Review: Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

Review: Fangirl – Rainbow RowellFangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Published by Macmillan
on September 10th 2013
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon, Goodreads

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 received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Ever read a book that you want to read again as soon as you are done? In fact you want to read it again so much you have to physically stop yourself and keep repeating over and over in your head that you have a million other books to read? No, never happened to you? Well then you have not read Fangirl. Because OMG did this book ever give me all the feels! Feels, feels, everywhere.I loved it so much I don’t even know where to begin with the amazingness of Rowell’s imagination and untouchable writing.

Fangirl is the story of Cath, a college freshman with a love of all things Simon Snow, a popular book series she loved as a kid. Cath has been a fan of Simon Snow for so long she really doesn’t know what life would be like without him. She reads the books, has the posters, is completely immersed in the Simon Snow fandom. So immersed she actually even writes fanfiction for the fandom. And through all the Simon Snow ups and downs Cath has had one person by her side and that was her twin sister Wren. But suddenly Wren is pulling away just as they are ready to hit college and Cath needs her around more than ever. Now Cath is on her own at school with a roommate that may or may not like her company and a boy that seems to always be around. Cath has always known where she has fit in with the Simon Snow crowd, has always had her place, but now she is out of her element and she must find out how to stand on her own and how to be herself.

Seriously I don’t think this book could have been better in any possible way. The story was perfect, the setting was perfect and the characters were perfect (in their flawed ways). Everything just flowed so naturally that the book was really hard to put down. Cath was such an interesting character that was stuck between growing up and staying in that weird place between when you aren’t a little girl anymore, but not an adult either. She had had Wren to rely on for so long and then she was no longer there and Cath was, for a lack of better words, lost.  The only thing she could rely on was her love and writing of Simon Snow. She was weighed down with such anxiety about everything she was pretty much paralyzed with fear and truly one of the most remarkable things about Cath was watching her blossom and break out of the shell she had put herself in. With the help of Reagan and Levi, oh Levi!, Cath was no longer Wren’s twin sister or Simon Snow super fan and author, or daughter of a wayward mother and bi-polar father. She was finally just Cath, a girl that has a lot of layers that just needed help in showing them.

Like I said Reagan, Cath’s roommate, and Levi, Reagan’s guy from high school, were hugely instrumental in Cath becoming the amazing person she was by the end of the book. Reagan and Cath couldn’t have been more different. They were night and day. But even with these differences they completely complimented each other and had a really great friendship. And then there was Levi. Sweet, adorable, completely charming in a goofy, sexy way, Levi.  How I heart that boy. He was the absolutely perfect person to counter Cath. He was just so at ease with himself and his life and what he wanted. And the sweet things he did. SWOON! He is now on my list of book boyfriends, right at the top with Etienne St. Clair and Jonah Griggs. That right there says how much I love.

Although there isn’t much about this book I would complain about, there were two things that bugged me. Honestly I thought all the fan fiction was a tad over the top. I completely understood its place in the story and the need for it. It helped Cath be herself and to stop worrying about everything. It let Cath express herself in a way she just couldn’t in real life. But I also found it last a tad too much throughout the book. I wanted more Levi and Cath or Cath and Wren or Cath and Reagan.  And I also hated the way Wren treated Cath sometimes like she was beneath her.  That bugged the heck out of me because it wasn’t really called for. Was Cath clingy when it came to her sister? Sure. But she also was only trying to help her and do the right thing. Wren was way too mean. You could feel the love between them but I just didn’t like her attitude.

But even with those two minor things this book is still 5 stars and I loved it to the moon and back. Rowell is a master story teller. She gets her characters like almost no other authors in YA and she gets it down on paper in a way that is laid back and easy. I’ve read 2 of her books and fell in love with each one a little more. Rainbow Rowell is officially a member of my author auto-buy group. Welcome to the club Ms. Rowell.

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