Author: Rainbow Rowell
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?
I’ve been feeling pretty put out by the whole New Adult genre since it first started. Aside from Tammara Webber and Colleen Hoover, I have not found any other stories that have stood out to me. It’s literally the same thing over and over again – girl/boy goes to college, starts partying for the first time, are innocent or have had some shady sexual background, meets a guy or girl and then they have them sexy times for the rest of the book and then suddenly the world makes sense and no hate exists anymore.
OKAY. ‘CAUSE THAT’S REALISTIC.
That’s not to say that it can’t happen – it can definitely happen. What I’m saying is that I would really like a book where there’s a university student like me who doesn’t have a hot steamy love in the first week of school. Who has a roommate who isn’t my spirit animal. Who doesn’t buy coffee everyday ‘cause MONEY.
Fangirl gave me all that. I absolutely loved the book and related to it a lot more than I have for other NA novels.
Cath is a fanfiction writer, she hates humans, and she’d rather spend her life in her room by herself than party on the corner of some street and another with people she barely knows. She’s not perfect though – she deals with everyday anxiety, her parental situation isn’t the best, and her sister’s just rude (but I really like her character development). But Cath deals without really making a gigantic deal out of everything. I also liked that in this book about university students she actually goes to her classes, she cares about her marks and doesn’t choose to skip a class when the going gets tough (unlike numerous other NA characters who pay $450+ for that uncomfortable chair in a musty classroom and end up dropping their classes like they’re hot, in the middle of the year, ‘cause that’s not a huge hole in their wallet).
Also, I found the romance absolutely adorable. A little awkward, but that’s what made it cool. I also loved that the characters didn’t get hot and heavy two days after meeting each other, and the little twist in love interests, part way through the book, was cool.
This novel doubles up on story lines. Along with Cath’s story, we also get Simon Snow’s. I thought the incorporation of a little fantasy in a contemporary NA novel was really cool and creative. So many authors are trying to find the next big thing, but what they don’t realize is that it’s the little things that make all the difference. Tammara Webber appeals to the emotions, Colleen Hoover hits all the poetry feels, and Rainbow Rowell manages to bring back the childhood fantasy feels. My childhood in a nut shell was Harry Potter, and this novel gave me that nostalgic feeling. This novel was essentially about growing up, coming of age, and finding yourself. Cath didn’t need a guy to make that happen, she did that through her writing, through her teacher’s support, through her friends’ support. Contrary to the apparent popular belief, growing up is a lot more than losing your virginity to the hottest guy on campus.
This was a really refreshing New Adult novel and I REALLY want to read all of Rainbow Rowell’s other books now. Realistic, relatable, and fun, Fangirl is the perfect novel for anyone who loves books ~
GoodReads Rating: 4.29/5