I have this little thing, called a blog? And I used to write about books? And then one day I just stopped.
And then one day I just started again. So here we go. Bear with me, I'm incredibly rusty.
by Rainbow Rowell
St. Martin's Griffin, 2013
Once upon a long time ago I read a book called Fangirl. It was one of the first books I read this year, in fact. And I loved it. The end.
No no, there's more - and I'm not going to do the book justice, of course, because I read it nearly a year ago, but here's the thing: I read this nearly a year ago, quite quickly, and I still think about it regularly and with a fair amount of clarity. The thing is, it's not just a nice book - and it is, a really nice book, where nice things happen and people are kind and awkward and lovely and maybe sometimes a bit mean but they aren't just awful for no reason. They all have reasons, and they are all sympathetic, even when they are not good reasons. There's no forced love triangle, there's no insta-love, there's no easy answers; there are just good people trying to work their way around being individuals and members of families and friends, which is not always easy and provides enough drama to make an engaging, charming, intelligent book.
More than just being a nice book, Rowell's writing makes the reading of it seem effortless. It's an easy read. It goes down smoothly. It's funny in the right parts, and tense in the right parts, and moving in the right parts. The pacing is absolutely dead on. I was worried that the excerpts from Cath's fanfic would stall things, or be uncomfortable to read (in the way that fiction-within-fiction can sometimes just be... weird) but those excerpts were delightful. I can see why people want to read more Simon Snow.
Me, I'll be reading more Rowell, regardless of whom she's writing about. Thoroughly enjoyed, highly recommended.