Fangirl is a fun YA book about a young woman (she’s 18) who’s dealing with some things. She’s retreated into writing fanfiction, which is not a thing everyone is happy about.
But Fangirl is nothing if not a love letter to fanfiction and the people who write it. They’re finding their voices, they’re learning how to write, they’re getting butt-in-seat time of getting it done. You don’t become a better writer without, you know, WRITING. If fanfiction is your vehicle for that, great!
And, to my mind, if you’re willing to put what you write out there? That takes guts. The internet is not always a nice place – if you’re confident enough to put yourself out there like that, more power to you. (But maybe that’s how you get feedback too – how do you know if you’re any good without some way of finding out?)
Anyway, Fangirl is fun and I have a lot more respect for fanfiction authors and sites now.
What’s it about?
Landline is an adult fiction book about marriage. It uses the story of a woman whose marriage is falling apart to talk about the emotional connection that two people make in a long-term relationship. It also uses the impossible: a landline to talk to the past. Georgie’s husband and children have gone to Nebraska for Christmas; Georgie has had to stay back in LA for work, an incredible opportunity that came up at the very last minute. When Georgie calls them via her cell phone, it’s the present-time husband. When she calls via an old rotary phone connected to the wall, she talks to her husband from their college years. It’s a magic trick the author uses to get the two of them to talk honestly about all the issues that a married couple has.
Why should you read it?
Landline is cute. I like that it’s about a long-term relationship, in a real way. It’s not about falling apart, not really, and it’s not about falling in love. It’s about the ties that come from a life spent together. You don’t see much fiction that concentrates on that, much less that compares it to a friendship of similar length. (I wish that friendship had been a bit more fleshed out.) Also, I was grumpy that the conflict in the marriage came from a woman putting her career first. Can we please stop that trope? But overall: cute. Fun. Not life-changing.