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
I love a book full of heart, psychological wisdom and humor.
I loved Eleanor and Park, but was dissapointed with this one. I am an older reader, but love YA novels when they are well written. Fangirl started out so promising, but about a third in started dragging terribly. Nothing was happening, chapter after chapter. Eventually I started skipping chapters but didn't seem to miss anything. Judging from the great reviews, I believe that this must have a good demographic that doesn't mind the lack of movement in the story.
I am also not a fan of the reader. While she reads perfectly, in theory, I find her lack of any warmth or vulnerability unlikable; and a poor fit for quirky, vulnerable charachters.
This is one of my favorite books that I have gotten from audible. I think I would have liked it just as much had I read it, but listening to it was awesome.
If you enjoy Harry Potter or other "fandoms" you will really relate to this book! It was just super cute, and fun to listen to.
I think everyone should read this book, but it's hard to put into words why. This book defies explanation and the synopsis doesn't do it justice. Rainbow Rowell is one of those writers who has the ability to write tons of emotion in as few words as possible (that's praise, not criticism). She is similar to John Green in that they both write angsty but smart YA characters. Normally when the main character whines it really turns me off, and even though Cath's musings can be construed as whining, to me she seemed more confused and socially awkward than a true whiner. She's also relate-able because no one knows how to act their first few months of freshman year. The narration is great, I really liked how the Simon Snow thread had one narrator and the Cath thread had another. I would absolutely recommend this book.
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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.
I listened to the book Fangirl because my older sister read it over the holidays and told me I would love it and then took it away with her. I had an Audible credit and was agonizing over what to buy when it hit me that I could buy this book by some chick named Rainbow Rowell and I’d get to “read” it. So I did. And it pretty much changed my life.
The book is about Cath and her relationships. Her relationship with her twin sister, Wren, is changing because they’re going to college and Wren wants more independence from her family. Cath doesn’t feel that same need and doesn’t want to be too free. Her relationship with her dad is changing, because he’s home alone for the first time since their mom left, and she worries over him. Her relationship with her fan-fiction community is changing because the demands of college life is somewhat overwhelming. And now she has to deal with her roommate, her boyfriend, her sister’s roommate, her writing partner, and her professors.
Cath writes fan-fic about Simon Snow (a bit like Harry Potter only different) and she’s very serious about it. I wish I had the dedication that she does to her craft. It made me insanely guilty.
Okay, there are so many things I loved about this book, I almost don’t know where to begin. Levi, I’ll start with Levi. Levi is such a beautiful optimist and a treasure. He is Cath’s roommate’s (Reagan) friend, initially thought to be her boyfriend. He has never read a novel all the way through, and Cath actually get angry about it (something I would totally do).
She decides to help him with a test and reads the entire book The Outsiders aloud to him. It was my second favorite scene in the book.
Reagan is a pretty awesome character herself. She’s completely kick-ass and I-don’t-give-a-crap-what-you-think, but her relationship with Cath becomes one of my favorite in the book. They sit in the cafeteria and make fun of people. Reagan is a good reminder to Cath that there are other things in the world besides fan-fic. Like, take this quote for example:
She’s a perfect person to befriend Cath.
And Cath, oh man. I am her, in so many ways. Like she wears her fandom t-shirts every day and is introverted and awkward. She’d prefer to read or write to any other activity. And she cares so much about everyone and doesn’t know how to express it well. My heart bled for her when Wren walked away from, leaving her to room with someone else and basically deal with her freshman year alone. Cath deals with it by isolating herself and writing her fan-fic novel. Which, again, I relate to so well.
The most emotional point in the book for me was the end. That seems cliché and expected, but it isn’t for the reason that you might think. Since Simon Snow is the equivalent of Harry Potter, I felt a kinship to Cath merely because her level of Snow fandom is the same as mine to Potter. At the end of the book, the last Simon Snow novel comes out and Cath and Wren get emotionally overwrought and I lost it. I sat in the dark of my room bawling as I listened because all of my Harry Potter feels resurfaced after seven years and I couldn’t help myself.
ALL THE FEELS!
Rebecca Lowman is one of my favorite narrators of all time and she did such a good job reading this book. Although, I have to say, some of my favorite parts were the Simon Snow bits before each chapter, which were read by Max Caulfield. It was a phenomenal narration.
My favorite parts of the book were Cath/Levi moments. They get together before you reach halfway in the book, so I don’t really view this as a spoiler, but other people might. Levi is the ultimate extrovert, saying ‘hi’ to people he’s never met and starting conversations out of nothing. I admire his mad skills. Cath is the ultimate introvert and thus limits interaction with human beings to the absolute minimum. How could you not see them coming? And how could you not love them together?
This review was originally published on my blog, Infusions of Wit From an Everyday Girl.
I listened to this audio on a solo road trip and it made my drive much more enjoyable. First, the story is awesome. I loved taking a glimpse into this fan fiction world, which I'd surprisingly never known much about. I loved the dynamics between the twin's relationship. I loved the whole first year of college and fitting in part of the story. But what I loved most was the narration. Rebecca Lowman became my favorite narrator solely because of this book. There's just something about her narration that makes me engage and relate.
My only complaint was the actual fan fiction writing. I get how it added to the story but it dragged on too long for me and I didn't care for the characters - or the storyline, to be honest. I know Rowell went on to write Carry On, about the fictional characters within this story so I must have been part of a smaller group of people who didn't care for it.
Bought this not realizing it's basically YA fiction. Simplistic. Too cutsie for me.
Young Adults might enjoy it.
I just enjoyed this one immensely. I read a rather cliche and somewhat infuriating mystery right before this so I was ready for a book with believable characters and realistic problems. I've been out of college for a while but it resonated with those experiences while still being original and interesting. I also found it to be an interesting exploration of fandom and what fans often think about. In the end, this was a fun adventure that kept me asking: how is this going to end? Good listening!
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