Monday, March 9, 2015

Book Review: "Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell

5:56 PM
Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 445
Publication date: September 10th 2013
My rating: 45 stars


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?


I adored Rainbow's Eleanor and Park so I decided to give Fangirl a try. I was a bit scared going into it because a friend of mine who read it before me seemed to have struggled with the book and just overall did not like it. 

I only have two things to say: 

1) To my friend, for not liking this book (no offense to anyone who didn't enjoy this either :) :

2) To Rainbow Rowell:

This book follows Cath who has always been super close with her twin sister Wren. They both shared the same love for Simon Snow until now that they are both going to college. Wren tells Cath that this is their chance to gain some independence from each other and explore other things. To Cath this is basically a nightmare. Especially since she has always been the shy twin, not so outgoing. Or at least not as much as Wren. She simply prefers fanfiction and fangirling as opposed to parties and most social situations. At college she encounters many things like her new roommate who seems a bit uptight and scary at first and Levi, super swoon-worthy guy who also happens to be her roommates ex.  Among other things, Cath has to balance her dad's health and learn how to deal with their mom leaving them when they were young. And how to pass her creative writing class with her Simon Snow fanfic.

I think my little summary there was a little crappy, but I tried my best. Besides, my main focus here is to tell you about all the lovely and awesome things about this book. So let's get to that.

Rainbow Rowell's writing is impeccable (when is it not, though?). She always creates such amazing stories and strong, convincing characters. She has this way of writing that just makes a story flow perfectly together. The kind that you start reading and before you know it your half-way through the book. I never felt like this book dragged on, regardless of it being 445 pages long.

Back to characters, Cath is by far the most relatable character I've ever read about. As I was reading, I just kept picturing me. I just know that similar things will happen to me when I go to college. You just wait. And by things I don't mean, meet a cute guy like Levi. I mean things like living off of granola bars due to my cafeteria-induced anxiety. And that might sound like I'm exaggerating, but believe me, I'm not. Like Cath, I'm not the best at social-situations and 80% of what comes out of my mouth is word-vomit.

Another thing, or should I say things, I liked about this book were the different topics that were represented. Like family for example. I really liked how this was portrayed through Cath and Wren's dad and how they took care of him. Also, how things between Cath and Wren got a little bumpy and how they dealt with their mom and all of that. There were some things that really got to me, not enough to make me cry, but they did evoke a subtle sense of sadness. Regardless of these parts I consider this to be a pretty up-beat book. But I do think that these difficult situations she faced really did have an impact on Cath. Meaning that there is some pretty awesome character development.

The only thing that I wasn't a big fan of were the Simon Snow fanfic snippets. If you don't know what I'm talking about, there are a few parts in the book that are like segments of Cath's fanfic. At first I read them pretty intently, but after a while I just didn't really care for them so I skipped a few. I did love this book nonetheless. And will honestly read anything this woman writes!


  1. I liked this book too. I really like Levi! I found the Simon Snow parts kind of boring though. Great review! <3 Bee @ Bee Reads Books

    1. Levi! <3 And honestly if the number of Simon Snow parts had been smaller, this book would have been perfect! Or at least to me :)

  2. I've been torn on whether or not I want to read this!! I've read so many raving reviews and reviews where readers just did not care for it! Awesome review, though, Sophie! You made me decide I am going to read it someday. (:

    Pearl @ AsteriskPearl's Book Blog

    1. Thanks Pearl! I hope you like it as much as I did when you do pick it up. :)

  3. This book is definitely one of my favorites. Nice review :)

    1. Glad to hear it's one of your faves!
      Thank you :)

  4. I've read every Rainbow Rowell book except for Landline, and I must say this is definitely my favorite! I thought the Simon Snow fanfiction was so amazing, and yes the characters were super relateable. Fingers crossed you meet a cute Levi when you go off to college lol.

    1. I still need to read both Attachments and Landline and I really hope to do so very soon! haha and yes omg fingers crossed!


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