◆ Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
◆ Read October 2013
◆ English Edition
◆ English Edition
❝ Cath is a Simon Snow fan.As someone who has just started university herself and is known to be a bit of a fangirl when it comes to books, films and tv-shows, this book hit really close to home and I absolutely loved it because of it.
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?❞
It's really easy to relate to the main character. Cath is a bit of an introvert and as far as I could tell she has a certain level of social anxiety. Surprisingly enough, Rowell did not try and glorify these very troubling aspects like so many other authors have, but instead left it for what it really is. It's hard for Cath to be social and meet new people. Furthermore, for some people it's hard to deal with Cath because of this. It's not cute, and Rowell did not try to make it so.
Not only is Cath a realistic protagonist, she is also a massive fangirl and fanfiction writer, which is somewhat of a ( not so) guilty pleasure among some of us. I have never seen a writer mention aspects of the internet (of which fanfiction is just one tiny thing) in a book, nevermind write an entire plot about it. I'm sure it will therefore appeal to many of you who spend a lot of time on the internet or are indeed fanfiction readers/writers themselves.
In terms of plot, I see this as a coming of age story. Cath is seperated from her twin sisters Wren and is suddenly thrown into a dark pit (aka starting university all on your own and meeting new people - it's very scary). Cath has never had a boyfriend, has never written an original story nor has she ever been put in the position where she had to abandon the fictional world she loves so much. Her new life forces her into all of these changes and as a result we get to see a lot of character development. Ofcourse, the plot focuses on romance too, but it does not dominate the plot completely.
What I liked was that you do not just get to see what Cath is like - Rowell gives an insight of all the different kinds of people that exist (including happy-go-lucky cute boy, the moody but helpful roommate, the partying twin etc.) I feel like these might to some extent be stereotypical characters, but they do show us that there are different attitudes and approaches to doing something.
For me, Fangirl was a real pageturner because of the easy (and often witty) writing style Rowell possesses. I recommend it to everyone who has at some point in their life been into fandoms and the internet, I promise you'll enjoy this book!
5 stars because:
✓ Relatable protagonist
✓ Enjoyable writing style