The quirky young adult novel follows the life of Cath, a freshman in university. Photo: CC, St. Martin’s Press.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

During the school year, when you feel like readings are piled up to your ears, reading for fun can seem like a ridiculous idea—but it shouldn’t. Reading is the fastest way for you to make an escape into the world of your choosing, and can expand your vocabulary without you even knowing it. The underappreciated world of literature offers endless benefits, so without further ado, check out this week’s read.

Fangirl (by Rainbow Rowell)

Despite what the title might suggest, you don’t have to be a fanfiction diehard to enjoy this book. The narrative follows the life of Cath and her twin sister Wren, and their misadventures upon entering university.

Cath is a shy, introverted writer with her head in the clouds. An avid writer of fanfiction, she applies what she knows to her first year classes only to be surprised by the disappointing outcome and the negative feedback she receives from her professors.

Although not a very intellectually stimulating read, this book is a great way to kick off the start of school with some fun, light themes that are surprisingly relatable. It’s a story about starting over, self discovery, and taking risks, ideas that are all too familiar to any incoming freshman.

In classic Rainbow Rowell style, it’s a coming of age story set in school, a place where her characters are simultaneously comfortable and unfamiliar. Delving into the unknown can be scary, but Rowell does a great job tying up loose ends, making this a feel good story for all.

The 2013 young adult novel is just 433 pages, and every one comes with a surprising twist. One of the best additions to the book is that Cath’s actual fanfiction is interjected throughout the main narrative, which makes this fluffy read even more enjoyable on a meta level.

This book even propelled the release of the much anticipated Carry On, a full novelized version of the fanfiction that Cath was writing in Fangirl.

This book is for you if you’re tired of delving into fantasy worlds or memorizing philosophical discussions. It’s simple, it’s smart, and it’s fast—all the necessary elements you need to wind down before a long year filled with textbooks and study notes.

If you’re already years into university, Fangirl will be a trip down memory lane. From friendship to sisterhood, this book has it all for the incoming university student, mostly because it captures the essence of what it’s like to be a small fish in a big pond.


  • Spring 2022: Desiree Nikfardjam Fall 2021: Zofka Svec 2020-2021: Aisling Murphy 2019-2020: Ryan Pepper 2018-2019: Iain Sellers 2017-2018: Ryan Pepper