Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: September 10th 2013 by St. Martin’s Press
Length: 445 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
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?
My Rating 5/5 stars!!!!
Sometimes writing is running downhill, your fingers jerking behind you on the keyboard the way your legs do when they can’t quite keep up with gravity.
This book was amazing. Fantastic. Spectacular. A show-stopper. I related to Cath (the main character) so much. As a college freshman, still in her fall semester, I found myself highlighting all these passages (on the ebook version of course, I’m not a monster) where Cath feels anxiety or pressure or that she wants to go home. It was like someone took all my fears and wrote them down for me. This book can double as an instruction manual on how to not feel bad about yourself. I don’t know how this story would affect someone extroverted and outgoing, but for me, as introverted as Cath is, the story was so easy to slide into and feel a part of.
There was a girl at the sinks, desperately trying to make friendly eye contact. Cath pretended not to notice.
There are too many people. And I don’t fit in. I don’t know how to be. Nothing that I’m good at is the sort of thing that matters there. Being smart doesn’t matter—and being good with words. And when those things do matter, it’s only because people want something from me. Not because they want me.
I think the main reason I gave this book 5 stars was because of the writing. I appreciate so much about how Rainbow Rowell writes. This is (surprisingly) my first book I’ve read of hers so I don’t know if this is shown in any of her other books, but she is able to make situations and dialogue so real sounding. None of this book feels staged or planned. Her descriptions were so easy to picture it was kind of scary. For example:
He looked like someone with a steerage ticket on the Titanic. Somebody who’d be standing in line at Ellis Island. Undiluted and old-blooded.
She glanced over at Levi to see if he’d noticed. He was holding his cup with both hands against his chest and resting his chin on top, like it was keeping him warm. His eyes were open but unfocused. He looked like a little kid watching TV.
Also, this book is just so warm. It’s full of friendship and family, and like obviously each character had their own hurdles they had to jump over but it was such a feel-good book. I couldn’t stop smiling at certain parts. Once, I was this close to jumping and squealing out loud in the middle of a Starbucks until I realized I was in public. It’s just so enrapturing and makes you feel so many things. Every character and their relationships were so fleshed out. I found myself rooting for everyone and really needing them all to get a happy ending.
(you know, except Nick) None of them were perfect, but they were all so distinct in their personalities and uniquely lovable. And I just want to give a shout out to this book for not falling into that horrible trope of two girls hating each other over a boy.
Levi likes you, you like him- I’m over it. It could get weird around here real fast if you start dating my high school boyfriend, but there’s no turning back, you know?
Like, God bless.
I only really have one complaint and that is: college stopped being the main conflict. It was introduced as this huge, looming problem that Cath had to deal with, but it kind of got pushed into the background when the Romance started. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the romance more than I probably should have, but I never got that satisfaction of Cath conquering her fear of college.
Also, really quickly: Baz and Simon were intentionally modeled after Harry and Draco, right? Right? I really hope they were.
Tl;dr: Fangirl was such a warm, relatable, feel-good book with excellent writing and lovable characters. Definitely, 100%, picking up Carry On after this. I’m already on the waiting list at my library.
I know I’m super late on the hype train for this book, but have you guys read Fangirl? Did you love it as much as I did? Did you have issues with it? Let me know in the comments!
(Also, sorry for spamming this review with quotes. I got too excited abt this book lol)