Due to the recommendation of my best friend, who knows my reading taste exceptionally well, I was introduced to the author Rainbow Rowell.
And I’m a little bit in love. With her writing. And her brain. And definitely her books.
I read Fangirl first and the essence of it was like reading about my life. I never wrote fanfiction for other peoples creations, but my aforementioned best friend and I had a whole world of our creation that we would write spin off stories for. We sort of wrote fanfiction for our own.. fiction… as our own fans. But the feeling is the same, in fanfiction. The idea of loving something so much that you want to be in that world always and that those characters take up more thought, and mean more to you, than most people in real life.
It was so great to see that in a book. Although I was well aware of the fanfiction community my whole life, it was fantastic to see it properly represented in a popular novel from a popular author. It also made me love Rainbow Rowell, because you can’t write like that and get it right without being a true fangirl yourself.
I promptly read her other two books, Eleanor & Park and Attachments, in the following week. They are also fantastic. Although Fangirl remains my favorite, the best thing about all of her books are how real the characters are. They have romance, but they have real life problems and real life romance. It’s awkward, it’s messy, there’s miscommunication and self-doubt. The characters are even real life figures – described as having too large foreheads, receding hairlines, oversized hips and the occasional stomach roll. And yet, they’re beautiful in their spirit. You love them for their honesty, for them loving those imperfections in the other characters and therefore making you love them as well. It doesn’t matter if the lead male is described as having a beer belly and being “big”. You love him anyway and you root for him. He doesn’t need the chiseled abs of your typical romance novel (which I am also guilty of reading). People fall in love, not just those deemed beautiful by social standards.
Her books are so much more than just the romance, but Rainbow Rowell makes me want to read more novels with romance like this. Real romance, not somewhere over the rainbow, but right here in our real world. With real people. Real, adorable people.
Plus, I finished each of her books in a day so you can’t beat a fast, quality read like that.