Fangirl – book review

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl is a beautifully written and touching book by Rainbow Rowell.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan. But for Cath, Simon Snow has changed her life. She and her twin sister Wren have been in love with this book series ever since they were little kids. It helped them get through the hard stuff – in particular, their mum leaving.

Cath has read each book practically a million times, hangs out on Simon Snow forums, waits up until midnight for the release of each new book, and writes Simon Snow fanfiction. Wren has mostly grown away from the fandom, but Cath can’t let go – and she doesn’t want to.

Now Cath and Wren are off to collage, except Wren doesn’t want to be Cath’s roommate. Wren wants to embrace the collage lifestyle, leaving Cath alone and outside her comfort zone in a place she doesn’t know. She has a roommate with an incredibly charming boyfriend who is always around, a fiction writing professor who thinks fanfiction writing is the end of the civilised world and a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words. But Cath also has her dad to worry about. He’s loving and fragile and has never been alone until now.

Cath has to ask herself if she can really do this. Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Is she able to start writing her own stories? Does she even want to move on when it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

*

I don’t know how I’m possibly going to begin to explain how much I loved reading Fangirl. This book was just a really fun and enjoyable read for me, and I ended up finishing it in one day. This is one of the books that seemed like it had been on my to-read list for a really long time. I’d walked past it so many times at my local bookshop and I honestly don’t know why I didn’t pick it up earlier. Maybe that had something to do with the fact that I spend all my money on books when I should be saving some. Or maybe it had something to do with the fact that my room could be mistaken for a very messy library – a library with not enough shelf space so the books started getting stacked on piles on the floor. Anyhow, I’m disappointed I didn’t get to this book earlier because I loved it so incredibly much.

This book was the third book by Rainbow Rowell I’ve read and I’ve loved all of them. I’m yet to read Landline, and I will definitely be getting it soon. I can’t wait to see what she has in stall in that book! Another book I can hardly wait for by Rainbow is Carry On. In Fangirl, the Cath writes fanfiction of the series Simon Snow, which is kind of like Harry Potter. The fanfic she writes is called Carry On, Simon. Rainbow recently announced that she either is currently or will be writing the complete fanfic of Carry On. I found that out before I read Fangirl and even then I was excited. Now I’m even more excited. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book! I loved Fangirl so much and I know I’ll be getting Carry On as soon as it hits stores. I think it’s so cool that Rainbow is writing a fanfic of a fictional series that she invented from a book that she wrote. It would kind of be like if John Green wrote An Imperial Affliction, the fictional book that Hazel is obsessed with from The Fault in Our Stars. I know he wrote four pages of it to use as a prop in the movie, but that’s not the same as having a whole copy. Anyway, I think what Rainbow is doing is a great idea and I’m sure that everyone who liked Fangirl will definitely be picking up a copy of Carry On!

I found Cath a really interesting character. She had been practically inseparable with her twin sister, Wren, until moving to collage. Wren decided she wanted to meet new people and to not have to be with her sister the whole time. As an only child, I’ve often dreamt of what it would be like to have a twin. From reading this book, I’ve gotten a little insight in what it would be like for some people. I understood that people would often confuse you for being the same person and it must feel somewhat necessary to make yourself seem completely different to the other person. Cath and Wren were completely different people, apart from their obvious twin similarities in looks. Wren was a really outgoing and confident person, whereas Cath was a somewhat quieter person who would be happy to spend her days inside her room writing fanfiction. I liked seeing how fanfiction impacted her life so much and I felt as though Cath was a really relatable character. I found a lot of similarities between us two. Cath was a bit of a socially awkward person and she didn’t really want to push herself to be with other people. I loved reading about the relationship her and her sister had in high school. They’d write fanfic together and they were really close. But after moving to collage, they slowly drifted a part a little. They became different people.

Getting to know Cath and Wren’s family was really interesting. I felt like I really knew their family and I felt connected to all of the characters involved in that aspect. Another person I loved spending time with was Levi. He was so contrasting to Cath because he was a really outgoing person. I loved his effort to get to know to Cath and I really liked seeing their relationship grow. Nick was a good character. I enjoyed getting to know him and I loved everything that went on in the story with him. Some of the things that happened between her and Cath made me so emotional. Reagan, Cath’s roommate, was such a funny character. Every character was amazing. They’re all so unique and full of life. I feel like they aren’t just characters. I feel like they’re real people trapped inside the pages and the words of this book and they’re only let out when this book is read. I would happily read this book over and over and over again without getting bored of it.

This is just such a fun and beautiful book to read. I absolutely love Rainbow’s style of writing. There’s never a dull moment in the entire book and I found myself at the end, wishing for more. If there was one thing I didn’t like about this book, it would be that I would have liked it to have been longer, just because I still wanted to see how things played out and not everything was tied together neatly by the last page. In a way, I kind of like that. I feel like I can imagine what happened to these people and how things worked out for them. Sometimes not having a definite answer is better than everything being completely closed off because it leaves room for you to imagine a world past the last page.

Overall, I completely loved reading Fangirl. There were so many great aspects of this book and I know I’ll be rereading it again soon. The characters were vibrant and alive, the writing was perfectly paced and the plot was fun to read. I definitely recommend this book to people who are looking for a fun and enjoyable contemporary/romance book. People who have read and liked Rainbow’s other books will almost definitely like this one. I’d give Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell a score of 10 out of 10. Please let Carry On be released soon!

11 thoughts on “Fangirl – book review

  1. I also just finished reading Fangirl – I loved how Rainbow so accurately portrayed the life of a Fangirl and just all the characters on a whole. Definitely one of my favorites!

    • It’s one of my favourites too! I didn’t realise just how much I’d love it until I read it, even though I’d already read Attachments and Eleanor and Park and completely loved them both! Have you read any of Rainbow’s other books?

      • Eleanor and Park is my second favourite, after Fangirl of course. When I heard about Carry On being written, I was so excited and I hadn’t even read Fangirl at that point! I know I’ll be one of those people waiting outside my local book shop before it opens to get my hands on a copy!

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