WHAT RE-READING FANGIRL BY RAINBOW ROWELL TAUGHT ME

Friday, September 09, 2016


My huge love for books is not a secret to anyone. I love the smell of pages, the excitement every time the postman rings the bell, telling me there are books waiting to be read.
I could go on for days talking about how much I fancy those badass Shadowhunters or my endless love for Richard Campbell Gansey III, but that is for another day.

There is one specific book, though, that I read at least twice every year and that is "Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell. It's not for the story parse, even though it's really heartwarming and absolutely beautiful and actually very relatable, it's because every time I read it, I'm so motivated, so inspired that at the end of every chapter I have to stop and start jotting ideas or writing until my fingers hurt. If you haven't read it yet, do it, go grab a copy, buy it on Bookdepository, hard cover, paperback, it doesn't matter, just read it, it will change you.

Now, let me just ramble about all the things that years of re.-reading this book taught me:

 1. Friends, sometimes, are better than family.

If you're familiar with the book then you know that our main character, Cath, has a twin sister, Wren (I see what you did there Rainbow Rowell!). They were close, really close, but Wren decides that since they both have to start college, they have to go separate ways. Which means not sharing a room. This leads to a disappointed Cath that has to share her room wth a complete stranger, Regan, a girl that is not the kind of person Cath is happy to have around. But since her sister is kinda ghosting her, Regan is the only person left, and believe it or not, they do work together. Sometimes even better that she did with her sister.

2. It's okay to be obsessed with something you truly love.

Cath is crazy obsessed with this fictional character: Simon Snow. She's got posters and fanart and most of all, she has a fanfiction account where she writes her own version of the story. Don't judge, I'm seeing you there, hiding your Harry Potter collection wands under your bed! The thing is, if you truly love something, you're allowed to get excited or crazy about it! 

3. It's okay to be scared.

It truly is. Cath is scared of living in a room without her sister, she's scared of starting something with Levi, she's scared of going to the cafeteria, she's scared of her roommate! We're all scared of something, it's normal, it's part of being human, the important thing is that we try to overcome our fears, slowly, it surely takes time, but then it will be liberating, I promise.

4. Giving up is allowed, sometimes.


As long as you don't avoid life.
"...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."
Dads know what they're talking about, which leads me to:

5. Your dad will always get your back

Isn't it the truth? It doesn't matter how old you are, they will always be there. Count on them.

6. Don't trust someone straight away.

Cath learns it the worst way. If someone is being nice to you without even knowing you, do not share stuff with them, don't trust them in something important to you. They may reveal the worst people you will ever meet, or maybe kindness is just part of who they are, but in general, keep your eyes open, you will never know.

7. People love you for who you are

and not for who you pretend to be. Look, being different is okay; not loving what everyone else loves is cool too. If you like writing fanfiction or reading fantasy or you're just crazy obsessed with that actor, what is wrong with that? People will be interested in you even if you're weird, awkward or socially inept, they even may find it kinda cute. Don't be ashamed of showing people who you are because you're sure they will think you're weird because people may surprise you. Being different means you're original, which means you're one of a kind, embrace that.

8. Some guys don't expect you to have sex with them.

Honestly, how many times I've heard girlfriends saying "He's flirting with me because he wants me to sleep with him, isn't that obvious?" Well, no, my dear, it is not. If a guy is interested in you, it doesn't mean he's interested in sleeping with you. It just simply means that he enjoys your company and that is all. Cath is so scared to start "dating" Levi because she thinks he's only interested in having sex with her, because he's older and that's what you can expect from a guy. This is so wrong! Some guys want to hold your hands in the cold and they want to hear your voice while you read. Don't deprive yourself of having a good time with someone because you think for him you're just another name to add to his sex list. Most of the times, you're not.

9. People can truly be mean creatures with alcohol in their system.

There's this awful scene in which drunk Wren makes fun of Cath because of her obsession for Simon Snow. I mean, first of all, you don't get to decide what's weird and what's not, second, you're her twin sister, you should look out for her, not mocking her and being drunk is not an excuse. And third, you were the one helping her out writing those pages. Drunk people let the worst part of them take control and it won't ever end nicely. Keep that in mind.

10. Write write write.

Write for you, because you love it, because you want to know what happens, because it's your world, your rules, and if you think about stopping because you're sure people won't like it, just don't. First of all, because you don't have to care about what people think (you're writing for you, remember?) and second, because you could be totally wrong! Your story could be the next best-seller, you just don't know it yet. So write until your fingers hurt and your eyes burn. Write.Write.Write.

11. Families are not always perfect

I know what I've said, dads get your back, most of the times. But families are their own kind of broken too. Mums can leave their kids to find themselves to come back years later and expect them to forgive them. This is how it is, in some parts of the Universe. I'm lucky enough to have a very functional family, so I don't know how it's like, all I know is that we're not all that lucky and the world, sometimes, is a very scary place.

12. Together ever after is the new thing

"Happily ever after, or even just together ever after, is not cheesy, it's the noblest, like, the most courageous thin two people can shoot for."
Oh, Wren, you're such a pain in the ass but at times you can actually be a lovely bean.

13. I root for you.

I root for you too, Levi.
(Read the book if you want to know what the heck this means!)





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