Dear Fang With Love

Two on Teenage Girlhood: Dear Fang, With Love & The Girls

Dear Fang With Love The Girls

Dear Fang, With Love by Rufi Thorpe
Published by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group on May 24th 2016
Source: Publisher
Pages: 320
Buy from IndieBound
The Girls by Emma Cline
Published by Random House Publishing Group on June 14th 2016
Source: Publisher
Pages: 368
Buy from IndieBound

The plot of Rufi Thorpe’s new novel, Dear Fang, With Love, winds itself across continents, through voices, and between generations. Vera, born to Lucas and Katya when they were just teenagers, joins her estranged father on a trip to Lithuania not long after a psychotic episode and diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Through both Lucas’s perspective and Vera’s letters to her boyfriend, Fang, Rufi Thorpe carries readers on a journey through a family’s fractured history and a girl’s unwinding.

While the Manson murders inspired the story of The Girls by Emma Cline, detailed cult dynamics and murderous motivations actually shift to the back burner. Instead, the novel is propelled by fourteen-year-old Evie’s gradual pull toward the orbit of a Manson-style cult in the summer of 1969. In hazy and sunsoaked passages, Emma Cline works to builds suspense around a character instead of step-by-step plot points.

“So much of desire, at that age, was a willful act. Trying so hard to slur the rough, disappointing edges of boys into the shape of someone we could love. We spoke of our desperate need for them with rote and familiar words, like we were reading lines from a play. Later I would see this: how impersonal and grasping our love was, pinging around the universe, hoping for a host to give form to our wishes.” ― Emma Cline, The Girls

What shines in both novels, however, is the writing. Specifically, the brilliant deep dive into the brainspace of a teenage girl. Though they exist in fictional universes decades and miles apart, with truly distinct voices, both Vera and Evie capture thoughts and emotions that will be familiar to many readers. The quirky plot of Dear Fang, With Love and mood-heavy character focus of The Girls are wildly different, but both highly recommended reads.

  • Elena

    Totally agre with you. I read The Girls last month and I loved it, not only because I love murders, but because the writing was quite unique and so, so beautiful.

  • Dear Fang, With Love appeals to me! The Girls From Corona Del Mar is also on my list. Now I have to decide which I should read first…

    • I haven’t read The Girls From Carona Del Mar yet, but I do have a copy. Dear Fang made me want to pick it up very soon!

  • The Girls is almost next on my tree book list and Fang is also on the wish list. Fang had a little trepidation behind it, so I’m glad you loved it, it’s pushed up towards the top now!

    • Man, Fang is so unique. It’s funny and quirky, but also REALLY dark. I’d love to see what you think about it.

      • Lauren @ Malcolm Avenue Review

        This is so unfair. You know I’m all over “really dark” and then you go ALLCAPS on me? Foiled! (I think it’s in my library hold list, will have to make sure).

  • I love how you tied these two together…and they do both get into a teenage girl’s head so beautifully. I’m almost finished Fang.

  • Both of these are high priority on my TBR!

  • Amanda

    Fang is in transit to me from the lib and I am like 500000 on the list for the Girls. Cannot wait to read both!

  • I wouldn’t have dreamed of putting these two books together, but you did it, and it worked. Dear Fang came recommended to me some time ago, so it’s on my list to read, and I really enjoyed The Girls because the writing was so vivid in putting me back into the mindset of a teen.

    • I think you’ll really enjoy Fang for the same reason! It’s such a specific way of storytelling and both books did it so well.

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  • Kailana

    I have The Girls on the way to me in the mail and am looking forward to it! I will have to check out Dear Fang, too!

  • I think I’m going to be much more interested in Fang, based on what I’ve heard from several folks, than I was in The Girls; I’m definitely going to give it a try!

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  • I can’t wait to get to these two. Come on library holds!

  • So glad to hear both are good; I have a copy of The Girls which I plan to start this week. I also think you’ll like Thorpe’s first novel The Girls of Corona del Mar. Wow! That’s an intense little read. I plan to get to Dear Fang.