It’s May 2013, the day offers a burning heat and the air conditioning is on. I am out. I can picture it so clearly – the day I read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. The day I felt something shift; I would not come out of it the same person.
I’ve never read a book quite like Fangirl where I have felt like I could be a part of it. I’m sure that Rainbow Rowell somehow followed me about when she was writing Cath because I feel like I am her. It’s the book I turn to when things are a bit fuzzy in my head, when I want to lose myself in the fan fiction or escape for a little bit. It is my favourite book of all time.
Recently, needing that escape, I found it once again in Fangirl. It was my first full re-read since I read it that day in 2013 and a lot has happened since then – I’m no longer the 13 year old I was then. However, I did notice that I have learnt a lot from it, and I really wanted to share that today.
Here are the life lessons that Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell taught me:
1. Sometimes it is totally acceptable to have an Emergency Kanye Party
You know sometimes you feel so full of emotion that all you can do is dance it off? This is a good thing to do. Dancing, no matter how bad you are at it, will always make you feel better. The stupider the dance moves, the better you will feel afterwards. This is a fact.
2. You don’t have to go out and party to have a good time.
I am not, by any means, a party animal. Like Cath, you’re more likely to find me curled up with a book or writing than at a party and reading Fangirl made me realise that this is okay. Being introverted isn’t a problem and not everyone likes going out. Cath made me feel like I was less alone in this feeling!
3. “Are you rooting for me?”
Find someone that you are rooting for, that you want to succeed. And find someone that will root for you in return, whether that be a friend or a loved one.The people in Cath’s life support her and there’s the clear message in Fangirl that the people who don’t care, that won’t support you in return, aren’t the ones that matter.
4. Do what you love. Write what you love.
For Cath, it’s her fanfiction and she loves the world of Simon Snow, so she writes about it.
5. Some books will always stay with you – treasure them.
There are some books that I read and loved years ago, but have returned to after and not loved as much. Fangirl, though, will always stay with me and will always mean something to me. Likewise, for Cath, the books she loves are the fictional Simon Snow series and, even though she’s getting older and people find it weird that she loves them so much, they matter to her. You shouldn’t let other people get in the way of that.
Laura10 June, 2016 at 10:22 am
Amazing post! I felt exactly the same when I read Fangirl.
I think I would have been 20 or 21 when I first read this, so a little older, but I always felt like I should have been doing things like going out and partying like the other people my age were doing, and this book made me feel like it’s OK to not do that if you don’t want. It made me realise that I’m not the only person out there who isn’t in to that either, even if it feels like that sometimes. I’ve also always really liked writing (particularly stuff like fantasy and sci-fi), but worried that people would judge me for it, so I could really relate to Cath and her fan fiction, and this book taught me to own my interests and not be ashamed. Anyone who would mock someone because their interests are different than theirs isn’t worth worrying about anyway!
I think it is one of those books that can teach you so much, and I personally have always thought of Cath as the most relatable book character I have ever read about. This post has reminded me that a reread of Fangirl is in order!
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Emma10 June, 2016 at 11:34 am
I’m reading Fangirl now! I’ve just started so I don’t have thoughts yet, but I’m excited to read it knowing how much it meant to you!
Sally10 June, 2016 at 2:03 pm
I LOVE this post. Such a fantastic idea, Lucy! Fangirl is definitely one of the most relatable books – one I’ve really enjoyed! x
Kyra Morris10 June, 2016 at 5:27 pm
This is such a lovely, heartfelt post, Lucy! I recently read The Moonlight Dreamers by Siobhan Curham and I experienced the same as you did with Fangirl – I felt that shift within me. I’m afraid I didn’t love Fangirl as much as I’d hoped to but I want to reread it, hopefully I’ll like it more the second time around! 🙂
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Aubrey @ Aubrey's Book Nook21 June, 2016 at 7:25 pm
Fangirl is a book I have been wanting to get to for a LONNGGG time now. Thanks for sharing. I am even more desperate to read it now 🙂