I’ve FINALLY read my first Rainbow Rowell novel! *And the crowd goes wild – aahhhh!* I adored Fangirl and can’t wait to read more of Rowell’s books! My next Rowell-read will most definitely be Carry On, for obvious reasons. And if you don’t know what those obvious reasons are, give Fangirl a read and you’ll see what I mean.
And a special thank you to one of my best friends for gifting me Fangirl for Christmas, along with Carry On and Eleanor & Park!
Read on for my spoiler-free review of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl!
YA Contemporary Fiction – coming-of-age, romance, and an ode to nerd fandoms everywhere 💕
Young adults and older. I also imagine that readers and writers of fanfic would particularly enjoy Fangirl. And I say “imagine”, because I’ve never written any fanfic and I’ve only ever read a few back in my Harry Potter and Mortal Instruments days. Hence, the “imagine”. Fangirl also deals with complex subject matter that unfolds seamlessly as the story progresses.
Overview (From Book Jacket)
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?
Fangirl mainly takes place on Cath’s college campus, but also occasionally back home in Omaha. (Sorry, it is Omaha, right?).
These characters were incredibly endearing. Being a part of multiple fandoms myself, I connected to Cath more so than most other characters I’ve read. Much of her personality reminded me of – well – me, when I was a college Freshman (and a bit now). There was a particular section on pg. 265 about Cath’s relationship with worrying that perfectly described what I could never put into words about my own habit of worrying. (And yes, I immediately put the book down to text my husband and friends, like “this! This is what I’ve been trying to say!”) Anyway, I digress. These characters are absolutely wonderful, with diverse personalities and their own individual hardships and it was riveting to read how they all fell together (or apart).
What I Liked
I LOVED Cath’s relationship with her dad! Really the relationships between ALL the characters, but I loved how Cath and her dad in particular interacted with one another. And then there’s Levi 😍 I seriously need to write up a post dedicated to book boyfriends – Levi would most certainly make the list. Their banter was just 😍😍😍😍 That’s right, there are no words.
Rowell is a spectacular storyteller! Her writing was on point, the characters jumped right off the pages, and the light and heavy subject matter were woven together perfectly. It was riveting, enthralling, captivating, and I couldn’t put the book down. And yes, I know that those all basically mean the same thing, but I had to put in multiple words to exaggerate the emphasis and how awesome this book was.
What I Liked A Little Less
While I loved Fangirl, I did think this book was slow going at first. It took me a while to get into it, but then the story became something MORE. Just, more. See above. And then everything flew by.
4.5/5 ✨ With the exception of the slow start, I loved everything about it ☺️ I’m definitely looking forward to reading more of Rowell’s work asap.