Fangirl: The Manga by Rainbow Rowell, Sam Maggs, Gabi Nam

fangirl the manga by rainbow rowell and sam maggs book cover

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is one of my favorite YA contemporary books of all time. Rainbow Rowell perfectly captured how it feels to go to university as an introverted person – the feeling of being thrown into a massive fish bowl as a very small fish. When I found out it was being adapted into a manga, I was curious and a little concerned. I wasn’t sure what about the story could be enhanced by this new medium.

Cath doesn’t need friends IRL. She has her twin sister, Wren, and she’s a popular fanfic writer in the Simon Snow community with thousands of fans online. But now that she’s in college, Cath is completely outside of her comfort zone. There are suddenly all these new people in her life. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming boyfriend, a writing professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome new writing partner…

And she’s barely heard from Wren all semester!

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Micro-review: Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

I am a diehard Rainbow Rowell fan. After reading all of her novels, I’m now starting to make my way into her graphic novel / comic book bibliography. I’ll be honest, I was a little hesitant to read this book simply because I had never read a graphic novel before. I’m glad I started with Pumpkinheads – it’s an adorable and highly original story that I’ve now reread three more times just to absorb more of the amazing art and story.

Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.

Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.

But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.

Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if—instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut—they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years . . .

What if their last shift was an adventure?

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Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell’s books have been hit or miss for me – I adored Fangirl but didn’t see the appeal in Eleanor and Park. Until now, I’ve only read her young adult novels, and when I found out she has a bit of an adult catalog, I was thrilled (plus this one is a romance set in the 90s – the perfect setting). This book felt more like a return to form to me – it was adorable, and realistic, and fun – everything I had hoped for.

Attachments has a unique format: it follows Lincoln as he begins his new gig – a IT technician in the 90s (the birth of the internet). One of his key duties is to monitor employee emails – he quickly finds himself fascinated with the messages and lives of Beth and Jennifer, two other employees at the newspaper. As their lives unfold in their daily email correspondence, Lincoln becomes more and more fascinated with the women and begins take a step back to reflect on his own life (or the lack thereof).

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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Everyone has gone through an awkward phase in their life, whether it was in middle school, or if it never really seems to end. Most books that tackle the classic awkward period in youth either glorify it or over exaggerate it. When I found out this book centers around a girl who is obsessed (and I really do mean obsessed) with a fictional character, I was a little hesitant to pick this book up. I was afraid of how the book might handle this character (mostly that she wouldn’t be taken seriously and be treated like a caricature of a cosplayer at Comic Con). Taking a chance on this book is one of the best literary decisions I’ve made in a while – Fangirl has become one of my perennial favorites. I seem to keep coming back to this book every time I’m in a reading slump or I just want a book that feels like a tea and a warm blanket on a cold day.

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