Cath and Reagan have to negotiate the weirdness of Cath dating Reagan’s best friend and high school boyfriend. Reagan, of course, does not waste any time before laying down the ground rules. The first three rules are basically designed to keep Reagan from hearing or seeing anything to do with Cath and Levi’s relationship. But the fourth rule, “Levi is my friend, and you can’t be jealous of that” (288) is about protecting Cath and preserving their friendship. Since otherwise Reagan might be tempted to remind everyone that Levi loved her first. Cath isn’t sure the rules will even be necessary, but Reagan has a “good/bad feeling” (289).
But what a great first date! A nighttime tour of Levi’s favorite parts of the East Campus, how romantic—even if it is in February. And after the date they keep hanging out. Everyday. Cath wants to spend alone time with Levi, but she’s not ready to spend time at his house. It’s safer when she knows Reagan could come back, or if they’re in public at the Union. But Levi has a room with a beautiful antique couch for entertaining. Cath feels “loose and immoral” (302) just thinking about his hair, and the eyebrows! But Cath can’t quite get over how much more experience Levi has. And Levi just wants to spend time with her—even if it means carrying her laundry and driving her home to Omaha in a blizzard.
Part of what I love about Fangirl is how familiar the setting feels to me. I’ve read other books set in the Midwest, but you can tell that Rainbow Rowell actually lives here. Levi and I could have come from the same hometown—though, alas, there was no Levi at my high school. Of course he was in 4H, just like any good farm boy. And you definitely need a truck (or need to know someone with a truck) for all of your hauling emergencies! There was a cow pasture across the street from my house. My college also had a campus that was mostly for ag majors (and fashion, strangely enough)—maybe it’s just a Midwestern state school thing. Anyway, I love the Midwest and it’s great to read a book that does it justice.
- Reagan, what an excellent Twilight reference!
- Oh Cath, math contests, really?
- Gaudy English majors? What does that mean?
- I love Levi’s reaction to Cath and Wren’s room. He’s just overwhelmed by the preciousness.
If you love Cath’s slash fiction, you should try Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner. It’s a melodrama of manners! Richard St. Vier, a talented swordsman for hire, lives in Riverside with Alec, a moody university student. There’s romance, intrigue, swashbuckling, and fancy parties.