Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell


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?

Song for This Book: I Ship It by Not Literally Productions


Fangirl is one of those books it seemed that everyone had read but me. So when I came across a discounted copy on BookOutlet (damaged – which meant a 2-inch slit in the dust jacket, which is nothing, really), I decided to grab it and give it a try. I, like Cath, have gone through my period of fan fiction, and it was great to see that someone had made an actual book about it.

And it turned out to be half decent. Was it as great as Bookstagram would have led me to believe? Well, not really. But that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it. It was an easy, fun read, that I managed to get through in only three days. The writing was good, the characters were interesting, and it was a relatively easy read. I actually managed to get through it in three days – two of which I worked.

The Good Points of Fangirl:

This is probably completely nerdy, but I absolutely adore the formatting of this book. I don’t know whose idea it was to set it up that way, but they are the new love of my life. I liked just looking at this book, because it was so visually appealing.

All of the characters are very relatable. They all seemed very familiar, and could have easily been replaced with the people that I encountered in my own first year of university. The older girl who takes you under her wing, the boy who is more interested in your skills, the girl who likes to party. They’re all familiar faces, which helps you to get into the story, and to feel very comfortable within it.

I won’t say too much about this one, for fear of giving away spoilers, but I loved how the situation towards the end with Wren, Cath, and her father played out (come on, you know which one I’m talking about if you read it). It was handled so well, and so eloquently. Definitely my favourite part of this book.

The Downsides of Fangirl:

Some minor grammatical errors, but maybe this is just my copy, since I haven’t seen many other people commenting on this.

Most of my issues with this book related to the main character, Cath. I spent most of the book wanting to slap some sense into her. There were some things she did that I could relate to (hiding in your dorm room, eating packaged food, so you don’t have to brave the dining hall, for example), but mostly, she just seemed to be running around and acting like a junior high kid. She doesn’t take her schooling seriously, she doesn’t have goals for her life, she has no motivation to better her life. She seems to have no desire to deal with her problems, but wants to be the person who takes care of everyone else’s problems. All of this also served to make her relationship with Levi weird, because he comes across as a lot more than three years older than her. Maybe it just strikes me as frustrating because it is so different from my approach to schooling, but it was my biggest struggle with this book.

There were a lot of excepts from the Simon Snow books that didn’t seem to add to the story. I honestly skipped most of them, because I was more interested in reading about Cath and the other ‘real’ characters.

All in all, not a bad book. A great one for reading over the holidays or summer, when you want an easy read while you sit in front of the fire or lay on the beach. This was my first Rainbow Rowell book, and I’m definitely curious to go check out a few more, to see how they compare to Fangirl.


8 thoughts on “Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

  1. I totally agree about the Simon Snow fanfiction excerpts. I loyally read each and every one, expecting them to add a layer of meaning to the actual plot, but was disappointed. Definitely worth skipping those. Besides that small flaw, I got sucked into the story and enjoyed every moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey, glad to assure you you’re definitely not the last person to read it!

    It’s good to see a review that’s not an ecstatic five stars; I’d like to read it eventually, and having more realistic expectations will improve the whole reading experience. (Though your description of Cath kind of has me second-guessing its place in my TBR stack. I’m not sure I could handle a whole book with her.) So: thanks for the warning!

    Liked by 1 person

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