, September 21, 2014

Book Recommendation: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Not only am I recommending this because it is a great book, it is also because other than the Alex Rider series, no other book had ever effected my writing as much as this book did.
            The story is about a girl named Cather “Cath” who is a student about to go to college. She has social anxiety and doesn’t like crowds so living alone in a dorm scared her tremendously. Her roommate Regan is a scary and intimidating upperclassman, but she eventually warms up to Cath and helps her overcome her anxiety slightly. She gets accepted into a junior level writing class as a freshman taught by a best-selling author. However, after submitting one of her “Simon Snow” fanficitons for one of her class assignments, she gets a reality check that although she put work and effort into her fanfiction, it is considered plagiarism in the literary world. Throughout her first year in college she must juggle her anxiety, her love of the fictional character Simon Snow and her desire for him to end up in a relationship with his best friend Baz, her twin sister Wren who is out every weekend getting drunk, Regan’s ex-boyfriend Levi who constantly hangs around her room bothering her, her unstable father who struggles with his advertising job, a boy named Nick who she writes stories with in her spare time, her mother she never wants to see again, and her internal struggle about whether or not she’s cut out to be a fiction writer.
            This is a great story over all with an amazing plot and amazing characters to go along with it. You really can’t help but empathize with Cath throughout her journey in college and you really hope for the best for her. The reason I like it so much is because although it is a young adult book, it is for an older age group within the genre, which I really appreciated. This was also a great book for me to read at this time considering the fact that I read it the spring before I started college.
            I think this is a great coming of age novel for an older audience, and I really recommend high school students, especially those about to go off to college read this book. I think those with anxiety would also find this book helpful if they’re afraid of going to college. I think they could really relate to Cath’s character, and she could serve as a role model to them on how to get through college. I would also recommend it to anyone who is considering going into the creative writing field, because this book really gave me a good outlook on writing and other things of that nature.
            The reason this book affected me so much was because of one thing very small think I learned about writing. Considering the book follows Cath’s dream of becoming a fiction writer, writing plays a huge part in the story. One piece of advice Cath’s professor tells her when she’s about to give up on writing it to “write about what you know”. That statement had such a huge impact on my writing ever since reading that book.
            It’s most evident in a lot of my ANGA stories where I write about things that I have experienced or can relate to in my life such as going to college, living in Michigan, or being an only child. I began to take little bits of things I learned from personal experience and I began to incorporate them into my stories, even if it’s only a small part of it. I began to realize that this actually helped my writing become better, and it helped me to write something I was proud of. Relating my personal experience back to a fictional story helped me connect with the story better, and overall helped it to become more realistic and emotional. Write what you know is now advice that I would give to any writer, because I do think can really help out when writing.
            Overall, the book had an interesting plot with relatable and realistic characters. It was a bit of a cute comedic romance, but there’s wasn’t too much romance to consider it a full out romance story. The main plot really follows Cath and her personal journey through college, and her struggles and successes are something I think all people can learn something from.


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