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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell Review

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?
Pages: 433
Source: Barnes and Noble
I always thought reviews in which I tore books apart were easier to write than good reviews because I had plenty to talk about. When I actually loved the book, I felt like I had nothing to say except to repeat classic lines everybody else was already using. "I liked it because the characters were real and the writing was fantastic and so forth". I couldn't help but feel that people wouldn't want to read the book I was praising because I couldn't think of any way to creatively justify why I liked the book so much in the first place. If my experiences blogging have taught me anything, though, its that your opinions can never be considered insignificant compared to others. I might not always be able to find the words that perfectly describe what I'm feeling, but that in no way makes my feelings about a book any less valid. So these days, I like to review books that I loved because even if I fill the page with cliches and cheesy lines,  one person out there might find the inspiration to pick up a book they wouldn't usually read. And that's a good enough reward for me. 

And that terribly long intro was just another way of warning you that I have yet another glowing review of a book to share with you today. Out of all the books I've reviewed on this blog, I've probably given one book less than four stars? Yep. I apologize to all you critics out there who are just waiting for me to rip a novel to pieces. I can't help it. These books fill me with so many good things, I can't help but want to give them to you too. 

I think it should be stated that I finished this book when I should have been studying for my finals. I'm not the kind of girl who slacks off on school work so you have to know that Fangirl was simply addicting. I've been rather disappointed with what I've read of the New Adult genre so far because my experience with this category is that authors simply use this new trend as an excuse to just add more sexy times. That's right. I said it! As a college student myself, I was ecstatic that authors were finally figuring out that there are some life-changing moments that happen after you leave high school as well. There are so many huge decisions I'm making right now that will affect the rest of my life and I think it's wonderful that us in-betweeners (past teenage drama, but not ready to be adults quite yet) are getting a focus in literature as well. However, I can tell you that taking your relationship to the next level is not the only thing you're worried about or that happens during this period in your life. I like hot make out-scenes just fine, but not when they're thrown in just because the author can. 

Guys. This book really takes the New Adult genre to the next level. Yes there's a boy (a very cute, amazing, magical boy) but he's not the reason behind everything that happens in this book. It's a story about growing up and letting go  and letting people in. It's about living with insecurities and putting families back together and just learning how to be an adult in the crazy world we live in. And what makes this whole story even better is that the main character is totally a nerd. She's obsessed with this series she grew up with so much so that she would much rather live in that fictional world than her current reality. I don't know about you guys, but that's the story of my life. I dreamed about going to Hogwarts and I cried for days after I finished the last Harry Potter book simply because there would never be another. (WHY? J.K. ROWLING WHY?) And I can relate to not wanting to socialize because people make you nervous and being absolutely terrified of how a certain boy makes you feel. I have an older sister who drives me nuts but I would have no idea how to live without her. I was Cather. I am Cather. And I know not everybody will be able to make the same connections as I did because I even did the whole fanfiction thing....ahem...., but I think anybody entering or trying to live through this particular stage of life will be able to appreciate this book. 

What else can I say about this book that hasn't already been said? I hope when I do finally fall in love, it happens just like this. It's messy and awkward and terrifying and slow and embarrassing and exciting and just plain magic. I loved that Rainbow Rowell addressed writing and how difficult it can be to completely create your own world and characters. And her writing? GAH! It was funny but honest and I swear she was communicating telepathically with me when she wrote most of it. She even included excerpts from her made-up Simon Snow series. It was fantastic. I loved that Rainbow Rowell didn't try to fix her characters, but showed how Cather loved them despite their flaws because families aren't perfect, but that doesn't make mean they can't be a family and love each other anyway. 

Contemporary novels aren't usually my thing. But if I could frame a book...I would totally frame Fangirl. It was refreshing and honest and adorable and just what I needed in these turbulent college years. 

I know that I've said it a lot recently, but you guys should really find a way to read this book. I'm incapable of putting into words what I was feeling when I read this novel. I know I'm barely scraping the surface and I really haven't done Fangirl justice. So please please pretty please give this book a chance! You too can stop whatever you're doing for days on end until the book is finished and then you can skip around and smile at everyone you meet and just be happy for awhile. This book earned every flower I'm giving it even if I can't properly say why. So go read it!!! 


Oh hello there! My name is Emily, though some of you may know me as the Bookie Monster. As the name would suggest, I devour books like the Cookie Monster devours cookies. In my spare time, I like to bake cookies (and devour those as well) and dream about taking over the world. As if my book obsession wasn't life consuming enough,

I work in the children's room at my local library and I am currently a sophomore in college majoring in English. It's safe to say I'm a bit of a book fanatic. I discreetly shed a few tears on my eleventh birthday when I did not receive my Hogwarts acceptance letter and I waited seven hours outside in the rain just to get a good seat at the Hunger Games midnight premiere. I'm terrified of blood and Disney movies make me cry (in a good way). My passions include hippos, hugs, and Hans Zimmer…and uh,long walks on the beach. I'm just a normal girl w
ith a slightly abnormal and frightfully expensive obsession. Nice to meet you!


3 comments:

  1. So you said perfectly all of it. Yes, I have found that NA was an excuse to add more steamy scenes, which is why I don't read adult. Hot make out scenes a yes, more than that a no. I like the innocence in YA book. This book did the innocence plus the growing up. It just as it was supposed to be. Her writing does amaze me. I fell in love with every aspect of this book and you put all my feelings down exactly as I felt them. Great review.

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  2. Somehow I still haven't gotten around to reading this book, I read Eleanor & Park and absolutely loved it! I can definitely understand why everyone loved that book so much and why this book was so eagerly anticipated. The author is really talented. Your review was the reminder that I NEED to read this book as soon as possible. So I've put a hold on it already ;) Great review!
    P.S. Also agree about the whole New Adult thing...I haven't been super excited about it so I'm glad to hear that some authors are actually exploring the deeper meanings of this genre.

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  3. It was SOO good! I loved how she captured the beginning of college, I definitely is a time of life that is skipped in books. Rowell just paints such a true and funny story that you can't help but fly through the pages :)

    Ashley @ The Quiet Concert

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Hi! Thank you so much for commenting, I read each and every comment and love reading them :) Also, I'll comment back as soon as I can. Happy Reading!