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Monday, February 2, 2015

Review: FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
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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?

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"The whole point of fan fiction is that you get to play inside somebody else's universe."

Fangirl was my first Rainbow Rowell read and boy did I enjoy it! Wonderful and endearing. This is the kind of book that many book lovers can relate to, especially to the heroine Cath. Helpful and caring. She immersed herself in all things Simon Snow, a popular book series, and was dedicated to writing Simon Snow fanfiction. Cath was a great, genuine character.

One thing I loved about Fangirl was how all the chapters started with a passage from either the Simon Snow books or from Cath's fanfiction stories. The passages often reflected the tone of the next chapter. It was almost like a sneak peak into what was expected! Another part of the book I enjoyed was seeing the personality contrast between Cath and her twin sister, Wren. They used to be fanfiction writing partners and each other's best friend. Wren however, wanting to live it up as a freshman, tried her hardest to separate herself from Simon Snow and Cath. I didn't like Wren. I could see why she'd wanted to be more of an individual but she could have done it gradually! My heart hurt so much whenever Cath thought or worried about her sister when Wren probably didn't give a rat's bottom at the time. Gah. But I was happy to see Cath slowly come out of her shell as the story progressed. In a way though, I guess it was thanks to Wren.

"Underneath this veneer of slighly crazy and socially inept, I'm a complete disaster."

Unlike Wren, Cath continued writing fanfic. She was determined to complete her story, "Carry On", before the final book in the Simon Snow series released. She had a passion for writing and even enrolled in a Fiction Writing class, which she thoroughly enjoyed and excelled in. When she received a zero on one of her assignments, Cath couldn't understand why. I felt so bad for her during that scene! I definitely understood Cath's argument, seeing as it was technically her work even if the characters weren't. To hear the professor tell Cath that it was plagiarism though...ouch. But I loved that the moment really pushed her out of her comfort zone (Simon Snow) and in helped improve her fiction writing skills.

In my opinion, the highlight of Fangirl was most definitely Levi *cue swoons*. He was incredibly friendly and easy-going. I couldn't help but smile whenever he was in the picture. He was always asking Cath to read parts of her fanfic to him and I thought that was so sweet of him. Levi is the kind of guy that says hello to everyone, whether he knows them or not. I loved seeing Cath coming out of her shell around him. And how he would walk her home from the library. Besides one part that made me want to punch him in the gut, he was all kinds of wonderful! I'll certainly be picking up another of Ms. Rowell's books soon <3

"Happily ever after, or even just together ever after, is not cheesy...
It's the noblest, like, the most courageous thing two people can shoot for."


  1. Glad you enjoyed this book Jae!I really liked Fangirl-especially its characters and fanfiction.
    Doesn't Simon Snow remind you of Harry Potter?And Baz sounds a lot like Draco Malfoy!

    Levi was a sweetheart,I love sweet and adorable love interests like him.

    1. Omg yes it did remind me of HP! And it made me think what if Harry and Malfoy were actually sorta-kinda-friends scenarios haha. I cannot wait for Carry On! But oh I am with you, sweet guys are the best :D

  2. Oh, it sounds wonderful :) I love the fact that the MC is a writer, sure it'll be exciting! And I saw that the book ''Carry On'' will actually be published! WOOT WOOT haha! Nice review, Jae!!

    1. Thanks, Lola! I was ecstatic when I found out Carry On would be made into a novel haha *throws confetti*. Fangirl was a great light read in my opinion :)