Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

August 9, 2015 Book, Reviews 12 ★★★★½

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow RowellFangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Women, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Fiction, Friendship, Love & Romance, New Adult, Psychological, Realistic Fiction, Social Issues, Young Adult
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on May 12th 2015
Source: Own
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This special edition includes fan art, a ribbon bookmark, a Q&A with the author, and an excerpt from her new book Carry On.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?A New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2013 A New York Times Best Seller!

I read Fangirl in a time when I was panicking a lot about the things that College would bring to me on August. I had no idea what to expect, or what to do, and this book helped me get a perspective that gave me hope about it all.

I identified with Cath so much that it scared me sometimes. As a lover of stories and writing, I used to write fanfiction once upon a time, and I felt a bit of ache to those old stories I used to make about Twilight, Percy Jackson, The Avengers, and my longest yet unfinished one, one of the boy band One Direction. I knew from my own experience what it was like to manipulate those characters into doing things far from what the author sometimes intended to do. I felt like a thirteen-year-old again whenever Cath would describe her own love for Simon Snow. And would laugh at the comparisons some people made about staying all night reading fanfiction (GUILTY!).

Cath was an interesting character that I got to hold dear while reading. She had anxiety problems and would have trouble with change, preferring to stay with what she knew, a feeling I know all too well. She loved her comfort zone, and I liked seeing how her character would slowly change that zone with what was happening around her, yet staying true to who she was as a person.

There is no way to express my love for this marvelous book. It was like it spoke to me in a spiritual level. It was also a book that fought for how some people don’t understand whomever wants to major in English and prefers the fictional world over the real one sometimes. However, it also goes into understanding that the real one has endless great possibilities if we are brave to try them out.

My only problem with this book were the Simon Snow parts. I couldn’t care less about him and stupid Baz. Yes, they were interesting, but not when you shoved them down my throat when all I cared about was Cath! I was reading the book for her, not Simon. Gimme a Simon Snow book and I’ll happily read it because it would be of him. But Fangirl would have been a-okay without so many pages of him. It dragged the story one incessantly. I would’ve skipped those parts if I had known it was mot point into whatever was going on with Cath and the rest of the cast.

Other than that, it was a highly pleasant story that captured exactly many things that go inside the head of a freshman about to start college and the amazing world of fiction. It was beautifully crafted and thought-provoking with problems like depression, alcoholism, anxiety, and how some people can be deceiving when trying to reach their own goals. I particularly loved the surprise romance that bloomed there, specially with how subtle it was through the story. I just loved it so much. It made me fangirl many, many times.

Overall, it was once of my favorite Rainbow Rowell novels, though it still doesn’t win over Attachments (Lincoln <3). It is slowly paced, specially with the Simon Snow parts, but worth it nonetheless.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Rating Report
Overall: 4.7
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I'm Jennifer. Addicted reader, and lover of books. I'm a full-time college student majoring in English Liturature and Linguistics & Communication, with aspirations of being a professional editor. Among other things. In the meantime, I obsess over books, history, art, and politics. I believe in freedom of speech and reading whatever you want. Open to discussions about anything and everything πŸ™‚
  • Such a fantastic book. It took awhile before I read this, but certainly regretting that now. Anyway, we all get to read this book over and over again, so yay!

  • Loved this one! πŸ˜€ Great review!

  • shootingstarsmag

    I’ve still only read Attachments, but I do want to read all of Rainbow’s books, especially Fangirl. It sounds like I’ll relate to SO much of it.


    • I still have to read Landline by her, but so far she hasn’t disappointed <3 Thanks for reading and commenting! πŸ™‚

  • Totally agree! I adored this book, seriously, but Attachments still wins. Best one overall is for sure Landline though. Have you read that? It’s my ultimate Rainbow book!

    • I still have to read that one! I haven’t heard much of it other than it being good lol Attachments still wins for me as well <3 Thanks for reading and commenting! πŸ™‚

  • I almost skipped all the fanfic from the book, but I didn’t want to miss out, just in case, but the story worked well without it, to be honest. It wasn’t one of my favorite reads from Rowell, but Attachments still tops my list πŸ˜€

    • By what I’ve seen around, many readers are the same about liking Attachments the most. It’s just that it was so great! Thanks for reading and commenting! πŸ™‚

  • So glad you liked this! I can imagine as a fan fiction writer it hit you a lot harder, too. I think so many of us were reminded of themselves when reading about Cath — I could definitely relate to fearing change and wanting to stay inside my comfort zone.

    Readers do seem pretty split over whether or not they liked the Simon & Baz parts, though, and I actually really enjoyed them. And they ARE getting their own book, actually — It’s called Carry On and it’s coming out in November!

    My only complaint was that the book just seemed too long to me — the regular pollen with Cath, that is. The stuff that came after the middle but before the end seemed really stretched out to me.

    I think more YA books should tackle the challenge of heading off to college for the first time! I know often times the characters are 18+, but I feel like the subject material and emotions are very YA at times. If you’re still looking for another book to quell your anxieties about college a little, I recommend checking out “Roomies” by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando!

    • I agree with you on that last paragraph. I was surprised with how well this book tackled those things and it not being like the typical YA coming-of-age or typical New Adult book. And I’ll check out that book now! I don’t have much college anxiety now that I’ve been there two weeks and a half, but I could take some ideas lol

      Regarding Simon Snow, I’m excited for Carry On to be honest and can’t wait. I just didn’t like it being mixed so much with the story making it feel super long. But as a book of their own, I’m all for it. I’m hoping it included art like the ones in the Fangirl special edition.

      Thanks for reading and commenting! πŸ˜€

  • Yup, Attachments is definitely my favourite, oh Linc was such a great book boyfriend! I lol’d when you said you couldn’t care less about Simon and Baz LOL because it’s not about him. Cath was definitely a relatable character and I loved how this one was fairly realistic about college. Lovely review!