by Rainbow Rowell
Overview (from B&N.com): 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: Like everyone else in the book blogging community I’ve heard a lot about Fangirl (or Rainbow Rowell) and it’s generally a glowing recommendation. After reading Eleanor & Park (see our review here), I wasn’t exactly enthusiastic about giving Fangirl a try. I decided to suck it up and read it after Ali from No Money 4 Books told me I’d probably like it (she hasn’t been wrong yet).
The plot. The fanfiction angle was interesting at the beginning. It made Cath more relatable in the nerd world. However, it quickly became an annoyance (more on this below). I will admit that I loved reading about a character that was actually a geek and not ashamed of it. It’s about time we got a book about an out and proud socially awkward geek that managed to find a lovable guy who liked her exactly as she is.
The characters. I loved Levi, except for one part when I wanted to punch him in the face (I will not say why though). I didn’t like Wren for the majority of the book. I liked Cath and totally empathized with her through a lot of the book. She got on my nerves when it came to Levi though. Get it together Cath! She also made me shockingly angry when it came to her fiction writing class. If your professor tells you to write something original, you can’t use your fanfiction! I wanted to slap some sense into Cath for being such an idiot about this. There was a ton of character development and everyone had their own things/quirks going on. It was really impressive because it never felt bogged down by the character information.
Fangirl was way too long. I didn’t care for all of the Simon Snow excerpts, whether they were from the books or Cath’s fanfiction. There was just way too much of it in Fangirl. It got to the point that I was literally rolling my eyes in annoyance every time a Simon Snow passage came up and I wasn’t even halfway through the book. Without all of that or with a whole lot less of it, I probably would’ve loved Fangirl.
Recommendation? I suppose so. From what I’ve read, Fangirl would definitely be the Rainbow Rowell book that I recommend to someone looking to give her a try. I don’t think I was as impressed as most people (I don’t think she’s really the author for me), but overall it was a pretty good book.
4 out of 5 Bookmarks = I’m admitting that I really liked it. Ali was right…again.