Book: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Date Published: September 10th, 2013
Date Started: January 4th, 2014
Date Finished: January 5th, 2014
Other Books Reviewed: Eleanor and Park, Landline
From the author of 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?
Fangirl was such an easy read, and I mean that in a good way. The story is about a girl name Cath who is heading off to college with her twin sister Wren. However, Wren wants her own space and wants to meet new people forcing Cath to share a room with a very blunt girl. All Cath wants to do is stay at home with her workaholic dad and write FanFiction. However, when Cath starts falling for Levi, her roomates somewhat boyfriend, things start to change.
What I liked most about this book was that if you’re into writing or reading, you can relate a lot to this book. I’m not a huge fan of fanfiction, so I thought it would be a little strange at first. But I kept hearing good things about this book, so I really wanted to give it a try. I liked how Cath struggled with her writing. Rowell showed Cath’s journey through writing, and it was difficult for Cath. I feel that I struggle this way with my own writing sometimes. I especially struggled in my creative writing classes from my own freshman year in college, so it felt like I was reading a biography about my life for a while.
I also liked that this story shed more light on the world of fandoms. I believe that there are stereotypes about fandoms in which people picture screaming girls waiting in lines with their costumes for some movie to come out or some book. I was half expecting Cath to give up on her fanfiction. I thought she was going to discover that she was outgrowing it and it was time to retire her writing. She might do that one day, but I’ll never know. Maybe I should write some fanfiction about it? Haha, that was a joke. Might have been a terrible one, but it was a joke nonetheless.
I think what was most important about this book was the character development. Characters don’t always need to go through a major breakthrough in order to change. Thats what college is about, going through gradual changes that turn you into an adult. I believe that this book would make an amazing graduation present for a highschooler. This book outlines all the things that a typical freshman can be afraid of. Making new friends, getting lost, failing your classes, etc.
The only gripe that I had with this book was sometimes I felt like I was dragging through the fanfiction parts. While I liked reading the little excerpts before each chapter, I wasn’t thrilled with the fanfiction that sometimes took up a couple of pages. I wanted to read more of Cath’s story about when their mother left them as children. Speaking of the mother, I felt as though that issue was never resolved. Her mother appeared for a couple of minutes in the story. I wish that something could have been resolved around that issue rather than Cath just yelling at her for walking out the door.
In all, this was a quick read. I finished it in one day and it was a nice change from the deep intertwining fantasy YA novels that I’m used to reading. I wish I had a book like this when I was first entering high school.