Sunday, June 7, 2015

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

A coming-of-age tale of fanfiction, 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 fanfiction, 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 that 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 fanfiction 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? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
(taken from

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars 

Okay, so I realize that I'm jumping on the Rainbow Rowell bandwagon waaaay late and that Fangirl might not have been the best of her novels to start with. I've heard absolutely stellar things about Eleanor and Park, and I plan to pick it up sooner or later. Something about Fangirl called out to me, so I decided to finally find out what was so great about this author with the colorful name. 

Admittedly, my expectations for Rowell's work were already exceedingly high before I even turned the first page. I've just read so many reviews praising her plot development and characters. Giddily, I leaped into Fangirl and settled down for the long haul.

I read Fangirl in two big chunks, and as I delved into the world of Cath and her fictional friends, I found myself wondering where the story was going. Honestly, I just couldn't figure out what the point of the novel was. Sure, Cath is an extremely introverted girl who learns to open up a little, but what else is there? Thankfully, the story picked up about halfway through. Cath's romantic relationship grows, and as it does, so does her self-confidence. It was a relatable and interesting plot line, even if the first half of the book bored me. 

I want to make it clear that I didn't dislike Fangirl. There parts that I definitely smirked at, and I think all bookworms can relate to Cath on some level. Her devotion to writing and her love for fictional characters made her an interesting character, and the other characters in the novel were equally quirky and entertaining. I do wish there had been a little more. More romance, more action, more development. 

What did you guys think of this one? Was I alone in my initial boredom? Also, should I still give Eleanor and Park a shot, even if I didn't love this one?