Monday, December 23, 2013

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, 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 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?

My Review:

This is a sweet story about a girl's first year at college.  She has to find herself in this book.  She wants to just live in a fictional world, but in this book, she learns how to make friends in the real world, and how to live on her own, without her dad and sister.


A good portion of this story focuses on the relationship between Wren and Cath, or lack thereof.  The summer before college, Wren tells Cath that she doesn't want to be her roommate.  I can understand Wren's perspective on this, because, if I had a twin, I probably wouldn't want her to be my college roommate.  But this was clearly something that upset Cath a lot.  She didn't want to room with someone else.  She wanted to room with someone that she had for her whole life.  When Cath and Wren got to college, they didn't even talk to each other for a while.  Cath was so mad that Wren wouldn't room with her that she completely isolated herself from her sister.  Eventually, they realized that they needed each other, and they were able to make up and move on from what had happened between them.  Wren goes through some bad things in this book because she drinks too much, and that gets her into some trouble.

I loved the other characters in this book.  Nick was not the guy that he seemed to be at first.  I originally liked him, but he does some things that changed my views on him.  Reagan is an interesting character.  The relationship between Cath and her is basically nonexistent for a bit of the beginning of the book, despite the fact that they are roommates.  They originally never talk to each other, and they pretty much leave each other alone.  Gradually, their relationship changes, and they begin to talk more.  They have an interesting friendship by the end of the book.  Reagan seems mean sometimes, but she never really means to be mean.  It is just the way she always is to everyone.  

Then there is the romance between Cath and Levi.  While Cath originally thought he was her roommate's boyfriend, she eventually realized that that was not the case.  It was pretty clear to me from the beginning that Levi liked Cath.  He was sweet, and he helped her to be herself, even without her twin sister by her side.  He was an adorable guy.  The romance between them was well-written.  I loved when she read him the book because he was not able to really read a book on his own.  Then she shared her stories with him too, and that was cool.  Cath and Levi made a really good couple.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.


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