Thursday, October 16, 2014

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell


Rainbow Rowell
Print Edition: 448 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; First Edition edition
Release Date: September 10, 2013)
Source: Audible

Goodreads | Amazon | Audible

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?

I’ve been mulling this book over for a few days.  I can’t quite decide how I feel about it.  It’s like I’m having a love-hate relationship with it—along the lines of “I want to love it” but still feeling like I can’t quite give in to those feelings.

Cath is quirky, nerdy, and straight-up weird.  Borderline crazy.  And I didn’t understand why Rowell picked such a neurotic voice to be the main character.  But the more I learned of Cath, the more I began to understand her, feel her pains and anxieties.  I began to really relate to her…and like her character.  She was pretty dumb at points, and there were several, “Oh, I know where Rowell is going with this” points in the plotline, but honestly y’all, I really liked Fangirl

I think of all the people in the book, Levi and Regan are my favorites.  I love their dynamic, and how the embraced Cath and her idiosyncrasies and brought her into their club.  I’m glad, though, that they weren’t the main characters…I think that seeing too much of them together might have been a bad thing.

Cath, for all my love for her, annoyed me immensely at times.  I wanted frequently to punch her in her throat and yell at her and tell her to get over herself.  The obsession with Simon Snow was weird—I didn’t understand it at all.  But I do understand that people get obsessed with things.  I think it was the snippets of the “books” that Rowell included—Snow is a selfish, bratty, unlikeable twerp.  Which might have been on purpose.  Ms. Rowell, if you read this, did you write Snow that way to be tongue-in-cheek?  Please, I really do want to know.

All-in-all, Rebecca was right, this was a enjoyable story.  It’s a contemporary, a genre I don’t read often, and even the lack of the magical, paranormal, and mystery, I would recommend this.  To everyone.

rating 4 of 5

richard signature


  1. AHH, this is the ONE book by Rainbow Rowell that I haven't read yet because I'm such a weird reader that I like to hold one back and keep it for that rainy day...I'm bummed that you didn't like it but Rowell is such a great writer with such quirky characters that I would imagine people either love them or are annoyed by them. I have fallen hard for them ALL so far but I think it is because I see a little of myself in them all. BUT in saying that, I haven't read this one yet! So I may eat my words later on...Landline features adult-age characters and even though the characters are still a little weird and you want to slap them a little bit, there is something about that book that rings true to married couples because I think we've probably all felt that way before (no spoilers!).

    SO my point is that if you've not read that one yet or if you are going to try another of hers, maybe pick up that one? It isn't TOO adult fiction that you would be bored by it (I don't think!) but it is SO GOOD, so good that I haven't written about it yet. Maybe you've already read it and in that case, I'm backing away slowly now...

    I really need to read this one.

    1. I have The Attachments on my Nook waiting for me to get to it! It's not that I didn't like Fangirl, it's just that there were things that really got on my nerves...hard! I'll have to check out Landline. Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. I really loved Fangirl. I must admit that at a certain point I started skipping the simon snow fics because they added NOTHING to the actual story and I didn't even like their story. However I loved everything else about the book. Cath did frustrate me too, but sometimes you live your whole life being sheltered by someone (her sibling) and then she leaves her. I understood her but at the same time I wish she grew a spine and became independent sooner!

    great review,
    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

    1. Cath would have been such an amazing person *if* she had grown sooner! Thanks for commenting!

  3. I don't read contemporary that much either but I adored Fangirl! I couldn't give it full marks because of the book snippets as well. I just thought that they removed me as the reader from the story. I give zeros *****s about Simon Snow and his pseudo-gay lover, I wanted to know more about Cath and her family, friends, and love interests.

    Glad you enjoyed it!

    Amber Elise @Du Livre

    1. YES! So glad some else agrees with me on the Simon Snow stuff! Thanks for stopping by!


Thanks so much for the comment love!