Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

16068905Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Publisher
 St. Martin’s Press
Length
416 pages
Genera:
 Contemporary
Subjects
Romance, Writing, Fanfiction, Fandoms
How I obtained the book
Netgalley, ecopy

Rating: 

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?

Or will she just go on living inside somebody else’s fiction?

Fangirl isn’t going to be a book for everyone. There are going to be a lot of positive reviews but it’s going to have it’s fair share of negative reviews as well. Fangirl isn’t going to become the next big thing. Fangirl isn’t going to be everyone’s favorite book.

Fangirl is going to be a book for some people because Fangirl is a book for the people who live in world’s created by others, whether it be the Harry Potter fandom or the Supernatural fandom.

You may not believe me at first, but once you read the book, it’ll become quite obvious. This book wasn’t meant for the average reader who casually watches some tv or casually reads. It was quite obviously marketed to the fanperson. While anyone could read the book, this book is much more enjoyable when you can truly understand Cather, and her obsession/love relationship with the fictional Simon Snow.

The main reason I connected with Cather was for the fact that I totally got how her love for Simon wasn’t just something she liked – it was so much more important. Cather wasn’t always the most likable character but I understood her and her pain of having her best friends live hundreds of miles away. I understood how she felt to see her sister drift away from her and start to dislike her. I got her.

If you can’t relate to Cath in any of the ways I mentioned, you’ll mostly likely like the book less. Cath does some really irritating and stupid things in the course of the book that should have made me hate her. But oddly, none of them made me like her less but others may be less forgiving.

Cather isn’t always a likable protagonist, as I said. She reminded me a bit of myself to be honest- if it’s not too vain to say. She was angry and angsty but she was funny and adorable at the same time. She writes fanfiction and her bffs live half way around the country or even the world.

The love interest, Levi, was probably the most adorable thing ever. Granted, he wasn’t the most original or fully developed, but I do think the personality and the lack of extreme douchebaggeryness helped. I’m just glad he didn’t make any rapey advances or stalk her.

He did do some… less than gentlemanly things during the course of the book. While it wasn’t exactly his fault or something that would make me feel like I don’t like him, it was certainly not a positive to his character.

One part that was less than positive was the fact that pretty much every character other than Levi, Cather, and Wren were absolutely irritating in every possible way. I wanted to slap practically every single character because they were all bitches for no goddamn reason.

Even the characters I liked could be so irritating and annoying that I just wanted to scream and ragequit, which doesn’t happen very often. I can usually take irritation and anger fairly well but this was magnified by the fact that the rest of the book was just so amazing.

The plot was a fairly standard find-yourself thing but I really enjoyed it. I really like writing (in case you haven’t noticed) and a book revolving around writing and Cather’s inability to write anything other then Simon Snow fanfiction left me all but drooling.

The fanfiction aspect left me very satisfied but some readers might find this very gimmicky and tacky. If you didn’t like the gimmicky aspects of How to Lead a Life of Crime, this may be very forced and annoying.

However, I found it absolutely amazing. How can a few snippets of fanfiction of a series that doesn’t even exist make me want to read more? Um, because it’s amazing – that’s why. Absolutely fucking fantastic. If I don’t see more Simon and Baz, I will probably be very disappointed.

This review is getting a bit way too fangirly so here’s the tl;dr version: Lisbeth like. Lisbeth recommend. You read.

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