Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell Review

Expected publication: September 10th 2013 by St. Martin's Press
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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?

When I went to the book expo this past June one of the books that I wanted to get was Fangirl. I barely got a copy because the line was ridiculously long! Everybody loves Rainbow! But I got it and I guarded that copy like it was a briefcase full of 100-dollar bills.

  I became a fan of Rainbow after reading Park and Eleanor a few months ago. Her style of writing is laid-back, warm and easy to read. I don’t know, it just makes you want to cuddle with your snuggie and a cup of tea and read forever. I felt like this while reading Fangirl. While her writing is excellent I felt a little lost while reading this book. Everything flowed until I got to the Simon Snow fan fiction parts. It pulled me out of the book. I thought about skipping the Simon Snow parts altogether but I felt like I would be cheating if I skip them. Thankfully there wasn’t a lot of fanfiction and at the end I kind of got it and I wanted to know how everything would end in Simon’s world. P.S. It read a lot like Harry Potter sometimes.

Cath character is a lot like many people I know, including myself. She was scared of new things and that’s something that I'm very scared of. I like routines. I also related to her being obsessed with Simon Snow. I understood that Simon was part of her life and that it got in the way of many things. At times if felt like her obsession with Simon was bigger than college, her sister, her future and even herself. Even though I related with her being obsessed with something that is not real, trust me I have an obsessive personality, I got frustrated with her. I wanted her to see beyond Simon and her fan fiction writing and I wanted her to live and enjoy new things. Cath was a very complex character and I know not a lot people will get her but I did. 

I am glad for the secondary characters in the book. Like, Reagan and Levi. They gave Fangirl spice and where Cath was an introvert character they were fun and I loved that Reagan was a bit dark sometimes. I also thought I had Levi’s character figured out but I didn’t. There’s a part in the book were I almost gave up on the book because he surprised me. But then I realized that what he did made him more real and not like the usual perfect good guy that I thought he was. I also like Wren’s character. I wish we saw more of her in the book. Maybe Rainbow should write about her next?

Fangirl was touching but at the same time funny, entertaining and with a few surprises you won't see coming. This book is for the fangirl in all of us.


  1. I haven't read Eleanor and Park but I have a feeling I'll love Rainbow Rowell's works! They are simple, sweet, just like the covers =) And I'll love a good character-driven story any day!

    Alicia @ Summer Next Top Story

  2. You know, as much as I love Rainbow, I felt the same way about the snippets of Simon Snow fan fiction. It made for a choppy read. As a result, I couldn't find my reading groove. I've been putting this off but I'm hoping the actual hardcopy (as opposed to e-copy) will be better.

    Great review, Beth.


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