From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park.
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?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
“Touching and utterly real.” — Publisher’s Weekly
Fangirl is an excellent story that is incredibly realistic and is very inspirational! I loved it very, very much. I have read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell as well and I am just as, if not more, stunned with Fangirl as I was with Eleanor and Park. Another thing I loved about this book is the diversity. It travels out of the original box of ‘romance’ and it is definitely unique. There are just about a hundred thousand cliches in the story, not to mention the humongous trope the whole story revolves around. And that’s okay! It works in this case. The trope is looked at in a different perspective and you definitely notice the cliches and you won’t mind them!
The characters in Fangirl were totally unique and interesting.
I definitely liked Cath because of her vivid, unique, detailed personality which was easy to become attained to throughout the narration (in her voice). The way she talked and her thoughts really spoke to me and very perfectly depicted the mind of a college girl. Cath cared very much about her father and was pretty much a girl completely immersed into the world of books, of Simon Snow.
And that brings me to talk about Simon Snow. Oh, *squeal* give me a fangirling moment. Simon Snow is practically a Harry Potter parody that you get bits and pieces of in Fangirl and is much more elaborated on in Rowell’s Carry On that is so on my TBR. The only topic in Simon Snow is that, well, I warned you. There is a vampire in secret, Baz, and there is the ‘Chosen One’ Simon. The boys are roommates in Watford School of Magicks and Baz and Simon are. Well. Um. Involved. Together. If you know what I am implying. ‘Nuff said.
Levi and Reagan and Nick and all of Cath’s other college mates were each to their own, with their own story. The one thing I didn’t like is that Levi is practically your perfect male ‘dreamboy’ that every story has. Ugh. We need diversity! Enough with the blue-eyed, toned, tall hunk of pure idiocy! Give us readers something different, please. Anyways, aside from me not liking Levi, I liked all of the other characters a lot because of all of their depth, unexplained complexity, and the space Rowell left for us to fill in the blanks making the story easier to connect to!
The plot was something. Something. It was calm but it was unnerving and it was real and it was totally attached to a story of someone in college. I loved the realism and I loved how the plot made everything so completely detailed. The plot and all of the events were very relatable.
The story perfectly depicted the very real threat of peer pressure and how contagious the obsession with drugs and drinking can get in college. As we all learn in school from all of our teachers and principles, ‘don’t do drugs! stay drug-free! avoid alcohol!’ Fangirl showed how real all of that is. And that is zilch. When college students are given the freedom to do what they want, they react negatively to peer pressure that supports drugs and alcohol use and students fall for that. I liked how Rowell was very real with the pressure and the danger of all of these drugs and alcohol greatly advertised in college. The plot was hard and it fought all of these realities, making them even more scarier and realistic.
There was SO MUCH bad language used in the book. Oh, whoops. SO SO SO SO much. And I liked it better in Fangirl than I did in Eleanor and Park. Though bad language used that frequent is a downside for me in novels, I liked this because in college, not everyone is all perfect and orally angelic. People don’t use great language all the time in college! And the use of bad language was what really hit that realism for me! And I thought that this was the best novel I could have ever read because of how realistic Rowell was able to make it. A very good job to you, dear Mrs. Rowell.
The world-building was like every other book. Enough to see from the protagonist’s perspective, but not all that much to explain everything to us. However, the use of street names, campus names, city names, and state names came in handy with all the navigation going on.
There is a trigger warning in here about the danger of drugs and alcohol and other involvement in college and I do hope you know what I mean. And so the world-building proved to be, well, scarce but enough. And why I referred to the trigger warning is below.
There is a part where one of the characters gets over intoxicated and is in need of being admitted to the hospital, and the world-building and the details fit in every place right then. There was so much description going on in that moment of tension! It was pretty easy to picture all of it, except for those little tiny details.
Writing style, hmm? Oh, what do I say? Rowell always nails it when she uses the bad language. But she made it better here, if that’s possible. I told you about how it made out so much more realistic. And therefore with all of the swearing in tow in this novel, Rowell fit it in like the perfect puzzle piece with the story and the moral.
And so the moral of this great story is facing the growth that happens when you go to college. The real hardships, pressure, influence, and everything else that proves a challenge in life through those four years of undergrad were a story I know I will never forget the meaning of. I will never forget the hardships, the characters, the solutions, and the bittersweet story that revolves around it all.
I would definitely recommend this novel to all voracious readers who want to explore outside of their limits into the world of YA contemporary. And if you just want a good read, this is your story! It kills time and has a great meaning and was very inspirational and effective for me and I would love for you to read it. And if you want to do some fangirling about that Harry Potter parody, you know who’s always here for a bit of that.