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? Open her heart to someone? Or will she just go on living inside somebody else's fiction?
©2013 Rainbow Rowell (P)2013 St. Martin's Griffin
This is a fantastic, entertaining, make you laugh and cry, make time fly by fast, very credit worthy audiobook. Rebecca Lowman gives a brilliant performance. She makes the characters and the story come alive in such a way that after a while you stop noticing the narrator. The story just happens inside your head. I like the world of Fangirl very much. It's a small world, but a place I enjoyed spending time in and populated by characters I cared about very much. I especially enjoyed Levi, he's not a conventionally handsome or perfect guy who never puts a foot wrong, but there was just something about him that made me root for him and made me smile inside and out, even when he screwed up. We should all have a Levi in our lives at some point.
Since I liked Elenor & Park a lot, I went straight to the next Rainbow Rowell book. The recently released Fangirl. What a wonderful love story. Rainbow Rowell wields an effortless power over words and characters. I became a Fangirl-fan after only a few minutes, the story has a great flow and is extremely addictive without being overly dramatic. No villains, no death, no great deception, not a lot of crying and all the same. I grew so attached to Cather and all her friends. I would have loved for the story to never end.
The Narration by Rebecca Lowman is perfect. Her voices are distinctive without being overacted. Five Stars. Maxwell Caufield is a bit over the top for my taste, but since he is only reading the Simon Snow Excerpts at the beginning of the chapters, it was sort of funny.
I will listen to every book Rainbow Rowell writes, but it will be a while before I re-listen. When I want to time travel to revisit my own early college anxieties / small victories, I will re-listen to this book. For now, I'm jealous of people who haven't listened to Fangirl yet -- it was a delight.
Rainbow Rowell won my heart with "Eleanor and Park." "Fangirl" is less fraught and stressful, but drawn just as well. In both, Rowell conjures the awkwardness and excitement of teen emotions with disturbing accuracy. The "Simon Snow" fan-fic plot was a lot more endearing than I expected it to be. I loved the overt and subtle allusions to Harry Potter and Twilight. This element reminded me of "Ready Player One" because it was both funny and nostalgic.
Rebecca Lowman was an excellent narrator for the main story. I enjoyed the interludes of Maxwell Caulfield reading excerpts from the Simon Snow stories. The combination was such a smart idea.
I would definitely recommend this audiobook. I really love how there are 2 different narrators that break the story up by the story and what Cath has written/read.
I just love this story. I relate to Cath in a way that I have never related to another character before. The story is heartwarming at times, funny, sad, uncomfortable- a wonderful roller coaster of emotions!
I did basically listen to it in all one sitting- more than once :) In the car, doing housework- it was on all the time and even my husband laughed and listened with me.
I loved this book. I think Rainbow Rowell is a phenomenal writer who has thoughtful and brilliant character development. This is an intelligent book but also sweet and romantic. For me that's a winning combination. I loved Eleanor and Park as well but this was even better. I think I would read anything she writes.
I'm the first to admit that the premise is a bit hokey...a young adult book about a girl who writes thinly veiled Harry Potterish slash fanfiction...but remarkably it works. I think this book resonates so well because it tells the story of a girl who is having a hard time growing up and finding her away in a new and unfamiliar life. Transitions are such a natural part of life, yet for many people (including me) it is hard to let go and move on. I actually loved the fanfiction aspect as well. There have been a few cultural phenomenon recently (Harry Potter and Twilight come to mind) that can be difficult to say goodbye to. RR captured that level of devotion and relative importance so well.
At the end of the day this book feels like a warm and wonderful hug. I have recommended this book to several friends already.
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This book was kind of adorable, and I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. While it definitely fits into the Young Adult and Chic Lit categories, there is a lot of nerdiness and a little more depth than you usually find in either genre. While I'm not a fan of Fan Fiction in general, I enjoyed the incorporation of the culture in the story, as well as the interweaving of the main story, the FanFic story, and the Harry Potter-esque world that Cath's Fan Fiction derived from. It was a fun read (listen), and Rebecca Lowman and Maxwell Caulfied add a lot to the audiobook version with great narration.
After listening to a dark crime/mystery story, I wanted something lighter. I had hoped for funny, interesting, sweet or romantic, even silly would have worked. Drab did not work. About a quarter into the book, I found myself slogging through it. I stayed with it trying to give the story a chance. I found I didn’t like the main story or the secondary story. I didn’t like the family dynamics, the school experience, and I am still not certain if there were romantic or funny parts. I found the real characters OK – barely, but did not see anything appealing in the secondary characters. I didn’t like either reader. The female reader had an almost whinny thing going on, and the male reader had very little to work with. (SPOILER ALERT – when the main character was reading a fan story she had written to a guy, I was surprised that he didn’t fall asleep or beg her to stop – or throw himself out of the window. That is when I stopped listening, almost half way through the book. The story was inconsistent – for days the main character was too afraid to go into the school cafeteria to eat, but instantly walked home alone on campus at midnight with no problem. The fantasy character asked someone to take him somewhere in a boat, but was surprised that he actually had to get into the boat?!?! That ended it for me. I would agree with the teacher and give the whole thing an ‘F’. It might work for some, but did not work for me.
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