Book Review: Fangirl

fangirl

The Cover

 Go away! Can’t you see I’m busy crafting my fantasies? And you gotta love the Tiffany blue!

The Story

Cather is used to being part of a pair. When she and her twin, Wren, head off to college, Cath is scared but knows she can handle it with her sister by her side . But from the jump, Wren doesn’t want anything to do with her and quickly finds her place while Cath struggles to fit in. Bruised by Wren’s betrayal, Cath delves into the fictional fandom of Harry Potter-esque Simon Snow, where thousands of fans clamor for her love stories involving Simon and his male bestie Baz. In the midst of all this, Cath’s roommate Reagan possibly hates her, there’s some confusing flirtation from aggie hottie Levi (who’s with Reagan – right?), and a cutie from her writing class may lust more for her words than her body. Throw in some ill-timed parental drama and you have to wonder how Cath will survive her freshman year.

I Ship You So Hard

I’ve never been huge into fandoms. Sure, I’ve been known to occasionally worship at the altar of Joss Whedon and I can argue Star Wars minutiae until the cows come home but I’ve yet to find the one true universe that embodies all my nerdy love. But I definitely understand the desire to connect with a like-minded community and how fun it is to immerse yourself in the lives of your favorite characters. But as in all things, there has to be balance, and that’s what trips Cath up. Her fictional world should be a temporary respite, not a permanent escape hatch.

Telling Quote

Ever since Nick had started sitting next to her…Cath kept noticing things.

Boys.

Guys.

Everywhere.

Seriously, everywhere. In her classes. In the Union. In the dormitory, on the floors above and below her. And she’d swear they didn’t look anything like the boys in high school. How can that one year make such a difference? Cath found herself watching their necks and their hands. She noticed the heaviness in their jaws, the way their chests buttressed out from their shoulders, their hair…

Final Thoughts

This is the second book I’ve read of Rowell’s, the first being ELEANOR & PARK. I think it would really get on my nerves if someone told me one of my books was better or worse than another so I’ll just say that if there’s one thing Rowell gets consistently right, it’s voice. And I love books where characters reveal themselves through dialogue rather than expository prose. Even when Cath is her most infuriating (which is, honestly, throughout most of the book), I’m still concerned about her. And if I had to point out a flaw, it’s that at the novel’s end, everything is tied up too perfectly. But that’s not enough to keep me from liking this story or recommending it to others.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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8 thoughts on “Book Review: Fangirl”

  1. I loved Eleanor & Park and had the pleasure of meeting Rainbow this summer (we live in my city so she’s done a lot of author talks here.) I’ve picked up Fangirl but haven’t started it yet. Can’t wait!

    (ALSO I MISS TALKING TO YOU!!!! I hope you are fabulous.)

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    1. Sommer!!!!

      That’s so cool you’ve met Rainbow. She actually chats with folks on Twitter so that makes her even more fantastic in my eyes. 😀

      And yes, I am feeling fabulous. Hope you are doing well!

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  2. “I’ve never been huge into fandoms.”

    Neither am I. I got a taste of a huge fandom when I started watching “Teen Wolf.” A lot of those fans are too out there for me. I just want to watch the show (and admire its lead actor). I’m not into fan fiction, fan art, shipping, etc. I also get the impression that a lot of these fans, like the character in this book, are too into this fantasy world that they’re missing out on reality. I daydream a lot and am in my head too, but sometimes I need to open up a window and let fresh air in.

    And yes, Rainbow is a cool name. 🙂

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