Monday, March 17, 2014

Review | Fangirl

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Review by Alyssa
September 2013 by St. Martin's Press
445 pages
Amazon + Good Reads

"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?"
-Good Reads

I finally read Fangirl. After listening to my friends talk about how amazing it was and seeing it everywhere on BookTube - I *finally* decided to check it out of the library. And upon finishing it, I asked myself, "Why the hell did you wait this long?!" I loved it. 

I think I'm in the minority (or, at least it seems that way) in that I didn't love Eleanor & Park. In fact, I liked it but just barely. E&P is a classic example of how disappointing a popular YA book can be after receiving a ton of hype. It was a good story with interesting characters but over all, I don't think that E&P deserved the incredible amount of rave reviews that it received. And because of my disappointment in that book, I kind of figured that Rowell just wasn't for me... but I was so wrong. 

Fangirl was basically the perfect contemporary YA for me. The heroine is a nerdy recluse - I mean, she is practically famous within the Simon Snow fandom for writing - wait for it - FAN FICTION. How awesome is that? And the love interest is totally adorable but just enough of an idiot to create tension and some (minor) drama. 

There isn't much more that I can say about this book. The characters were the most unique that I've seen in a contemporary story thus far. I applaud Rowell for writing realistic characters who could easily exist in our world. Cath faces typical struggles during her freshman year of college, and I enjoyed how easily I could relate both to her personality as well as what she experienced. Rowell also has a knack for witty and engaging dialogue so I never found a dull moment through out the story.

Overall, I gave Fangirl 5/5 stars. It was an instant favorite and I would happily recommend it to anyone who enjoys realistic contemporaries or who identifies as a fangirl her(him)self. Go forth and read. And look out for my Casting Call which will come out this Saturday (3/22). 


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