Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I’ve been meaning to read another book written by Rainbow Rowell because I really enjoyed Attachments. But you all know how it goes, so many other books in the TBR pile kept me from doing this. I finally decided to try Fangirl when my friends Angie and Michelle recently gave it such glowing reviews. I just had to know more about Cath and Levi and see whether I’ll like them just as much.

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

FangirlCath 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 don’t really read, let alone write, fan fiction. The main reason for this is because I feel like I’ll get confused between the events of canon vs. fanfic. It’s funny because I’m not big on fanfic and my college experience was very different from Cath’s, yet I could still relate to her. I think every person who is a fangirl or fanboy of fictional worlds will be able to relate to Cath. I love her definition of what a nerd is:

“To really be a nerd, she’d decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one. Cath would move into the World of Mages in a heartbeat.”

Using that definition, I’m definitely a book nerd. I wouldn’t even be able to choose what fictional world I would want to live in. There are so many fantasy settings that I would love to visit and book characters I would love to meet. I also understood how plugged into the online world Cath was because I’m like that as well – I could stay holed up in my room for hours just browsing, staring or typing into my laptop. Aside from being able to relate to Cath’s nerdiness, I also really liked how the book focused on Cath’s relationships with various people in her life – her twin sister Wren, her dad and mom, her roommate Reagan and of course, Levi. These relationships are all complicated, with dialogue and banter that I really enjoyed reading about. I liked that I was able to get most of the references that they used. I feel like I keep saying this but I adore slow burn romances and oh boy, Fangirl had a really good thing going on in that department. I also liked the Nebraska college setting because otherwise, I wouldn’t have found out that there were courses related to farming. I thought it was great that their school also offered writing and young adult literature classes, I certainly wouldn’t have minded taking up those courses if those were available in my own school. One thing that I love about of Rainbow Rowell’s books is that they are all standalones. As much as I enjoy reading books in a series, there are times when I’m in the mood to read something that is wrapped up nicely in one installment. I am now definitely a Rainbow Rowell fan and I look forward to reading Eleanor and Park, I already have the hardcover waiting on my bookshelf.

Just a note on the cover, I feel like Rainbow Rowell has been really lucky when it comes to the cover design of her books. Fangirl’s cover is such a good fit for the story. I also like the artist’s style, here’s another Noelle Stevenson artwork that I think matches Cath’s personality well:

The Upside of Being an Introvert

Other reviews:
See Michelle Read
Angieville
Book Harbinger
Random Musings of a Bibliophile

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17 thoughts on “Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

  1. I’m so glad that you liked Fangirl. I loved it, too! I love that Rowell’s books have been standalones, too. I get so weary of series, and a lot of times I just lose interest. I can’t wait for you to read Eleanor & Park. It’s my favorite of Rowell’s, but only by the smallest margin.

    • I thought both Fangirl and Attachments were lovely so I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy reading Eleanor & Park as well. Isn’t it great when you find an author who has written standalones? Because series are great but yeah, I tend to lose interest in some of them as well.

  2. I totally agree with your ability to connect with Cath as a book nerd. I don’t do the fanfic thing either but could totally relate to wanting to be totally immersed in a book and it’s world.

    And yessss…talk about the slow burn. *sigh* Rainbow Rowell pretty much nails it.

    Great review and so glad you bumped this one up. Now I just have to convince you to hit Eleanor & Park next *rubs hands together deviously*

    • I loved that I was able to relate to Cath even though I don’t read or write fanfic. I guess it was enough that she’s a book nerd and she’s part of an online community.

      At first, I was hesitant about the romance because I wasn’t sure if it will be good for Cath but Levi won me over.

      LOL my copy of Eleanor & Park is staring at me from my bookshelf. There are just way too many good books in my TBR pile now. I should create a priority list of books to read before the year ends.

    • I agree, I felt like the Cath’s relationships were very realistic and I enjoyed reading about her interactions. My college experience was very different from hers because I’m more outgoing so I had fun making new friends during freshman year.

  3. Hi Chachic!

    Like you, I loved Attachments. Like you, I enjoyed Fangirl. Like you, I love unhurried love stories. Like you, I have yet to read Eleanor & Park. And lastly, like you, I have declared myself a Rainbow Rowell fan after I’ve read this book. Haha!

    You just wrote everything I wanted to say about this book. 🙂

    • LOL glad you agree with most of the points in my review. 🙂 I really enjoyed both Attachments and Fangirl so I should try and bump Eleanor & Park up the TBR pile. I have a feeling I’ll like it too. Hope you get to read it soon! I’m also looking forward to her next book, Landline.

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