Title: FangirlAuthor: Rainbow Rowell (@rainbowrowell)
Released: September 10th, 2013
Genre: YA contemporary
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Format: ARC | Kindle book
Source: Amazon Vine | Purchased
Rating: The Royal Library, Middle Shelf
A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.
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?
A coming of age story, Fangirl is exceptionally humorous and touching. Rowell expertly shows the enthusiasm involved with fandoms, the awkwardness that arises when close friends (or sisters, in this case) begin drifting apart, and the immense joy a few new good friends can bring to your life. Cath is an endearing protagonist - very introverted, smart, talented, and has a good heart. Regarding the writing style, Rowell crafted an excellent contemporary 3rd person POV novel that does not lose any connection with the protagonist. The dialogue is sharp, realistic, and memorable. The story, while slowly paced, is engaging from the first page to the last. I was not sure what to expect from this story, but I was not expecting this. Fangirl made a fan out of me, and I'd recommend this story to anyone who is even the slightest bit curious about it.
Highlights: Easy to relate to, especially you are naturally a bookish / writerly introvert like Cath. The characters are honest, and utterly imperfectly perfect (I especially adore Levi and Reagan, who are both amazing). The characters differentiate themselves from one another with ease. The story is set in college, which is always refreshing. This book is promoted heavily as YA, but it's also the perfect example of what the New Adult genre should strive to become. Also, the dialogue! Dialogue is what makes this story shine. Also, emergency dance parties.
Lowlights: The excerpts from Simon Snow stories / fandom, while interesting, became a bit much to deal with - I was more interested in Cath's story. I feel like this book could be perfect some extra bits were cut down (but, I'm probably in the minority on this point, since most people loved this book as is).
Rating: The Royal Library, Middle Shelf: Highly Enjoyed, 4 out of 5. I highly enjoyed this story, despite a few small issues, and definitely want a copy for my shelves (now to decide which print version I want the most - so many to choose from). I'd recommend checking this story out, if you haven't already!