Saturday, October 12, 2013

Review: Fangirl

Beware: This review is more spoilery than most of my reviews.

Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell 
Format: Hardcover
Publication: September 10, 2013
Summary: From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park.

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love. 

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: The thing about this book is that I went into it with all of these expectations. I LOVED Eleanor and Park. It is the best book I've read in 2013 no question. And this book was so loved by everyone that I just knew it was going to be amazing. But the first 170 pages were really, really hard for me to read. Like I just couldn't get into it. I liked it, but I really did not love it. And I was disappointed because I had been so sure that I was going to love it. I didn't really like the little bits of Simon Snow or of Cath's fanfiction that came at the end of the chapter because I felt like it was this whole story that I just wasn't invested in. Before this book, I never would have thought that a book that was looking like it was going to turn out to be a 3 or 4 star book for almost the first 200 pages could turn around and be a strong 5 star book. This book is definitely a 5 star book. 

After the first 170 pages I was so invested, that I hated to put it down. My best advice for anyone reading this book would be to just push through the beginning. It's slow but it's worth it. I think that 90% of the problem is that **spoiler alert** we think that Levi is actually Reagan's boyfriend and he isn't. 

I did not realize that Levi was going to be Cath's love interest for the first 170 pages (or so). He was there and he was adorable but I did not see it going the way that it did because 1. Cath thought he was Reagan's boyfriend and 2. It is not really mentioned in the Synopsis that there will be any kind of love story between them. However, I think it is really important to know that this is what is going to happen, because it totally changes the way that you look at the beginning of Cath and Levi's relationship. I would have liked the beginning of the book more if I'd known that it was going to go this way. Of course not everyone will feel this way, but it is how I feel.

There were so many lines in this book that just tugged at me and broke me into pieces they were so good. I think that 90% of them were Levi's lines. Let me tell you though, these were no ordinary romantic lines. They were captivating and fresh and innocent and I just loved them so much! I really cannot explain what some of the lines in this book did to me. Squeeeee is not a strong enough word for this situation. Levi is adorable in a way that I have come to believe guys aren't ever actually like in real life. If I could find myself an optimistic, lovable, good guy like Levi, I would die happy (seriously though). This is another one of those books that makes you realize that even though you think you love bad boys, you really do love the good guys most. 

Another thing that really threw me for a loop with this book is how invested I got with the whole Simon Snow story. I was dying to know how cannon Simon Snow ended and I was dying to know how Cath's Carry On, Simon ended. It's weird to be so invested in a story within a story and then also the fanfiction of said story within story. But, Fangirl definitely got me invested in all of these things.

The other relationships that Cath had in this story were important too. Her father, her roommate (Reagan), her twin sister (Wren), and even her mother. They were very heartfelt and real and they were all very important to the story. 

Rainbow Rowell's novels always leave me wanting more in a way that most standalone's don't. I want a second novel for Eleanor and Park and I want a second novel for Levi and Cath. And there is no reason for this. No string left untied. Her writing and her characters just always make me want more even after it is all done. And that is what makes her writing so so so good.

In the end, Fangirl was absolutely not what I was expecting. It was still amazing though and I am definitely, absolutely glad that I read it. I would recommend this book to everyone, especially if you are a fan of either Rainbow Rowel or fanfiction in general. And especially if you are a fan of both.


  1. I loved this book too, Rainbow Rowell is definitely a fantastic writer. She does such a good job of creating memorable characters. All of the characters in Fangirl were fleshed out and just felt so real. Great review and glad you ended up loving it! ~Pam

  2. I adored this book! So glad you liked it too :)
    Levi is my current top book boyfriend and I loved how blunt Reagan was!

    The YA's Nightstand