Fangirl of Fangirl

6:26 AM

Summary of 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?


I'll admit it, I put off reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell for a long time because of the description of the book. Specifically the lines "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?" For whatever reason, when I read those lines my reaction was, "I don't want to read a book about a girl who writes fan fiction because she can't handle reality." It wasn't until I was asking someone for suggestions of audiobook readers they liked, that I decided to finally give Fangirl a chance. I am so happy that I did. Not only do Rebecca Lowman and Maxwell Caulfield do an excellent job of narrating the book (which is high praise considering I am very picky when it comes to audiobook readers. I blame this on the fact that my first audiobook narrator was Jim Dale reading the Harry Potter books, thus spoiling me for all other narrators), but the book is filled with relatable characters and two love stories which made my heart happy while reading them. Why oh why did I put off reading this book??? I am totally going to fangirl about Fangirl for the rest of this review because I loved it.

I absolutely adore all of the characters. For starters, the main character Cath is so gosh darn relatable. Reading her thoughts and reactions to different scenarios felt like I was doing them instead of her because she and I share a lot of the same personality traits. The scene where Cath doesn't know where the cafeteria is on campus and doesn't want to be the annoying freshman asking her older roommate for help so she just eats energy bars in her room is totally something I would do. In fact, Cath actually made me feel a bit better about some of my personality traits that I haven't always liked about myself like how I sometimes lack confidence, worry too much, and go through bouts of not wanting to interact with other people. Thank you, Rainbow Rowell, for creating Cath. It's rare for me to find a character in which I see so much of myself.

All of the supporting cast in the book were well written as well. Levi is so freaking adorable. Can I please request my own person Levi? Seriously, the way Rowell describes his smiles makes me swoon. His labrador retriever, happy to make other people happy personality is such a refreshing change of pace. My only complaint was that he did seem a bit too perfect, but as soon as I thought that, he did make a mistake (which is good because I love his character and would've been disappointed if he was perfect because everyone has flaws). Reagan, Cath's roommate, is confident and tough but caring. Cath's twin sister Ren is a complicated character. Cath's dad not only plays a huge role in the book, unlike most parents in YA, but he is also a complex character—a single father whose manic episodes sometimes interfere with his life—and his storyline is just as fascinating to read as Cath's. I could go on and on about how much I love the characters in this book, but I'll move on to the fan fiction aspect Fangirl.

I've only ever written one piece of fan fiction before and that was for a writing contest on Figment where the prompt was to write about your own Sorting at Hogwarts. After reading, Fangirl, I found myself itching to write some real fan fiction (i.e. Harry Potter Fan Fiction without me as the main character because frankly that's just a little bit weird). The sections of the book that had excerpts from the Simon Snow books and Carry On (Cath's Simon Snow) fan fiction were some of my favorite parts of reading Fangirl. I haven't even read Carry On yet and I'm already shipping Simon and Bas like crazy. 

As I'm sure it will come as no surprise, I will be reading Carry On soon. I am glad I can finally jump aboard the Rainbow Rowell hype train, and declare that this girl *points both thumbs at self in a super cheesy way* is a fangirl of Fangirl

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