Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Review | "Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
YA Contemporary published September 13, 2013
St. Martin's Press
Author's website  |  Goodreads  |  Buy the Book on Amazon

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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?
My Thoughts...
This is going to be a pretty quick review because it's been a little while since I finished this book.  This was my first Rainbow Rowell book and I loved it so much.  I really like her writing style, I love that the characters are so easy to relate to.  

Cath is a twin, she and her sister Wren are starting their first year of college.  Cath and Wren (yes....Cath/Wren....mom wasn't expecting twins and they ended up sharing a name!) have been nearly inseparable since birth.  Now Wren had decided to assert her independence by choosing not to be roommates in college.  Wren is more social where Cath is decidedly not.  She is more comfortable in her online fangirl world of Simon Snow fan fiction where she is somewhat of a celebrity fan fiction writer. 

This could be considered a coming of age book, I suppose.  This is the story of Cath coming to terms with who she is apart from the sister who has always been a constant.  It's about Cath having to leave Wren to learn from her own mistakes.  It's about falling in love for the first time, truly falling in love, not settling for someone who feels comfortable.  It's about teenage girls dealing with a father who has a mental illness and a mother who left when taking care of someone besides her was just too hard.  And along with all this it's about all the relationships, friendships, etc...that come along with being an 18 year old.

I adored Levi, he was just awesome and so patient with Cath when she was pretty much clueless for most of the book.  He is able to pull her out of the world of Simon Snow while still supporting her need to be a part of it...if that makes any sense!  Really all the supporting characters in this story were great.  Ms. Rowell has a wonderful talent for writing really great characters that you identify with and care about.

The only part of the book that I didn't care so much for was the actual Simon Snow passages.  I loved reading the fan fiction that Cath was writing, I just didn't care for the "original" Simon Snow content, I didn't think we necessarily needed that to understand that she was writing fan fiction.  I pretty much just skimmed those parts.

If you are looking for a really good read and you enjoy Young Adult Contemporary then I can't recommend this book highly enough.  I promptly went out and bought all of Ms. Rowell's books after finishing this one!  In fact I will be reviewing them all on the blog this week.

Happy Reading!
XOXO, Shelly

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