Let me briefly address the elephant in the room with a dismissive meme:
I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted here, and though my eternal first impulse is to apologize, I’m not going to. I want this to be a place of honesty and transparency, and the truth of the matter is that I haven’t been in a place of having the energy or motivation to compose anything, even a Five Things Friday. It happened. It’ll happen again. I’m working on reducing the frequency and length of these episodes, but I’m also working on accepting that depression might be a chronic condition for me–something that can be managed but not cured. Even if I set aside the discomfort of the symptoms themselves, that idea is really difficult to grapple with.
But that’s not what I want to spend my renewed energy talking about. I came here to write about the fact that one of my favorite books ever is turning 5 today — Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl.
I’ve talked about fan fiction on this blog before, and I admit that it hasn’t always been my thing. In spite of that, I’ve never seen myself in a character as much as I see myself in Cath. Her anxieties, her desire to escape through writing, her tendency to live inside of her head, all of that resonated with me so deeply the first time I read this.
I love everything about this book. I love the relationship between Cath and her sister, and their relationship with their father. I love the realistic description of the first year of college. I love Cath’s journey and character development. I love Levi and his relationship with Cath. I am a fangirl for Fangirl.
Right after the fire, my writer friend Court sent me a care package of books, and this was one of them. It was so deeply comforting to me during one of the most difficult times of my life that now more than ever it’s sort of imprinted onto me. Rainbow Rowell’s writing feels like home to me. When I read her books I’m reminded of why I write and what kind of writer I want to be: the kind that makes the every day feel extraordinary with a twist of a phrase. The kind that disperses truths of all kinds in tasty bite-sized morsels that melt on the tongue. And above all, the kind of writer that makes people feel.
This book means too much to me for me to be able to offer any proper criticisms on it, so I’ll just end this with one of my favorite quotes and a hearty thank you to Rainbow Rowell for giving it to me, and for inspiring me, over and over again, to hold the things I love close to my heart and not give them up for anything.
“Just… isn’t giving up allowed sometimes? Isn’t it okay to say, ‘This really hurts, so I’m going to stop trying’?”
“It sets a dangerous precedent.”
“For avoiding pain?”
“For avoiding life.”