Thursday, June 6, 2013

REVIEW: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Title:                       Fangirl
Author:                   Rainbow Rowell
Release Date:      Sept 10/2013
Genre:                YA Contemporary
Publisher:           St. Martin's Press
Page Count:        416
Acquired:            NetGalley
Format:              E-ARC: Kindle
Read On:            May 5-29/2013
Goodreads:         ADD
Purchase:           Amazon/Indigo/Book Depository

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?


Wait. The tendrils of brilliance still haven't released their hold. Rainbow Rowell, you will be the exact reason my heart stops beating. Quite possibly the reason I stop reading ALL other contemporary fiction. You get me, HOW do you get me? I want to hug your words. While I'm reading your words, I want to stop reading and HUG them. Can I make this happen??...

If I'm being completely honest, after reading Eleanor and Park, I didn't think my heart could find empty spaces within it's confines to allow anything beside, above, or NEAR it. But Fangirl is undeniable, it is irresistible, it found those voids within me and filled them with delicious familiarity. This book is YA contemporary like you will never read YA contemporary anywhere else. I hate dissecting and rearranging authors, but for the sake of this review, Fangirl is like the very best parts of John Green and Sarah Dessen. Yeah, I went there. And I'd do it again.

The book begins. We meet Cath. We kind of meet her twin sister Wren. We learn that the story will be told from the perspective of Cath, as the sisters make the monumental transition to college freshman status. Separated for the first time, the twins move into separate dorm rooms on Wren's insistence. Wren wants her freedom, her individuality. Cath wants her sister where she has seen her for the last 18 years: right beside her. Cath doesn't want change, and that includes not giving up her obsession and dedication to Simon Snow, a fictional character from her favourite book series. What will it cost to embrace change? I don't think I ever wanted Cath to stop discovering.

Fangirl is 416 pages long, and worth every.last.moment of patience. You won't find an elaborate plotline, you won't find raging hormones that are dealt with instantly, and for the love of WONDERFUL, you will not find dialogue that is so overly dramatic, your brain cells will weep with pain. You WILL however, find yourself smiling so ridiculously wide, you'll have a hard time pinning down the exact moment you realized your soul was singing..SINGING. Rainbow Rowell has the most simple, most beautiful, understanding of the young adult mind. Cath isn't written as your "typical" teenager, but that made Ms. Rowell's efforts even more admirable. She took a character that is outside of the box, maybe even medically anti-social, and made me appreciate her slow development, her awkwardness around situations that her sister Wren seemed to excel at with ease. There were times when I wanted the baby steps to become bigger leaps, but in the end, it was the best kind of excruciating. Cath coming into her own was a sight to be seen, a journey well spent, and every other cliched term I can use for this simple fact: I loved the build-up.

I don't think it's possible for me to discuss the intense love affairs I had with the other characters in this book. Reagan, Cath's dorm room-mate, was spectacularly perfect. If she was written any other way than sporadic and outspoken, I would have known it was a fake, and I would have hated her, I just know it. Reagan is officially in my top 3 favourite supporting characters. Levi. Levi Levi Levi...for you, the words I have do not exist in this lifetime of mine. I won't even attempt to describe you with pathetic understatements. Can you just do me a favour and exist in EVERY other book I read from now on? Thanks. Love, Me.

No, but really guys. Fangirl is the best flavour of cotton candy, mixed with pretzels, mixed with the only amount of teenage angst and romance that should legally be allowed in YA: it was perfect. I won't even mention the GIGANTIC references to Harry Potter. Okay, okay I'll mention it...INSANE amounts of homage paid to Harry Potter, in the likes of Simon Snow. It's impossible to NOT appreciate that aspect. Between chapters, Fangirl readers are treated with an excerpt from either the official Simon Snow books (there are 8), or a piece of Cath/Wren's fan fiction. The terminology in regards to the world of fan fic was phenomenal, the author definitely stayed up late doing her homework.

If you leave me here, I'll keep writing. I'll do it, I swear. Please-NO, no I won't ask nicely. This book DEMANDS to be read. Read Eleanor and Park, and then ORDER/BUY/BORROW Fangirl. Read them. BOTH! And shed tears of happy feelings, and feel the warmth of soul fulfillment. NOW.

Recommended for fans of: Harry Potter, Contemporary, Romance, Humour, Greatness, Genius, Authors with serious writing skill.


  1. That is one heck of an enthusiastic review! I'm sold :).

    1. Oh Chels..OH how I can't wait for you to read this!

  2. Ahhh...since i'm a big fan of Harry Potter, I think I'll ask for the book on NetGalley too :)

  3. I really need to laugh right now, i have to read funny book like this one

  4. LOVE LOVE LOVE!! Rainbow's characters are so so perfect - so real you can touch them. And I love the fan fic element!! :)

    Lovely review:))

  5. Looks fun read. I need them right now :)

  6. Sisters wish i had one growing up, thanks for sharing review looks like a good read

  7. Lately I have been avoiding contemporary fiction, but only by the title of this book I'm curious XD. I'm going to get the kindle preview before buying it, but seems funny and different. Thanks for the review.

  8. Wow, your review really makes me want to check this book out. Haven't heard of it until now, thanks for getting it under my radar.

  9. I have heard so many great things about Eleanor and Park and have it in my TBR list since then and now I come to know there's another book by that author ! This one is definitely going to my TBR list too! Thanks for the recommendation!

  10. It sounds a really great book, makes me want to read it. The story sounds really interesting and fun. I think I'll put this book on my TBR list.

    Thanks for your review :)

  11. Great review! I need to add this to my tbr-list:-)


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