I will admit I had my doubts about Fangirl. I read Eleanor & Park a while back, and I was not wildly impressed. At the start of Fangirl, I was worI will admit I had my doubts about Fangirl. I read Eleanor & Park a while back, and I was not wildly impressed. At the start of Fangirl, I was worried that it would disappoint as it started a little slow for me. However, I am happy to report that this book lived up to the hype. Fangirl was not only an adorable romance and a quirky coming-of-age story but it was also the best representation of fandom I’ve seen yet.
So the characters in Fangirl are brilliant. Cath is completely me when I was a freshman in college. I was definitely that anxiety-ridden, timid girl who was afraid to leave her dorm and found great comfort in fandom. Cath messes up and makes mistakes and frustrates you, but she just feels utterly real. However, my heart was definitely stolen by Levi. I am in love. If you read this and do not fall for Levi’s smiles, his humor, and his mistakes, I will worry about you. Also, the relationship between Levi and Cath develops fantastically. It felt very organic, and I loved the banter between them. Other standout characters for me were Reagan and Cath’s dad. Not even sure what it was about those two, but I absolutely adored them. The complicated relationship Cath and Wren had was also a big highlight.
As I mentioned above, I felt that Fangirl started off a bit slow, but once I got into it I had trouble putting it down. I found myself totally swept up in Cath’s struggles and in not only her world but that of Simon and Baz (yes, there were definitely echoes of Harry Potter which did pull me out of the story initially). I was also ecstatically happy with the way Rainbow Rowell addresses fandom. She never makes it out to be a joke or something childish as so many other people do. I would definitely recommend Fangirl especially if you’ve ever been involved in fandom, but also if you love a great coming-of-age story with an adorable romance full of complex characters....more
Morgan Matson has definitely proven to be one of my must-read authors, and this book only makes me even more excited for her next. Also, she has an enMorgan Matson has definitely proven to be one of my must-read authors, and this book only makes me even more excited for her next. Also, she has an endless ability to elicit an emotional response from her reader (at least in my case). I think she’s one of the only authors who has made me tear up in every book, and while I wasn’t sobbing during this book like I did in Second Chance Summer, there were certainly a few tears.
Since You’ve Been Gone did start a bit slow for me. It took me a few chapters to get completely hooked, but once I did, it was very hard to put down. One of the things that I struggled with at the beginning was that I had no idea where the story was going or even what kind of story this was. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing (and looking back I appreciate it), but it did have an effect on me. Honestly, I still do not know how I would classify this book which is pretty awesome. This is a romance but also a story of friendship. It’s a story about family but also coming-of-age.
I just want to keep these characters with me! I related to Emily in so many ways, and even when her decisions drove me crazy, I could understand and empathize with her and her choices. The growth she shows over the course of the novel was beautiful. Sloane was also a favorite which is somewhat amusing considering she appears in flashbacks. However, I loved the relationship between her and Emily. They start as the classic shy girl/popular girl combination, but slowly the layers are peeled back and it goes much deeper. Having just this friendship would have been enough for me, but there are also some incredible other friendships throughout the novel. Frank and Emily share a great bond that grows very organically and develops into this fantastic friendship and I loved the dynamic between Frank and Collins. Of the great supporting characters, my favorites were Collins (I LOVE HIM!), Beckett, and Dawn. Although Dawn’s storyline is the one issue I had with this book as I felt her and Emily’s story was never fully resolved; I found this a little disappointing.
Overall, Since You’ve Been Gone is another Morgan Matson book to add to the favorites shelf. I was impressed by her complex and raw characters, her suspenseful and natural storytelling, and her ability to make me feel something for each character involved. I would highly recommend this book (and her others) especially to fans of Lauren Morrill and Sarah Dessen. Also, if at all possible go for a hard copy as there are lots of great inclusions (mainly playlists) that aren’t as well formatted in an e-copy....more