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 am a book worm and writer trapped in a dyslexic's body
As a college student and writer of gay fan fiction and socially awkward geek with social anxiety I can attest to the verity of this book. It is far too true, but in a good way. I'm going to start writing my own stuff now.
I liked the story in general, writing stories inside of stories is a difficult concept as you have to try to write as your character not yourself. The story didnt seem to have a massive plot, normal guy issues and a girl trying to avoid her homework the entire year. I didnt understand the ending well i did but i didnt understand why the characters story was the ending, it just didnt make sense go from simon snow to kaths story. I also didnt like the simon snow parts obviously the author was trying to show kaths fanfics and the other authors work but it was obviously a fake harry potter knock off and only parts of a story that didnt really make sense as they werent complete as well as some things in the story werent cleared up. I also didnt like the outsiders spoilers. I liked the woman in the audiobook not so much the man, but overall the story was okay. Its not a story id read more than once. I wish the story would've ended at the book scene much better, or that the author got special permission to use another story aside from "simon snow" because i think it would've been a lot better.
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.
Their tone and expression of the writing was incredible - it definitely added to the story.
Only complaint I have is the ending. I wanted more of an explanation of what would happen with Cath & Levi.
If you want to spend a novel cursing at the main character for being such an idiot, this is the book for you! I really wanted to like it - I'm a snarky geek, after all. I almost quit halfway through, but I stuck with it for the mildly interesting plot and the occasional chuckle. I found Cath to be a wet blanket, and supporting characters to be more interesting, yet underdeveloped. As others have said, the ending was underwhelming. The reading itself was well done.
first time mom
Another wonderful book from a fantastic writer. The story within a story was just as engaging as the snippet of life. Freshman year is the best of/worst of times, & Rainbow captures that with all her heart. All the stars for Rowell!
A teacher with a long commute and endless audiobook list!
Yes! It was a sweet story and well written.
I loved the roommate! She's the cool, chill girl we all wanted to be in high school.
It's pretty long, but I had a hard time turning off the audio!
Devourer of all books fantasy
I have had this book on my to read list forever. Previous to reading this book the only book I had read by Rowell was Landline, which I enjoyed but didn’t love. This was an incredibly engaging read and something that I think a lot of readers/writers will definitely adore. This is basically a coming of age story that is sweet and deals with a lot of life issues.
I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was very well done. I thought the narrator did an excellent job with conveying emotion and having distinct character voices. I would definitely recommend this on audiobook if you are a fan of audiobooks.
Cath is a Simon Snow fan (well Simon Snow is really really popular, so a lot of people are fans). It would be more accurate to say that Cath is absolutely obsessed with Simon Snow. She spends a large amount of time writing fanfic that takes place in the Simon Snow world. Her twin sister Wren has grown out of fanfic and is ready to move on with her life. Both sisteres are both going to the same college but Wren decides to get a new roommate and start a new life without Cath.
Cath would love to just hide in her dorm, she has huge anxiety about anything new. She ends up with a grouchy roommate who constantly has her boyfriend around. Things get worse when she finds out her fiction writing professor absolutely hates fanfiction. To add to all of this her manic depressive father is having trouble coping with living alone and she has to finish the eighth book in her alternate Simon Snow series, Carry On, before the final book in the real series actually releases. How will Cath make it through?
The book starts each chapter with either an excerpt from the original Simon Snow series or an excerpt from Cath’s Simon Snow fanfic Carry On. So you are kind of following three stories throughout the book; the Simon Snow series, Cath’s story Carry On, and Cath’s day to day story. It was cleverly done.
This is definitely a coming of age story that touches on a lot of interesting issues. There is a lot in here about fanfiction and about the stresses of interacting with both internet and real-life communities. Additionally a lot of the characters are struggling with social/mental disorders. Cath has extreme anxiety about anything new. Wren has a bit of a drinking problem. Cath and Wren’s father struggles with bipolar disorder. Levi (Cath’s roommate’s boyfriend) has a learning disability that makes reading very tough for him. All of these characters with their issues and quirky disorders make for characters that are intriguing and very real feeling.
I loved Cath and could definitely relate to her. She would rather read or write than do anything else (yep, that describes me), she has a lot of anxiety about new situations (yep, I am with her there), and she would rather write fanfic than deal with real issues (again...I definitely spend time blogging that could be better spent elsewhere). So I really related to her and enjoyed watching her learn to deal with situations that I have also struggled with over the years.
The story is very engaging and absolutely engrossing. You are constantly wondering what will happen between Wren and Cath, what will happen with Cath’s final fiction story, what will happen in Cath’s fanfic Carry On, what will happen between Cath and Levi, what will happen with Cath’s father…. There is a lot to drive the story forward. It is also a very emotion-provoking story; there were parts where I laughed and parts where I cried (seriously one of these was when Cath and Wren are crying over the final book of the Simon Snow series...yes I can totally relate to this).
Overall I loved this book. The characters felt incredibly real, were entertaining, and engaging. This is a coming of age story that deals with a lot of social issues. I could really relate to Cath and really enjoyed reading about her. My only complaint is that the story ends very abruptly. I would recommend to those who enjoy contemporary YA fiction, especially those who read or write a lot themselves.
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