The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
During the summer before my senior year of college, I was recommended by a friend to read the novel Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Of course, the pretty cover caught my attention, but I was also relieved to find a book about a college student and their experiences.
The novel focuses on the introverted main character, Cather, who overcomes anxiety, experiences a breakup, handles multiple rejections, and deals with family drama. Cather, aka “Cath,” initially struggles with letting her past go and opening up to this new life of independence at college.
Cath and her sister Wren both leave their hometown of Omaha to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Wren finds herself easily making friends, going out, meeting boys, and dealing with her classes just fine. On the other hand, Cath finds herself feeling isolated, alone, anxious and unable to leave her comfort zone of writing fanfiction. These differences between the sisters cause tension and eventually, Cath must take on college alone and let go of the hand that she’s always had to hold. When it seems like she’s made progress, Cath regresses due to her own anxieties and inexperience. It is through the help of her friends Reagan and Levi that Cath begins to adjust to college life, accept that she must experience new things, and that sometimes not everything will go as planned.
This novel opened my eyes to the reality that everyone will grow in their own way during college, and that we are not alone. Many of the anxieties that I experienced, others around me were experiencing, too. Cather deals with heartbreak, uncertainty about a career path, and also provides perspective that we often don’t know the many things people are dealing with in their own lives.
Many of the things Cath struggled with, I also experienced and although I didn’t read the book before starting college, I am still thankful that I did now. I highly recommend this book to anyone in college or anyone on a journey of finding themselves. The book is not a guide, but rather provides a perspective that many may need.
Fangirl can be purchased online through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart, and can be purchased in some bookstores.
The author Rainbow Rowell has also written Eleanor & Park, Almost Midnight, Attachments, Carry On, and Kindred Spirits.