Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell


FangirlTitle: Fangirl

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Summary: 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? -Goodreads

Review:

**Warning: Spoilers!**

OMG yay!!!  I actually read this!  😀

Fangirl is a book that I’ve heard so much about.  Nothing but great reviews, so I was really excited to pick it up.  I bought it a little while ago–I think during the holidays.  I thought I’d never get around to it, but I don’t have access to the library right now, so I’ve started all the books I’ve hoarded bought.

I’m pretty sure I’ve never read a book based in college, because that’s usually crossing genres from YA, young adult, to NA, new adult, which I don’t read.  But Fangirl was, in fact, in the YA genre.

I love the title–what fangirl wouldn’t?!  And I love the cover.  The cover is gorgeous!  I was lucky enough to get a hardcover of this book from my local bookstore, which was incredible.

The book started in a really cool way with the Simon Snow “Encyclowikia” page, which is basically Wikipedia.  I loved FanFixx.net (FanFiction.net) and all the other fangirl/fanboy terms thrown into the book.  Simply amazing.

Simon Snow is pretty much Harry Potter.  I didn’t know whether to be bothered by that or excited.  For a while, I was bothered, especially when Harry Potter was mentioned in the book.  It was hard to see the two series coexisting in the same world, but I understand why Cath couldn’t be an HP fan.  All those legal issues and stuff…

But then the “bothered” side of me disappeared, because it only made Cath an even more relatable character (and I love me my relatable characters!).  She wrote fanfiction and went to midnight releases (something I have yet to experience).

SPEAKING OF CHARACTERS!!!  Rainbow Rowell’s characters… OMG… they’re just… Ah-maaaah-zing!  I loved Reagan from the start.  She was like Maddie-esque (Maddie is from Lauren Myracle’s ttyl).  And Levi… good gods.  Levi + Cath = adorableness!!!  I think I liked them a tad more when they weren’t in a relationship, but they were so cute when they finally got together.

Reagan is one of my faves, though.  ‘Cause she was perfect.  I loved how “protective” she was of Cath.  Ooh, and the part when she was like, “We need to turn in our housing forms if we want to room together again.”  AHHH!!!

I LOVED THE EMERGENCY KANYE PARTY!!!  Who knew Cath liked Kanye West?!

Ugggghhhh I hated Nick!  He was like, “Oh, I’m turning in my story–you were just the editor, Cath.  Sorry ’bout tricking you like that.”  And Cath was all, ?!?!?

And when Nick was like, “So, um, my story’s kinda being awarded, but our professor knows you helped me.  She said we either share the credit or I don’t get the award.”  And Cath was all, “No, no, you were right, it’s your story.”  And Nick was all, “NOOOOO!”  (Those aren’t the actual quotes, by the way… xD)

I loved getting a look into the Simon Snow world, as there were bits of fanfiction or chapters from the books between each chapter.  Some were boring, some were awesomesauce.

The Simon/Baz ship is being compared to the Harry/Draco ship.  I’ve actually never read a Harry/Draco fic.  Hmmm…

Favorite Lines:

“It is distracting…” Levi giggled.  (Did guys “giggle” or “chuckle”?  Cath hated the word “chuckle.”)

That’s funny.  I hate the word “giggle.”  😄

~

“Shut that thing down,” Nick said.  “You’re corrupting my creative centers with static.”

“That’s what she said,” Cath said, closing her laptop.

I haven’t heard a “that’s what she said” joke in a long time…

~

Smiling is confusing, she thought.  This is why I don’t do it.

I really expected Cath and her mom to reconcile–her mom didn’t even want to be her mom!  She wanted the girls to call her “Laura.”  She didn’t stay at the hospital when her child got ALCOHOL POISONING!  Psh…

Wren was a mess when she first got to college (she’s the one who got alcohol poisoning).  She was going to parties every night with that stupid Courtney, and was drinking and doing drugs.  But after the alcohol poisoning incident, their dad said, you can either stay home, or you can go to college and not go to any parties, not drink, and go to AA meetings.  I’m glad Wren went back.  (I loved Jandro, her boyfriend, who didn’t like it when she drank.  “It’s unbecoming,” he said.)

Fangirl made me laugh and smile and cringe and swoon–just feels galore, man.  I loved Cath and Levi and Reagan and Wren and Cath and Wren’s dad.  He was a good dad, even though he had some problems, too.

4.75/5 stars.  Eleanor & Park, here I come!

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6 thoughts on “Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

  1. I am so glad you loved it! Gah. This book is perfect for every fangirl! My boyfriend is currently reading it and he says Levi is weird 😛 Eeep! I am excited to read more of Rainbow Rowell!

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  2. I just finished reading this too! I’m glad it wasn’t only me that was drawing Harry Potter comparisons from Simon Snow, I thought maybe I was trying to read too much into it and haven’t read any interviews from her to see if she mentioned that aspect of it yet. 🙂

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    • I’m glad I wasn’t the only one, either! I thought I was reading too much into it and being a crazy Potterhead who pointed out every similarity a book had with HP. Have you reviewed Fangirl? If so, I’d love to read your review to see what you thought. 😀

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      • Aha, me too! When you’re such an enthusiastic fangirl that tends to happen. 🙂

        Ah, unfortunately I haven’t reviewed it yet, I’m a bit behind on reviews at the moment because university has been really intense, but I’m hoping I might be able to get it up soon. I’m looking forward to writing it!

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