Nineteen-year-old Catherine is living a difficult life. Her ex-boyfriend, Levi, kissed another girl, which left her heartbroken. Her father is also going through mental health issues to the point where he has to be hospitalized. She’d lost her mother when she was eight, as well, from what she remembered.
Catherine works on a creative writing project and shares her assignment with her classmate, Nick. She feels like she’s falling in love with him. But when he discusses the story that they cowrote, Catherine tries to take credit for part of the work, and that angers him.
If that is not bad enough, she keeps calling her dad, but he will not answer. She even leaves him several messages until someone from his job calls her and says that he’s staying in a psychiatric hospital. She goes out of her way to visit. Regardless of her concerns for him, her father insists that she stays at college and worries more about her future than him.
All these factors take a toll on Catherine’s stress. It even gets to the point where she doesn’t want to work on her short story and will be willing to fail her creative writing class. She has to reconsider her future, even if it does not lead her to the path she wanted.
I enjoyed this story the whole way through. The word bubbles and sentences are straightforward, which speeds up the pace of this book, especially the ones with the most tension.
I also admire the moments where the reader actually goes inside Catherine’s head. For example, when she is complaining to her creative writing instructor about what she’s going through, she describes it as, “Falling down a cliff and grabbing at branches… trying to invent the branches as I fall.” The illustration shows her in that situation because that was how she felt.
I especially admire Catherine herself, as the main character. She comes off as both likable and relatable. One reason is because when she feels like her life is turning upside down, everything she once loved is no longer interesting. Another is how she feels so worried about her dad’s health and wants to put her studies aside to take care of him. Even though he demanded that she continue her education instead, I considered her decision to be selfless and considerate.
Overall, Fangirl, Vol. 3, was a fun, fast-paced read. I think it would be easy for any reader to understand the story and feel the characters.
Note that although the target audience is the young adult crowd, there are a few instances of strong language. So, while this is probably no big deal to an older teenager, to a younger one, say 13, you might want to consider their maturity level before letting them read this book.
Otherwise, I would gladly recommend it. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.