Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication: September 10th 2013 by St. Martin’s Press
Length: 460 pages
Synopsis: 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?
Review: This is one of those books. I was hesitating a little bit before reading it since there was so much hype around it, but it was time to give it a try.
I’m a huge fan of young adult novels anyway, but I think Fangirl is just something else. From the beginning of the story, I was able to relate to Cath. She is off to college, her lifelong friend (and twin) sort of dumped her and she is really anxious in social situations. There has been definitely a point in my life when I was in a very similar mindset and I was rooting for Cath to be just a little bit happier.
While reading Fangirl I found that I liked nearly every character in the book. In a way, they all reminded me of someone I know or knew and reading about their friendship really felt like home. I also appreciate that Rainbow Rowell wrote a book about someone writing fanfiction! I feel that this book perfectly mixed the crazy fandom environment with the daily life of characters from outside of a fandom. While this can seem like a little quirk of the main character, I think many people are judgmental towards fandoms and Fangirl paints the picture of a normal girl being the epicenter of one. I guess what I’m getting at is that fans are just normal people, sometimes being judged, and sometimes afraid of being judged. Rowell got all of that just right.
I nearly hate to say this, but I was glad that not all characters were as good at being friends as they initially seemed. I feel that this added another dimension to the book and allowed the characters to grow. What book would it be if it didn’t involve trouble?
For me, Fangirl is also a feel-good book, because Cath has a really good relationship with her dad. This is really something that I find valuable in a book – let’s move past reading about teenagers and young adults who wholeheartedly rebel for no reason at all!
Last but not least, I love how little descriptions were sneaked into the book. We get to know how characters look like when it’s relevant and we see the world around the characters when it’s needed. There is no long and boring appearance description before every character appears. I actually struggled to find nice non-dialogue quotes in this book, since Rowell managed to pain the story mostly through conversations!
I probably could say much more, but I feel that there could be spoilers if I keep writing. Want more? Pick up the book! Seriously. It’s awesome.
Rating: 5 / 5