“Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell

FangirlI thought I would love this one because of all the rave reviews I’ve seen and read. Unfortunately, I didn’t. I’m not even sure what the plot is.

Quick summary:

From Goodreads:

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 thoughts:

As you can tell, I’m not a fan of this book. I’m one of few. The story was okay but it didn’t work for me. I wanted to read it because everyone praised it and that made me curious. Plus, the cover is attractive. But the story fell short of awesome in my opinion.

I can see why others enjoyed it, though. The writing is good and the characters are believable. You will fall for the characters. I did and I don’t even like them; well, except for Reagan, Cath’s roomie, and Levi, the boyfriend. As for Cath and the others, I found them annoying.

Cath bothered me from the beginning of the story. I thought she was controlling and overbearing. I could understand why her sister wanted to break away and experience things with someone else for a while. Cath bothered me so much in the early chapters that she made me anxious and I had to take a break from reading the story. She is a worrywart and obviously suffers from anxiety. As the story progresses and she becomes more comfortable at school and makes new friends, she becomes less anxious and I disliked her less.

I commend Rowell for the effect Cath had on me. As my attitude changed towards Cath, I realized that my reaction to her was probably because we are similar. Cath in the early chapters was annoying to me because I was reading about an annoying trait in myself. I also worry a lot and sometimes become anxious, something I didn’t realize about myself until I read this book. No wonder I had to take a break sometimes.

Also, I didn’t like the fanfiction. I don’t get why other readers do. It was boring. After a while, I stopped reading it though I realized there’re some spots where the fanfiction relates to what’s going on in Cath’s life. When I was done, I began to wonder if I’d missed something because I stopped reading the fanfiction and when I completed the book, it seemed that nothing was resolved. I stopped reading the fanfiction a little after completing half the book. Just about where Cath started reading them aloud. So if you know for sure that I missed something, please let me know below.

What made me rate the story three stars is that the story seems unfinished. When I got to the end, I thought it was a joke because nothing is resolved except that Cath feels more comfortable at school and the reader now knows that she’s the glue keeping her family together. Of all the other issues that arose…I’m not sure any were resolved. As such, I wasn’t sure what the plot is. What is the story about? When the story began, I thought it was about the upheaval in Cath’s life when she goes off to college and how she and her family adjusts to it. Is that what the plot is? If so I guess it’s resolved since she adjusts by the end but it doesn’t feel definite. What becomes of Cath’s relationship with her mom? That didn’t seem resolved. I also thought the story was about how Cath and her family would handle reuniting with their mom since they’re still affected by her leaving. But there’s no answer for that either.

Overall: ★★★☆☆

The story is okay and I would recommend it for its characters.

(Added to the Book Riot 2015 Read Harder Challenge.)


8 thoughts on ““Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell

  1. I’m just about to write my own review of this book. I had a different reaction, but it’s still refreshing to hear a different opinion! I overall liked the novel, but I agree about the fan fiction – while I read all of it, I wasn’t always able to connect it to the actual story.


  2. I wasn’t into the fanfiction either. I was also kind of annoyed that Harry Potter and the Simon Snow books coexisted 😂 I’ve actually been thinking about rereading Fangirl, because I ended up skimming through a lot of the fanfiction.


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