Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Page Count: 445
Publication Date: September 10th 2013
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?
What I thought:
I’ve been meaning to read Fangirl for a while and I’ve finally gotten round to it. For me personally it was nice to read something a bit different from the usual things I buy. The story follows a girl named Cath who is in her first year at university. She has a twin sister called Wren and a love interest named Levi. That’s the ordinary stuff. The more unusual aspect of the protagonist is that in her spare time she writes fanfiction about a book character named Simon Snow.
This book was nice. It was a cute story about a girl balancing school with her family life whilst also chasing love and maybe writing a little Fanfiction. The book kind of started off slowly and then later picked up its pace. I found the fanfiction excerpts a bit boring and eventually I just started skim reading or skipping them all together. I know they were there to make the whole Simon Snow world seem more realistic but it felt unnecessary.
I found Cath’s character to be a bit whiny at times. For example, at the start of the book she has a ‘boyfriend’ who’s at another university. He calls her up to tell her that he has a real girlfriend now and thought she should know. Cath was obviously very upset about this, especially as the way he broke the news was in quite a cruel way, but at the same time it was clear to everyone that the relationship was mostly platonic and Cath could have saved herself a lot of heartache if she had accepted that they weren’t really dating in the first place.
There are many things that are unexplained in the book such as Caths social anxiety and her unwillingness to have any sort of contact with her mother. I feel like these would have been interesting things for Rowell to address in more detail. Overall though I thought the book was okay. Rowell makes a big effort to make Cath quirky and relatable but I feel like sometimes it was a bit over the top. Cath was borderline obsessed with Simon Snow and her fanfiction. It is a bit strange but she reassures us that it’s a perfectly healthy way to behave.
That being said, I thought the book was a decent read. I’ve been quite critical about what I didn’t love but there were other parts that were more enjoyable. So if you’re into slice of life type YA novels then this could be the book for you.