I have a confession to make: I love Love.
Is that surprising? Probably not, especially in an age when Kim Kardashian uses her butt as a table to pour champagne and TLC regularly airs a show called “My Husband is Not Gay.”
But it’s true, in conjunction with my sarcastic jokes, I love Love. I love reading and listening to epic love stories both fictional and real. I love the butterflies felt when you first like someone, and the comfort and closeness that develops over time as you build a partnership with them. I love healthy relationships, and talking about healthy relationships, and seeing my friends find support and care in their relationships. I love trying to pair people together and rooting for my favorite movie/TV/literary characters to kiss and live fulfilling lives together. I’m just all about this Love thing, as you can now tell.
(Sidenote: I do not love annoying couples or people making out on the subway. Even I have my limits.)
So to say I loved Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell feels like a bit of an understatement. I normally don’t go out of my way for young adult literature — there are definitely excepts to the rule: The Book Thief, Harry Potter, Series of Unfortunate Events, Nancy Drew, anything by John Green — but after hearing enough praise from the Booktube community about this novel, it seemed bull headed not to give it a go.
The book follows identical twins Cath and Wren during their first year at university. For everything Wren is — outgoing, charming, excited about parties and boys — Cath is the opposite — sarcastic, introverted, obsessed with writing fan fiction. The novel beautifully captures what’s like to move away from home, to grow apart from the people you love before growing back together in ways you never expected.
As someone who gets nervous with change and groups and taking chances, it took about 30 seconds before I was yelling, “I am Cath!” Plus she spends the novel struggling with her decision to be a writer which is practically my freshmen year.
But the greatest story manifested within this novel is the love story between Cath and Levi. Levi, he’s the best. I would marry Levi if he wasn’t fictional. I found myself cheering for that red haired farm boy more than I cheered for Noah in The Notebook or Gus Waters in A Fault in Our Stars. The character of Levi made me most excited because I saw him as a reminder to the young adult community that each and everyone of them deserves the same caring, consensual, take-it-at-your-own-pace relationship the characters embark on.
Throughout the novel, a major theme bringing these two lovebirds together is literature and reading. Cath reads novels to Levi to help him study. Levi supports all of Cath’s fan fiction writing. The chapters are split up by Cath’s writing. I mean is there anything cuter than this?! I think I speak for every bibliophile when I say no, this is the best.
^^ Also, a video from a YouTuber I greatly admire about how to talk with your friends about the effects of their sexist jokes. ^^