Book Review: Fangirl

Title: Fangirl

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Genre: Fiction

Published: 2013

Pages: 434

Rating: 5 out of 5

Source:  Library


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 the 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 worlds  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 questions is: Can she do this? Scan 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 Soon Snow behind?


 Rainbow Rowell is an author I didn’t know too much about before I read her books. I’d heard of her, mostly because of her Pumpkin Head Graphic Novel, but not much else. But I was intrigued by the premise of this book and decided to pick it up. I’m glad I did. I really enjoyed her Graphic Novel, but adored Fangirl.

I remember being a massive fanfiction writer (and I still write to this day, just not as much) and going off to college with the idea of writing great stories. I really connected with Chather in her writing struggles and separating her original writing with her fanfiction. But also her very accurate representation of the anxiety of being a college freshman in a new place. I was nothing like her sister and I am still in awe of those who have the extrovert personality to just go out and have fun.

Every character I read was interesting and, as I read on, more complex than I thought. I was pleasantly surprised with the new things I learned about the dynamics in play. If I thought I knew the situation, something new popped up. I was never bored and I was truly invested in everyone’s relationship. I finished this book in a day!

The realistic development of a serious relationship for Cather, as well, kept me reading. Too many times, I’ve seen the shy, nerdy girl get the attentions of a boy and become almost the complete opposite of who she was or she just feeds the drama so there can be some in the story. It’s not a bad writing choice, but it does become annoying and tedious after a while. But a slow burn romance and actual communication between two people who are trying to figure things out with someone they care about? Give me that any day of the week! We seriously need more of that kind of writing in books; especially Young Adult.

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