When You Fall – A Fangirl Book Review

August 1, 2014 1:21 pm

Coming straight from the imagination of the New York Times Bestseller Eleanor and Park, Fangirl is a new age coming of age story that perfectly encapsulates first love, moving on and most importantly, fanfiction. Cath and Wren are identical twins venturing into the world of university, introducing boys, drinking and confusing roommates. Leaving behind a subdue highschool existence, Cath follows her twin sister reluctantly to a new town, miles away from their manic father in Southern Omaha. Cath’s world exclusively involves, her twin sister and Simon Snow and Baz; fictional characters from her favourite book series. Considering inconvenient nature of Simon and Baz’s select existence in the fictional world, Cath attempts to recreate their story through writing fanfiction based on a romance between Snow and Baz.

fangirl book reviewCath is happily content with her typical, yet blasé life. Her definer being, the writer of the fanfic Carry On. She doesn’t mind that she’s engaged in a routine relationship, with little in her life but her father and twin sister. She extremely endeavours to keep her distance from the world, from people. At least that’s her goal, writing fanfic in her room; aiming to avoid all human contact besides Reagan, her compulsively invisible roommate. Along with Reagan comes Levi, a slightly strange blond who is the nicest person anyone would meet in reality. He allows himself the simple pleasure of being polite and happy to everyone he meets. This observation alone stops Cath for forming any hope of a romantic attachment, despite his charming personality and her obvious attraction to him. She journeys through the first weeks of university, living off protein bars and her continual updates of Carry On; engaging in limited conversation with anyone outside her twin sister Wren, health check ups on her Dad and Reagan.

Shockingly to the extroverted, open Wren, Cath manages to wonder through the prestigious peers that fill the chairs of her writing class and meets a generally nice and universally accepted handsome guy named Nick. Together they write a duel story, meeting in the library each week to work on the piece. These sessions lasted into the early hours of the morning and provided Cath an outlet for romantic fascination. However, ironically, in the early hours of dawn, with the frost hanging neatly in the air, it was Levi waiting happily outside the library to drive Cath to her dorm on the other side of campus. To Cath, this was preferable to her previous method of dialing 911, running with her hand on the call button.

After much persistence Cath reads aloud her story of Baz and Snow, Levi sitting near her with a wide grin plastered on his face. Yes, it was predictable that after these sweet gestures, Nick would silently vanish from the plot, only to appear when needed and Levi and Cath evidently fall in love. However, that’s not the binding sustenance of the story nor the absolute brilliance of the characters. The beating heart is found when Cath, a lonesome, frighten, mistrusting, low self-esteem teenager manages to share her world of Baz and Snow with Levi and let herself fall into the complete unknown.

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