September 30, 2013

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: Book Review

FangirlGenre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publication Date: September 10th 2013
Rating: 5/5 stars
Source: Gifted by Meg (thanks!)
From the author the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park
A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.
Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
My Thoughts: After loving Eleanor & Park and reading a lot of amazing reviews, I knew that I had to read Fangirl. And I am so glad that I did. This book is seriously my favourite book of the year. The only complain I have is that the ending was too abrupt, I NEED to know what happens next!

Despite not being a fan fiction writer, I really connected to the main character, Cath. She’s just a normal (or maybe not so normal) girl trying to handle the pressures of a new school without abandoning her sister and writing (even when her sister abandons her). You don’t have to love (or even read) fan fiction to connect with the message that this book presents. I seriously love Cath (I rarely like main characters) and I’m glad that I do. I’m also glad to see (for once) that twins are portrayed accurately. Usually, the only appearance that twins make is “wow look, we can read each other’s minds!!!!” and I’m glad to see that this isn’t the case. I’m terrible at describing characters so all I can say is that Cath is a wonderful character. In this book, we also get to meet Levi. To describe Levi accurately, I’m going to use one sentence: Levi is so swoon-worthy that he made my “book boyfriends” list but he is only an honorary member because I can’t bear the thought of stealing him away from Cath. That is all.

The romance in this book is so adorable. Seriously, you will smile and giggle while reading some chapters. The side-characters were also very well-written. I loved Cath’s roommate and her very hectic family. I also really liked the fan fiction elements. In between chapters, readers would get a chance to take a peak at Cath’s fan fiction and the book series that she loves so much. Even though I personally don’t read fan fiction, I can connect to Cath. I totally understand what it’s like to love something with all your heart, even when other people don’t see it. Overall, this book is amazing, cute, realistic and just plain awesome. I don’t usually like the main characters of books I read but I really loved Cath. Rainbow Rowell, you have once again written an amazing book.

Did you read Fangirl or any other books by Rainbow Rowell? What did you think?


  1. I agree with you about the ending. There was a ton of build up and then it just ended so quickly!

    But I'm a bit jealous that you loved this book so much because I only gave it 3 stars. I *wanted* to love it more but a couple things just really bugged me (like how Simon Snow supposedly trumps Harry Potter??). But I wish I loved it the way you did!

    Great review. :)

  2. If that cover didn't already make me want to buy the book, your review definitely did! I've seen so many four- and five-star reviews for FANGIRL that I'm itching in my seat right now, cursing my book buying ban. Glad you enjoyed this, Shelly! I think I will, too, even though I'm not THAT big of a fangirl - and probably never will be.

    "Despite not being a fan fiction writer, I really connected to the main character, Cath." - Ooh, I used to write fan fiction, a long, long time ago. But this is promising! Now I know for sure that I'll fall in love with Cath the same way you did. And haha, I'm probably worse at describing characters than you are, because I always end up rambling useless stuff about them. :P

    I've heard SO much about Levi, though I really wish Rainbow had picked a different name because every time I hear it, I think about the jeans brand. He sounds absolutely adorable, though, and I hope he doesn't fall into the category of cliche love interests, because as much as I love nerdy boys (I'm assuming that Levi's a nerd?) with glasses and all, they tend to become stereotypical "I love words and science and you!" kind of people without much character at all.

    The only thing I'm a bit worried about is what Ashley said above: Simon Snow trumping Harry Potter. Don't get me wrong, I don't really have anything against that, but I am a huge Potterhead, and I might get a bit iffy if Rainbow says that this Snow guy is better than Harry. Still, I promise I'll try to go in with an open mind. ;) Lovely review, Shelly!

  3. I haven't yet read a Rainbow Rowell book. I know, I'm a failure! Her work is in a genre I usually don't read, so it's like when faced between stepping out and trying it or sticking to fantasy, scifi, or dystopia I sort of skip over it. I really want to change that though just so I can see what all the fuss is about! I still am unsure about whether I should read Fangirl or Eleanor and Park to start off with. I think more people enjoyed Eleanor and Park but those than loved Fangirl really loved it. Eek! I'm assuming you would say Fangirl first since you seemed to have loved it more?

  4. I'm glad that this one worked well for you all apart from the ending! I hate it when books leave it a little too open ended.

    Great review, hun! <33

  5. I am with you on wanting more. The ending was good, but I could read a War and Peace length tome about Cath being Cath, and not be done at the end. I just fell so in love with those characters. I DO NOT WANT TO PART FROM THEM.

  6. Yeah, I agree with the ending part. I really loved this one and I'm happy you enjoyed it too!! :)

  7. I have soooo much love for this book. It was so well done. Glad you loved it, too!

    Kate @ Ex Libris


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