Book Review: Fangirl

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Synopsis from Amazon:

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? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Rarely do I purchase a book that I haven’t already read or haven’t read something by the author before. However, this was the collector’s edition of Fangirl, the cover is gorgeous, and it was 20 percent off at Target. Plus, I had just finished the book I was reading and didn’t have anything to read on the train.

So I bought it and I have never been more happy about a spur of the moment purchase. This book was everything I wanted it to be and more. I came into this book with no kind of expectations. I heard about it before and heard that it was good but it wasn’t like The Hunger Games level of fame or anything. My expectations were of the “This book will probably be a cute, fun read” variety.

But it was so much more than that. This book dealt with mental health, romance, dealing with change, and it’s set in college. Do you know how hard it is to find a good book set in college these days? It’s either high school or adulthood. No in between. But Fangirl is the perfect in between.

The main character, Cath, is so relatable. Her love (obsession?) with Simon Snow (the book’s version of Harry Potter, basically) is understandable, especially for any book lover. Her relationship with her sister, Wren, and her father is amazing to watch. She’s protective of them in a way that is ultimately harmful for herself. Cath is also very anxious and shy but she’s so sweet and passionate and I love her. Definitely one of my favorite protagonists ever.

The characters overall in this novel were fantastic. Cath’s roommate, Reagan, has the mean/bad girl vibe that is perfect but not cliche. Levi, the boy always hanging around Reagan and Cath’s room, is adorkable in the best way. He’s sweet and caring and is always smiling in a way that confuses Cath who keeps her smiling to a bare minimum. Then you have Nick, who’s a questionable character, and Cath’s teacher, Professor Piper, who’s chill.

I loved the little twists in this book that didn’t feel forced but instead felt perfectly right. I liked watching Cath come out of her shell and speak up for herself and what she wanted. Most of all, Cath’s dedication to her writing and her fanfiction about Simon Snow was great. I totally understood her need to write and why it was so important to her and I loved watching her succeed.

Fangirl brought me on an emotional roller coaster that made me miss my stop on the train once, almost made me miss my stop twice, and made me stay up four hours later than I was supposed one night, just so I could keep reading. This is definitely a book you’ll want on your shelf and I’m so glad it’s now on mine.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!


5 stars

Favorite Line:

“I choose you over everyone.”

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