Thursday, December 19, 2013

Book Review: "Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl Rainbow Rowell
Published: September 10, 2013
ISBN-10: 1250030951
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Source: Library
Highly Recommended

In Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, 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? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

My Thoughts:
First of all, I owe sincere thanks to Rainbow Rowell for reintroducing me to Young Adult Fiction.  Eleanor and Park is one of the best books I've read this year and Fangirl did not disappoint.

Here we meet Cath, a college freshman who was abandoned by her mother at a young age and by her twin sister as they entered college.  Coupled with the responsibility she feels for her bipolar father and the fact that this introvert is now dealing with the campus world, Cath has a lot on her plate.  Her coping mechanism is to fall into the world of fan fiction, based on the character of Simon Snow (sort of a riff on Harry Potter).

Cath is a wonderful character and I related to many of her experiences in college--and I saw a lot of myself and other people that I know in her.  Rowell is a master at crafting true-to-life characters and Cath is one of her best.  She is a little exasperating at times, but what 18 year old isn't?  While I didn't "like" her twin sister, Wren, I found her an interesting character and foil for Cath.  Levi was a little too good to be true, but that was okay with me!

There was only one thing that kept this book from being perfect for me--and it really has nothing to do with the book itself (it's not the book, it's me!).  I never got into the fan fiction thing and I couldn't really relate to Cath's obsession with it.  I didn't mind all the fan fiction, but it did sort of present a bit of a wall (or, at least a flimsy fence) between me and this book.

All in all, a great read and if you are looking for some quality Young Adult Fiction, I would highly recommend Fangirl.

I was not solicited for this review and I did not receive any compensation for this post.

by Rainbow Rowell


  1. I don't know if you have read it yet, but I would recommend Eleanor & Park; I think you would enjoy it.

  2. Melinda, I've read a lot of YA fiction over the last few years. I am lucky to have made friends with a young lady of 27 who is obsessed with YA. She's made quite a few recommendations to me And lent me most of the books. I've been enjoying them. I haven't heard of Fangirl. I'll have to check the library for it. Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. I've seen Rainbow Rowell come up so often in end of year lists, that I'm now very keen to read her. I hope I get there in 2014.