Friday, May 23, 2014

Fangirl Review


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Published:  September 10, 2013

Synopsis from Goodreads: 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: 4 of 5 stars
This book. Oh my gosh this book. Cute doesn't cut it. Really, really cute doesn't even cut it. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Fangirl but I'm having a weirdly hard time pinpointing why so expect this review to potentially be all over the place and partially nonsensical.

First off, the characters. I definitely related a lot to Cath. I'm not socially awkward to the point of not eating anything but protein bars and peanut butter but I'm really socially awkward and introverted and a fangirl of many things, of course. She's awkward and eccentric but witty and smart at the same time. She worries about the minor things in life like how cafeterias work (I didn't go to any in college for the same reason though I also didn't dorm), being late to class, etc. and more major things like how her dad is dealing without her and Wren. Cath was overall just very real in the real-est sense (that didn't make sense but bear with me) and that really struck me. Wren was her complete opposite which is kind of clich√© but I didn't mind all that much. For most of the beginning of the book, she annoyed me because she was being so mean to Cath but I understand why considering they had spent all their life paired together. A little independence never hurt anyone but she took it to the extreme and it backfired on her. I ended up liking her by the end of the book though. Reagan was my favorite. Tough, worldly kind of girl filled with snark and sarcasm and an overall awesome friend - love it! I couldn't help but picture Emma Stone as Reagan:
She doesn't have her red hair there but c'mon, tell me she doesn't fit as Reagan. The eye roll.

And Levi, wonderful Levi. Sure he's flawed (as are the rest of the characters) but he's perfectly imperfect. He gets that Cath doesn't need to be helped in and out of his truck. He's polite to her father as well as to everyone else. He's hopelessly optimistic and smiles at everyone. Even though he isn't like most love interests in YA books - as in he's not the most attractive guy on campus with a sparkling personality who every girl swoons over - he's the kind of guy that you want to bring home to your parents. The kind who gets that you're quirky and weird and loves you all the more for it. Which makes him perfect for Cath. On a different note, Nick was awful and I never really believed there was a true love triangle. Boo you, Nick.

"Cath wished she didn't use the word 'just' so much. It was her passive-aggressive tell, like someone who twitched when they were lying." - Ch. 6, pg. 66

I think what makes it hard for me to pinpoint why exactly I enjoyed this book so much was because there isn't really a main plot. It dragged around the middle because of this but it made itself work in a strange way. It's not just about a fangirl learning to function in college. It's not just a college love story. It's not just about two sisters with a dad who isn't completely mentally stable and a mom who left them. It's not just about two twin sisters learning to make names for themselves as individuals rather than a pair. It isn't just anything. "Just" is used a lot in this book and if I had to take a guess, that would be the point of the story. Life isn't just one thing or another. It's a whole bunch of things thrown together in the most haphazard way possible but, you know, it's life.

"Ready or not, here I come. Here I come, ready or not." - pg. 434


I'd recommend this book to any fangirl (or boy), introverts, the socially awkward, first time college-goers or anyone just looking for a cute contemporary read. Whichever you are, you won't be disappointed.

5 comments:

  1. I loved this book so so so much too!! INTROVERTS UNITE. (Well, quietly, or online, or whatever.) I loved how realistic Cath was, and how her friends didn't try to "change" her, but helped her. Because it always ticks me off when people try to "fix" introverts. We don't need fixing! Levi was definitely a sweetie. And I'm glad it didn't turn into a possible love-triangle with Nick. I was sooo angry when he stole her writing. *shakes fist at Nick*
    Such a nice review! x)
    Thanks for stopping by @ Notebook Sisters!

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    Replies
    1. Exactly! There's nothing wrong with us introverts! We're made of complete awesome we just don't flaunt it. Levi's my favorite. Definitely glad there was no love triangle. I'm seriously tried of love triangles. They always end up feeling like an easy way to add drama to a story. That was truly awful what Nick did and I'm glad Cath didn't give him permission in the end. It also made me squee a bit when Levi, Wren, and Reagan were all there to back Cath up and make Nick look like even more of an idiot.
      Thanks for reading! =)

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  2. Hi, love your blog. I'm giving you a Liebster award. For details please visit my blog (or google it, like I had to) :)

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    ReplyDelete
  3. I've read Fangirl as well and I LOVE IT!!! :) There isn't a main plot in Fangirl because I think it's Chic Lit? Anyways great review Jazzie!

    And I hope you'll visit me sometime at my blog! :D

    Olivia @ Fictionally Obsessed

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    1. It's so good! =) I'm not really big on chick lit but from what I've read they all have some sort of plot though generally based on some sort of romance. (I'm talking Emily Giffin's Rachel and Darcy books which is just about the chick-iest chick lit I've ever read) I think Fangirl doesn't have much of a main plot though because it reads just like an actual year at college would be - some parts exciting and entertaining, some parts not so much. That's what makes it awesome though!

      Thanks for stopping by! I love your blog by the way and I'm still debating with myself whether I want to request a layout from your design blog =D

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