Back in 2013, the Tumblr community started a special book club with their first book: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. From the moment I read the description, I was here for this: Twins who had grown up fans of the popular YA book series, bonding over writing and reading fanfiction, going away to college and finding their own places in the world. It was bound to hit close to home for a lot of us. The book was packed with transparent references to the Harry Potter Fandom in the wake of Deathly Hallows and the masses of new adults trying to figure out where they belong now that this one thing that had brought them all together was seemingly over.
Fangirl was written for our community by someone who had clearly been there with us for all of it.
So I dragged my brother to the bookstore immediately and picked up a hardcopy. I also bought it on my nook and downloaded it to my ipod touch.
I finished the whole book before the second week was up and had to reference my copy’s chapters to keep from accidentally spoiling it for others, but I suspect most of the others had finished it as well. I saw a lot of “Well, you’ll see…” going around.
I’m not going into details about the plot cause I want people to go read it for themselves but I’ll be vague. I read a book I couldn’t put down for the first time in years. I grieved having to put it away and get back to work after my lunch breaks. It brought me back to reading published YA when I’d been, fittingly, sticking to only Fanfiction for a while.
This book changed me as a person in a number of ways but here’s the most notable things:
I tried a Gingerbread Latte for the first time that year. I also tried a Pumpkin Spice Latte for the first time cause Gingerbread wasn’t out yet when I went to try it.
I got my new favorite romantic fantasy in her reading her own writing to him and it’s just intimate in a way you could never accomplish in the flesh.
Also, Adorable little love story WITHIN ANOTHER ADORABLE LITTLE LOVE STORY.
Most importantly (for me), I saw actual Anxiety and Depression being dealt with in a popular YA book that wasn’t About That. It was normal and a thing some people went through and it didn’t make people like me look dangerous or incapable of living real lives. I was going through a massive depressive episode at the time and seeing it humanized like that helped.
5/5 Stars. I highly recommend it for anyone who was a fan of Harry Potter or a fan of anything that burrowed deep into who they are as a person.