Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell


Published: September 10th, 2013

Page Count: 445

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?”

4 stars  ★ ★ ★

While Fangirl’s plotline was definitely lacking in certain areas, I absolutely loved this sweet and relatable read.
The thing that definitely makes this book stand out from any other contemporary YA fiction novel is the fact that it centers a lot on the concept of fanfiction. I devoured those small excerpts from the Simon Snow – the fictional ‘Harry Potter’ book series – some of which came from the actual source material and some of which were from the fanfictions that Cath wrote.

To give you better access to my thoughts, I’ll just quickly summarize:

  • The fanfiction
  • Cath was an extremely relatable character. I sometimes suffer from bouts of social anxiety myself and – fortunately – it’s nowhere in the same degree as how Cath feels, but I definitely saw a lot of myself in her and instantly found her likeable (in MOST cases – see ‘Cons’)
  • Levi was just so darn adorable. He was all anyone most girls ever want in a boyfriend. I just loved his positive attitude and the way that he shares his joy with everyone – it reminded me a lot of my own boyfriend who shares similar traits
  • The entire debate on whether fanfiction is or is not in fact plagiarism. (I know that there are a lot of people who stand firmly on one side, but I believe this isn’t a black/white topic and could still be argued about. Nevertheless, it was very thought provoking).
  • Reagan was a gem. I loved her badass and no-nonsense attitude and found the banter between her and Cath hilarious
  • The way Nick gets put in his place at the very end. He was such an ass and I’m so glad that Cath finally managed to stand up to his nonsense.

  • While I definitely understood why Cath acted the way she did (I do share a lot of her traits, after all), I did think that sometimes she came across as extremely rude. It was also extremely painful to read her turn down offer after offer after offer of getting invited along by Levi, who is trying so hard to reach her (bless him)
  • The plot was definitely lacking. While I understand that this book was supposed to show us how Cath (with her strange and wacky personality) manages to navigate the waters of going to college, I didn’t really feel like there was much going on (besides the whole Nick thing). In my opinion, it definitely could have used just an inkling more drama, but maybe that’s just me.

Overall, I loved this book and would definitely recommend it to any fangirl or fanboy out there. I also think that this book is better appreciated by people who have had any kind of experience reading or writing fanfiction.


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