I am iridescent with joy. I am pregnant with wonder. Gestating within me is the belief that regardless of how much I love the book, if Rainbow Rowell is writing it, I will absolutely love the people she fills it with. When my egg hatches, I will be gifted with the certainty that Rainbow Rowell is my new favorite author.
Part of my effervescence, no doubt, is due to the long string of unhappiness in which I’ve enshrouded myself. The Girl on the Train, Cujo, The Kite Runner, and Gone Girl put me in a pretty dark place, I think. Rainbow Rowell has been a tonic; her writing has lifted my spirits and cleansed my soul.
Whenever I finish a novel, there’s always some kind of afterglow (I seldom finish novels I don’t enjoy to some degree), so I usually give myself a day or two before starting another one. If the book is really good, the effects last longer. I enjoyed Landline so much that I had trouble focusing on the first 100 pages, or so, of this book. Which shouldn’t at all be taken as a commentary on Fangirl, but I did have some trouble getting into it.
But once I did…..
This was my college experience, minus the whole being a gifted writer thing (my freshman English professor told me I don’t write at an acceptable college level, in fact). I was withdrawn and intimidated, too obsessed with my own interests to develop much of a social life. Until, that is, I met someone who would go on to fundamentally change everything about my life. I even had Harry Potter, the real world equivalent of Simon Snow; only I didn’t write fanfiction (and have never read it).
I only have two things keeping this from being a perfect little nugget of happiness, like hugging your child on a bad day.
- There is a scene where Cather is going to do some laundry and Levi refuses to allow her to lift her own laundry basket because it’s too heavy. I get that he’s almost too polite, that he’s almost courteous to a fault, but I wish this had been a scene that showed Cather as more able to stand up for what she wanted, and allowed Levi to give her that room to assert herself. It’s a small thing, but I think the scene could’ve demonstrated the growth of them both.
- I was wholly unprepared for the end of this book. Utterly enraptured by the story, I didn’t realize it was over until there was nothing left. I was a starving blind man given a too small plate of food. I consumed it at a pace reasonable enough to taste how rich it was, but too fast to realize I would be done so soon. I still feel a little hollow. This book ended, but I feel no sense of closure.
Short those two minor complaints, this book is perfection.
Also, Cather and Levi have a cameo in Landline (which I only realize retroactively). So that book gets bonus joy points. That’s a thing, right?
There are 21 CBR reviews of this book, with an average rating of 4.48 stars.