Book Reviews

Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

wishlist wendsday #3  Thoughts: Many of you might recognize Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell from a post I uploaded earlier this week and I couldn’t be more excited to finally write my full review. Readers have fallen in love with Eleanor and Park, but they might have to step aside for this one.

Goodreads Summary: 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?

First, I’d like to say that the world of fan-fiction has never been on my radar and to be honest, I didn’t really understand the immense hype around it.  Personally, the idea of changing the authors intended words or changing the story makes me uneasy. Even though there’s no way I would write my own fan-fiction, Rowell has put focus on a much-loved aspect of creative literature.

I wouldn’t say that Fangirl was necessarily spectacular when it came to basic plot because there’s no doubt that this is a coming of age story and you don’t have to look far to find others. However, before you get discouraged I loved that this book was realistic and how it depicted collage. Each character went through their own growth and as you kept reading it became more apparent. Our main character is thrown into new situations and while everything around her changes she must keep up with academics and maintain some type of social life. If that wasn’t enough, we also got a look into very real family conflict. Readers will have no trouble relating to what Rainbow Rowell has presented.

I found myself laughing way to much at this book. I probably looked like an idiot, but I guess that’s okay. The supporting characters were absolutely fantastic and I became so invested in their lives by the end of chapter three. Cath’s relationship with Levi and her roommate Reagan were definitely highlights in the novel. Her creative-writing teacher was a pleasure to read about and she reminded me of teachers that I’ve had. The author also included bits and pieces from the “Simon Snow” books mentioned and I couldn’t help thinking about Harry Potter the whole time. There were times when I felt that the sections at the end of the chapters took away from the story, but I got over that pretty quickly.

If any of you out there are thinking about majoring in English/ Writing you might enjoy this book because the story is centered around that. Around the beauty and struggles of writing.- I did indeed just finish reading this book a few hours ago and I can already see myself reading it again. It’s very clear that Rowell intended her new novel to take a look at adolescence when it comes to opening up to the world and taking chances. Fangirl wasn’t perfect but nevertheless It jumped to a spot on my favorites list. This probably wasn’t the most helpful review, but I’m glad to share some of the thoughts I had after finishing the last page.  “A beautiful new and relatable novel from Rainbow Rowell.”

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Next Book Review: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

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6 thoughts on “Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

  1. I really loved Fangirl (and all of Rainbow Rowell’s book!), but you mention something I hadn’t really considered: This would be a great book for English majors and aspiring writers! I enjoyed the coming of age aspects and Cath’s growth as an individual, but I can see that someone just finding their way as a writer might really find a lot to love here as well. Nice review!

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