Happy Sunday everyone! I hope that you’re all having a great day so far. I’m quite excited at the moment, because I managed to finish Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, in less than two days. It’s been a long time since I’ve devoured a book that fast.
Those of you who read my May TBR post are probably thinking, wait a minute, Fangirl? That wasn’t one of the books on your list…and it’s true, I bought it on a whim on Friday, and I’m SO glad that I did. My full review is below…
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Length: 433 pages
Publication date: 2013
Goodreads Rating: 4.16
My Rating: 5/5
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?
Favourite Character: Cath
Favourite Quote: There are so many, but the one that is sticking in my head right now is, “I choose you over everyone.” – pg. 409
I finished Fangirl this morning over coffee, and I decided to try and write a review immediately while everything is still fresh.
I haven’t read a book like Fangirl in a long time. I read some contemporary books, but mostly, I’m drawn to books with a fantasy or historical setting. Moreover, whenever I glimpsed it on Bookstagram or at the bookstore, I thought to myself, It looks really cute, but I think I’m too old for it.
However, last week I fell into one of my legendary reading slumps, so when I was at the bookstore on Friday, I decided to try something completely different to try and snap myself out of it. And, it worked!
From the first sentence, “There was a boy in her room.” I was hooked. And, I have to say that I have never identified with a character more than I identify with Cath. During university, I had social anxiety, and was much more comfortable in my dorm room, writing Harry Potter fan fiction, then out at parties. Moreover, my mother was bi-polar. It was quite interesting to be reading about what could have been a fictionalized version of myself.
However, even if you’re not a socially anxious, closeted fangirl, I think that you will still enjoy Fangirl very much. It’s an easy, smooth read. It’s easy to get swept up in the story. Rowell is a very clever writer. Many of her lines made me laugh out loud. Her writing is also very realistic, and so are her characters. While I liked Cath and Levi the most, I enjoyed them all. Whether the scene is Cath obsessing over her fanfiction, over Levi, or in one of her classes, they all manage to draw the reader in.
I haven’t read many reviews of this book, but one of the complaints that I’ve seen a few times, is the obvious similarities between “Simon Snow” and Harry Potter. Some went as far as to call it plagiarism. I don’t view it that way at all. In my opinion, Rowell is fully aware of the similarities and did them on purpose, to make a point. Rather than see that as a problem, I thought of it as she was paying homage not only to JK Rowling and Harry Potter but also to the massive fandom and fanfiction community that Harry Potter has produced.
To conclude, For me this book felt like a breath of fresh air. It was both invigorating and nostalgic. It managed to be light and witty, and still deal with some hard-hitting issues. So here is another book that I’m giving 5 stars to, (I’ve been doing that a lot lately, haven’t I?) and a book that I recommend. Especially if you enjoy a charming coming of age story with easy to love characters. Or if you’re a fangirl yourself. Definitely if you’re a fangirl. Haha.
I’m sure many of you have read this already, I’m always late to the party it seems. If so what did you think?
If not, I hope that this review was enjoyable/helpful.
Thanks for stopping by,