Thursday, August 18, 2016

The BBRBF Book Club: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Hey, it's BBRBF Book Club Day! Before we dive into this month's read, "Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell, I have some new members to introduce! First, like every month, don't forget to check out Kristina, Noelle, and Lyndsey's take on this read! But also, we were thrilled to welcome two new members! This month we have Kathrine aka Miss Information as well as Helen from Circle Skirts and Petticoats! We are now a gang of 6 book lovin' gals and it's super exciting to see the book club grow!

Please don't hesitate to tell one of us if you're interested in joining us! We'd love for you to read along and show us your interpretations with style! Plus, we tend to wander off into tangents when we start chatting - tangents that may include a girly debate over which version of the TV show, Being Human, is better (pssst, it's the US version! It has Sam Huntington in it, need I say more? Look him up and you decide).

This month we dove into "Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell. This story, with the protagonist, Cath, being a writer, practically begged me to wear my book skirt itself so I obliged and paired it with one of my new Banned Apparel tops I bought from Unique Vintage this summer.

A bunch of us in the club were already fans of Rainbow Rowell when Lyndsey suggested we give "Fangirl" a read. I loved "Eleanor and Park" and "Attachments," and really enjoyed "Landline" so I was jazzed to read another gem from Rainbow Rowell.

As I started it, it became clear to me that this was loosely based off Harry Potter fans somehow. I don't know the full story behind this novel but that kinda bummed me out. I have never read Harry Potter and have no interest in Harry Potter so reading a book about fan fiction about a book that sounds like Harry Potter....kind of a downer. Did that statement even make sense?

Anyway, I wasn't going to let that sway me. That wouldn't be fair. Putting my personal feelings on fantasy books aside, I dove in and I actually felt a connection to Cath. For one thing, we're both writers. Like Cath, I spent all my free time growing up writing and even had my fun with fan fiction. In middle school, I wrote fan fiction for the TV show, Smallville (Lex/Lana shipper over here, heeeyyyy!), and while my fanbase didn't reach the thousands like Cath, I did get a small following and received some attention in the message boards. Nerdy, right?

Still, one thing that I found interesting is that I did all that in middle school. Cath is entering college. I outgrew the fan fiction obsession after middle school - is it mean to say I grew up? Cath comes off immature to me because of this and maybe she's supposed to. Then again, though, she reminded me of SO MANY girls I knew in college who LIVED AND BREATHED Twilight. They wore Twilight tee shirts everyday, had Edward posters on their dorm walls, and probably enjoyed a fan fiction piece or two in their downtime. So I guess I get it. By the way, I've never read a word of Twilight either. No, thanks!

That aside, I liked that like me, Catch was in school for writing (though her behavior around refusing to write anything but fan fiction - even going as far as not turning in her final project because she didn't want to do it - got to be SO annoying - how old is she again?) and was a total book nerd. I also really liked that like me, she felt awkward and anxious in social situations, wasn't jumping into bed with the first guy she saw (and even took it slow with the guy she DID like), and she generally stayed away from drinking and the whole party scene.

As the story went on, I loved the cadence between Cath and Levi. They become friends and form quite the cute relationship - he always shows up to walk her home when she leaves the library late at night and I loved that. It's such a sweet thing to do. But I gotta say (spoiler alert!), their first kiss is SKETCHY AF. I mean, they have been reading together on her bed and they're all sleepy. Then she is LITERALLY falling asleep when he kisses her. It's a bit...rapey. If you kiss a girl who is more or less sleeping...doesn't that make it a bit sketchy? It felt sketchy. Much more sketchy than cute or romantic.

Or perhaps I am getting too old for young adult novels. I used to love them and never read anything but young adult. Lately, I am getting the sense that I am over the coming of age stories (as well as the whole cliche love/drama of "two people clearly like each other but won't admit it, then they finally admit it and have a big romantic moment, but then the second it's all going so well a big conflict occurs and ruins it! Oh now we must turmoil for chapters on end and then finally they reunite, work it out, and queue the cheesy ending!"). Perhaps I am looking for more relatable and realistic fiction of someone my age. YOU GUYZ, AM I GETTING OLD AND BORING??

Perhaps I am a harsh critic. I don't mean to come across that way or to say that I didn't like the book. I did like the book, I liked the story, and I did like Cath. I bet we'd even be friends if we went to the same college. I just don't know if we'd bond when it came to our reading/writing preferences.

If you want to read along in September, our  next book will be We Are Pirates by Daniel Handlers!


  1. Your outfit is so adorable! I totally agree with you that Cath seemed too old to be into fanfiction. I had so many friends in college who loved Twilight, though! I was like, I think I'm ok without glittery vampires, thanks...

  2. I think Cath's immaturity is what I struggled with the most in the book. She seemed too intelligent to be dealing with the internal conflicts she was at 18. I thought several times while reading the book that this could have been set in middle school.

    1. RIGHT! I mean, I related SO MUCH but it was definitely more of a "the 8th grade version of me relates so much"

  3. YES the immaturity thing. I was too tired today to really delve into what bothered me about the book, but I think exactly that. She was so intelligent but then immature at the same time. But that's the thing I have with most YA. When I was that age, I did not act that way, so it's hard for me to connect with.

    1. Precisely! Not all YA is the same but this one is definitely unique in the maturity level. I related so much but at the same time, was relating to myself in middle school. I was not like this in college!

  4. Your book skirt is perfection! I definitely need a book skirt in my life :)
    I don't have a fashion blog but I would love to read along to We Are Pirates! I have a huge love for Lemony Snicket but haven't read anything by Daniel Handler himself.

    1. Hi Sara! Please do read along! It'd be so fun! I see you have a blog linked to your name here - it doesn't matter what kind of blog you have. You can still post a review on your blog if you like! We'd love to see it! We plan to post on September 22 if you'd like to do the same =)

      If you'd like to officially join the book club, I am happy to add you to the group we have on Facebook. Let me know!

  5. A book I've read!! (finally... been waiting for you guys to read something I've read)
    But after reading your review I sort of feel like I need to read it again. I remember liking the book a lot! A lot, a lot! But then I spent a big part of my childhood reading HP fanfic and immersing myself into anything HP, so I just loved that aspect of it!
    I also remember I really liked their first kiss. I thought it was really cute and romantic.
    I don't know, maybe I should give it another read and be a bit more critical.
    Anyway, you're outfit is super cute. I love the colours and that top - I want it! And the skirt! I just want what you're wearing. Okay?
    Hope you have an amazing weekend.
    Much love,

    1. Of course I meant "your outfit" hahahaha not "you are outfit"

  6. Such a sweet, delightfully lovely outfit - that skirt is so charming and I just love (love!!!) your pretty pink shoes. I have a pair of peep toe coral heels, but no "true pink" shoes, and soooo want a pair (if only I had easier to fit feet and/or vintage appropriate pink shoes were easy to come by in my small town parts).

    I hope you had a splendid weekend, dear gal.

    Big hugs,
    ♥ Jessica

  7. That skirt is SO FREAKING CUTE! I love that it is just so YOU and you can instantly tell that.
    The Adored Life

  8. You look so adorable, as always! I love the print on your skirt. I watched both the US and UK versions of Being Human, and I preferred US! Dave didn't watch them with me, but I always told him it was a fun show because in each episode two characters typically had life problems (girlfriend, job, etc), and the third would have a monster problem (ghost, werewolf, vampire issues). Then on the next episode, the roles would change! At least it seemed that way most of the time :)

    Hope you are having a great weekend!