Welcome to Clementine’s Weekly Reading Series, where Clem the Hedgehog discusses whatever she’s currently reading. This week: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.
Am I a FanHog? Well, there are certainly things I enjoy, like a plump mealworm, a vigorous run on the ol’ scurry wheel and the occasional Civil War re-enactment. But do I write fanfiction about these things? Do I post gif after gif of them on Tumblr? Do I cosplay as them? (I suppose Civil War re-enactment was one of the original forms of cosplay.)
All of these questions came to mind as I read Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, the first subject of Tumblr's Reblog Book Club and a book that contrasts a girl’s fucking amazing online life with her slightly discombobulated offline life. Let me tell you: That is some shit I can relate to. My online life is a helluva lot more interesting than my cage life. Before the Internet, most hedgehogs had to amuse themselves with empty toilet paper rolls and nothing else.
Dark times, reader, dark times.
Thus, I can understand why Cather, Fangirl’s protagonist, is hesitant to dive headfirst into college when she’s already a celebrated fanfiction writer. Since she’s a human, she must learn the benefits of interacting with her fellow species and living life — both online and offline — to the fullest. (Yeah, that part I could debate, but whatever, you humans do you.)
For once, I wasn’t immediately sickened by the romance in the book because it involved seduction through reading The Outsiders. I’m fucking lactose intolerant, but even I thought that was sweet.
Against all odds, I found myself enjoying this book, mostly because it portrayed online life so realistically. The Internet isn’t just a black void that sucks up our time, energy and souls — well, it’s that, too, but it’s also a community. Are we a fucked up, emotionally disturbed, pop culture obsessed community? Hell yes. But it sure beats an empty toilet paper roll.
Clementine was born on July 2011 to an unknown breeder in New Jersey. She made her Internet debut on September 2012, and since then, her Tumblr book review series has gained acclaim from authors like Emma Straub, Ned Vizzini and Jami Attenberg. In her spare time, Clementine sleeps, eats and exercises on her scurry wheel. She also has a new book that’s out now from Black Balloon Publishing: Clementine Classics: Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser