Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publication Date: September 10th 2013
Length: 438 pages (Hardcover)
Synopsis from Goodreads:
In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, 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? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
Looking for a cute and funny, yet serious, contemporary book to read? Dude…this is it. This is it.
As you might recall, I absolutely loved Eleanor & Park when I read it in the beginning of the year. I loved it, I loved it, I loved it…BUT! At first look I wasn’t sure I was going to read Fangirl. I guess I just assumed it would be too silly for my taste, or something insane like that. Now, I have no idea why on earth I would think that! This is 1000% my kind of book, and I unless I have a really good reason, I will never again question the greatness of Rainbow Rowell!
If I had a crush on Rainbow Rowell’s writing before, I would probably say that I have fallen in love with it now. I love how real her stories feel, and I love how true and flawed her characters are. With her books, she shows the reader that one person that is right for you, might be completely wrong for someone else, and the other way around, of course. There is not one perfect human being that everyone finds attractive. Perfect doesn’t exist. Perfect is boring, and the last thing Rowell’s characters are, are boring.
Cath was such an interesting and complex character, and I could relate to her so much, and not only because of the whole fangirl-thing. All the things Cath thought about, worried about….I kept thinking to myself: “YES, that is it exactly!”, and I think many other people will feel the same way.
“In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can’t google.) Like, where does the line start? What food can you take? Where are you supposed to stand, then where are you supposed to sit? Where do you go when you’re done, why is everyone watching you?…”
“God, she thought. God. Okay. This isn’t that bad. There’s actually nothing wrong, actually. What’s wrong Cath? Nothing.”
I also really enjoyed Cath’s relationship with her father and sister. I didn’t expect the book to have this kind of dark and serious tone, but it was a pleasant surprise. It gave the book some more depth, and it felt like Rainbow was actually trying to tell the reader something. Cath’s story really left an impression on me, and that’s something I always look for in a book. I mean, all Cath’s life she’s been taking care of everything, only to get abandoned by the one person that is supposed to always be on her side when she needs her the most. I kind of hated Wren for it, but at the same time I couldn’t, because Cath still loved her.
Then we have Reagan and Levi. Oh those two. Reagan was a really fun character to read about, and Levi…was Levi. He is the kind of guy that makes everyone feel good, the kind that always has a smile on his face, and the kind that I would fall head over heels for…
“He smiled — but he was already smiling, so that just meant that he smiled more.”
Oh, and let’s not forget about the fan fiction! If you didn’t know, in this book, you also get to read some of the fan fiction Cath has written. Personally, I’m not that big a fan of fan fiction. Don’t get me wrong! I think it seems like so much fun, and I’m a bit jealous of people who are able to enjoy it…but I’m not one of them. In this book, though, I liked it. I think it helped the reader to get to know Cath a little bit better, and it made the story even more original. Still, some parts I found a little bit too long, and I just wanted the book to carry on with the story.
Overall, Fangirl was so unbelievably cute and adorable. It was beautiful, sad, hopeful, and happy. It was basically everything I ask for in a contemporary — it even managed to avoid being cheesy! The plot had a perfect amount of romance, friendship and family, there was not a trace of instalove, and while it was completely different from Eleanor & Park, it still had the same kind of quality. Rainbow Rowell managed to make me fall in love for the first time…for the second time, and that is oh man, so good. Hell, I stayed up all night reading this book, and ended up with about two hours’ of sleep on a school-night…but I didn’t care! It was so worth it!
If you don’t give this book a chance, then you’re a fool.
“I don’t even want to start this day because then I’ll just be expected to finish it.”
“Don’t make me angry-kiss you.”
“There should be a word for a laugh that ends as soon as it starts. A laugh that’s more a syllable of surprise and acknowledgment than it is anything else.”