Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fangirl: How do you feel about being compared to Joss Whedon?

These posts about various Rainbow Rowell books are gonna start getting RULL obligatory pretty soon, because she’s gonna keep on writing fantastic books and I’m gonna keep on loving them. And there are only so many ways to say that you love a thing. Eventually, I’ll just be posting a picture of the book cover followed by several exclamation points and a hearts-for-eyes emoticon.

I will say, one thing that made Fangirl particularly special for me was my ongoing Twitter discussion with Rainbow regarding her theories about the subtextual romance between a certain boy wizard and his pale-haired, pointy-faced adversary.

One of the tamer depictions...because it's Wednesday afternoon.

So when we meet Cath and she’s writing a popular fanfiction series featuring two characters in the magical Simon Snow universe who happen to be sworn enemies and also both of the male persuasion, it’s even more of an “I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE” if you happen to know that tidbit about the real-life author.

About Cath. She’s a freshman, an extreme introvert, and the identical twin of an uber-extrovert. The only reason she even left her hometown to go to college was to stay near her sister, Wren. But Wren wants to break out of the twin box and meet new people . . . and she wants a roommate who isn’t Cath, for the first time in their lives. And thank goodness for that, because then we get Reagan—Cath’s sarcastic, cynical, slightly older, much more worldly roommate (who, coincidentally, reminds me of a grown-up version of Eleanor from Eleanor & Park). And with Reagan comes Levi, an always-smiling, tousle-haired country boy whose been Reagan's friend since childhood and who ends up in Cath and Reagan’s room an AWFUL lot. And we, the readers, don’t complain even a little (please refer again to description of Levi if confused about this).

All the elements I’ve come to associate with a Rowell novel are here: A wide variety of fleshed-out and relatable characters, tingly-in-your-belly boy-meets-girl scenarios, a particular boy character who makes you just REALLY upset that you can’t reach in and grab people off the pages of books (GET ON THAT, SCIENCE), a little bit of serious to balance out the sweet, and snappy exchanges of dialogue.

Rainbow’s talent with clever dialogue that doesn’t feel forced is one of my favorite things about her writing. I’ve come to think of her as the Joss Whedon of novels, and for anyone who’s seen Firefly and all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which is all of you . . . *narrows eyes*) that should be fairly self-explanatory. But FINE, I’ll give you examples.
“What about him?” she’d say, finding an attractive guy to point out while they were standing in the lunch line. “Do you want to kiss him?”
“I don’t want to kiss a stranger,” Cath would answer. “I’m not interested in lips out of context.” (p. 85)
Reagan was sitting on Cath’s desk when Cath woke up.
“Are you awake?”
“Have you been watching me sleep?”
“Yes, Bella. Are you awake?” (p. 286)
 “Look at you. All sweatered up. What are those, leg sweaters?”
“They’re leg warmers.”
“You’re wearing at least four different kinds of sweater.”
“This is a scarf.”
“You look tarred and sweatered.” (p. 91)

 Cue the message from our sponsors (we have no sponsors): Look for Rainbow Rowell’s next book, Landline, due out . . . sometime next spring/summer.


  1. If I could marry Rainbow Rowell's books then I probably would, and if Levi was real (WHY ISN'T HE REAL?!) then I would DEFINITELY marry him. No question. He makes me want to move to a ranch and raise cattle and I don't even think cattle should be raised (in a meat eating way. Their mommas can do what they want.)

    Yeah, I loooooooved this. Loved it. LOVED. Hearts for eyes emoticons all round.

  2. Great quotes - WHY HAVE I NOT READ THIS YET. I am so angry with myself! Rainbow Rowell IS the Joss Whedon of writing, you nailed it!

  3. I will now proceed to write fanfiction about you and Rainbow's books. And it WILL be steamy.

  4. I do not know, but you can FIX that.

  5. There is a Twilight dig in this book AND a joke about being tarred and sweatered?! I was saving this book to take on holiday buuuuuut...*stares meaningfully at Fangirl sitting on my bookshelf*

  6. OMG that first GIF. Look at Malfoy/Baz trying to act like he doesn't even care if Harry/Simon finishes unbuttoning that shirt. But we know truth. We know.

    I would like to use this grab-people-off-the-page machine to grab Reagan and then we can be BFFs and DAMMIT SCIENCE, WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING IF NOT WORKING ON THIS?

  7. "who, coincidentally, reminds me of a grown-up version of Eleanor from Eleanor & Park"


    Also, this is my favorite review of the book. And kind of makes me want to re-read it with a slightly different attitude.

  8. Oh but it would be the PERFECT vacation book. Maybe you should wait if you ca-'re already reading it, aren't you?

  9. There were SO many glittery Blingees of Harry and Draco in various states of intimacy. It was hard to choose just one.

    Reagan was pretty amazing...except for that time when she said Internet friends don't count.

  10. I'm kind of flabbergasted by my powers of persuasion over you lately. First I write a bad review of Finnegans Wake and you rush out to buy the book, now THIS.

    I wonder if I can get you to reconsider Game of Thrones...

  11. Well Rowell couldn't make Reagan TOO perfect. But I'd like to think she learns the error of her ways

  12. I bought a copy of Fangirl last night at the signing and promptly started reading it, then realized it would be a perfect beach read over Thanksgiving. But since Rainbow signed MY copy, I have to put it on hold at the library and what if it doesn't come in before I leave?? AGHHHHHH

  13. Your review makes me like this book better in retrospect than I liked it after first reading it. I mean, I liked it. But I didn't love it. But you might have induced a little love with me just now. Because yes to the Joss Whedon-like dialogue. And yes, I've seen all 7 seasons of BtVS and all one season and one feature film of Firefly/Serenity and all of the Dr Horrible.

    Incidentally, I think Harry is buttoning his shirt back UP after some post-coital stuff with Draco. Yum! BTW, I have lots of GREAT Harry/Draco. Did I sent them to you already? I am old and gray and full of sleep and cannot recall.

  14. My willpower is failing but I'm holding strong...for now