Published September 2013 by St. Martin’s Press|323 pages
Where I Got It: Nook store
Genre: YA Contemporary
In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, 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? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
What I Thought:
Fangirl is one special book! I can’t believe it took so long to read Rainbow Rowell, but I’m glad I finally did. I connected so much with Cath and her love of Simon Snow.
I was so strongly reminded of my life as a Harry Potter fan, and the counting down to the next book and the midnight releases of books and movies, and time spent on sites like Mugglenet and the Leaky Cauldron and fanfiction.net, and I felt so nostalgic for that time in my life. And the urgency to finish her own fanfic before the last book comes out, and her feelings about it all coming to an end…it’s a world that’s completely familiar to me, and Rowell got it so completely right!
I also LOVE Cath’s story and her journey through her freshman year of college. She is a character I really love and there are pieces of her that remind me of myself. She really came into herself by the end of the book, and I loved seeing how much she changed by the end of the book. There is something so endearing about her, and I just wanted to give her a hug and then go write some fanfiction with her.
Another completely awesome thing about Fangirl are the excerpts from the Simon Snow series and Cath’s own fanfic’s- both the ones she wrote with her twin and on her own. It really added something special to the book, and Fangirl would have been incomplete without it. You see how important the Simon Snow series is to her and how it got her through so many different things and the power and impact that books can have on people, and Rowell did so amazing at showing that.
I loved her relationship with her sister and her dad, but her relationship with her roommate and roommate’s friend really stood out to me. Cath definitely has a couple good friends in them, and I’m glad she found some awesome people who get her.
Back to Cath’s sister, Wren: they definitely have an interesting relationship, which really changed from beginning to end. I did love their relationship and how they went in completely different directions but still had each other. Wren definitely has her own issues to deal with, but at least she has Cath.
As much as the ending fit, there is a part of me that wanted to know a little bit more about Cath’s life after finishing Simon Snow and I kind of wanted to see a little bit of her summer. But at the same time, the ending worked so well because it ends with the last Simon Snow book coming out.
Let’s Rate It:
I ABSOLUTELY LOVED Fangirl! It really is a special book about a girl trying to find her place in the world. I related to so much of Fangirl, and it really did make me feel all nostalgic for when the Harry Potter books were coming out. Fangirl gets 5+ stars.