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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

September 6, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

by Rainbow Rowell


By: Rainbow Rowell

Release Date: September 10, 2013

Rating: 3.5 stars

Summary: 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?

Or will she just go on living inside somebody else’s fiction?


Review: This book was surprisingly good.

Honestly, I had made up my mind pretty early on that I wasn’t going to like this book. I had a totally different preconceived notion of “fangirling,” and the whole Simon and Baz thing wasn’t for me (view spoiler) Instead, Cath’s obsession was not at all what I thought it was going to be, so I lost a bit of enthusiasm there.

Also, I had a really hard time connecting with Cath. I get that she’s in a different environment. Starting college is hard enough as is, but to do it without her twin by her side is a pretty daunting task. I understand that she’s shy and scared, but I was so frustrated with her for holing herself in her room all the time. I mean, come on, to eat protein bars because you don’t want to face going to the dining room or not knowing major areas on campus. Get a grip.

And the book started out meh – mundane and unmemorable.

I couldn’t tell you exactly when I started liking the story. It just kept growing on me as I continued reading, and it wasn’t until “the kiss” that I realized I was – and had been – enjoying it quite a bit. I love Reagan’s spunky attitude and how she just had a way of easing Cath out of her shell, whether it was intentional (we’re going to have dinner) or not (the daily gossip). And I loved how Levi just had this easy-going, reliable charm to him. And her dad was strange but quirky.

You would think that with everything going on – starting college, meeting new people, dealing her father, dealing with her mother, breaking up and starting new relationships, drama with her sister, school issues above just doing wel in class, oh right, and the fanfiction writing – that it was a little too much. And I think at first, I did think that. Something was ALWAYS happening in her messed up world.

But once I had realized that I had been enjoying the story, I totally sympathized. I laughed. I smiled. I may have even shed a few tears. It was a great “normal” read.

My other complaint, aside from the slow start, was that a lot of the issues in the book were never solved. Primarily, Cath’s relationship with her mother. With others, it took that typical dramatic event for her to realize what’s important. And with Wren, I still don’t she has it all figured out.

Overall, it’s was an enjoyable read, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a leisurely, lazy afternoon, not-to-serious, not-at-all-fluffy read.

05.14.13 – Mitch had asked if this is my autobiography. I guess I should find out.

Go to Katy’s review on Goodreads.

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  1. September 6, 2013 at 1:40 pm

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