25 January 2016

Book Review: Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell


Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: 30/01/2014, Pan Macmillan
Pages: 461
Source: Bought - Secondhand
Format: Paperback

Rating: 4.5/5

"Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more - she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she's experienced in real life.

Now Cath has to decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she's realizing that there's more to learn about love than she ever thought possible ...

A tale of fanfiction, family, and first love."

Why, oh why, have I not read Fangirl before now!?! It is such an adorkably (yes I'm making that a word) cute read and I devoured it in two days!

First of all, the setting just feels so real and perfect. The first year at university is a tough experience that many of us have or will experience. I could relate to a good deal of what Cath was feeling. All the sudden changes are described so perfectly. Not just moving from home (which I couldn't relate to), but meeting new people, starting new classes, trying to fit in, not getting lost, and finding for yourself are just all terribly relatable.

Fangirl is told from the third-person perspective of Cath with snippets of both the "original" Simon Snow stories and Cath's fanfiction after between chapters. To be honest, the story would have been fine without the snippets but it was rather nice to see more of something Cath is passionate about.

I didn't think Fangirl was predictable at all. I was never sure if the story was going where I hoped it would. But to be honest, I'm not altogether sure what I hoped for. The story is just so perfect as it is!

Fangirl also includes some very important topics, especially for teenagers. It shows that they aren't alone in feeling apprehensive about university. And that it is okay to be your own person. Fangirl also portrays a variety of issues, including mental health and teenage drinking, very well.

Cath is such a wonderful, relatable protagonist. I could totally relate to her struggle to make friends and fit in. I don't have the social anxiety that Cath has, but there are just some things that are impossible not to relate to. It's very understandable for her to struggle to trust people - her mother abandoned the family when she was a child. But, Cath slowly gains the courage to settle in and meet new people. Her character development is wonderful.

I'm not too sure what I think of Cath's twin sister, Wren. She did annoy me by ditching Cath in her time of need. Especially as they were so close growing up with their shared love of Simon Snow. However, it is clear that this is just a different coping mechanism for her as she also struggles with abandonment issues.

I really loved Cath's father, Art. He has never recovered from his wife leaving, but he has done his absolute best to raise his daughters. And he aced it. Sure, he's a pretty easy going father, but when the time calls he can definitely lay down the law. He also depends on his Cath and Wren just as much as they depend on him.

I also really liked Reagan, Cath's new roommate. At first, she seems a bit of a bitch, but underneath she is such a caring person. She takes Cath under her wing and looks after her, even makes sure Cath eats properly. She's a pseudo-sister for Cath when Cath's relationship with Wren isn't great.

And then there's Levi. Wonderful, sweet Levi. I want him. I just love that he is just a perfectly normal 21-year-old guy (complete with receding hairline) who just wants to get through university, with no ulterior motive. Although his relationship with Cath is a slow burner (YIPEE!), he would do anything for Cath. Even drive her home in the worst weather. Their relationship is just so adorable, even if there are some snags along the way (but that just shows how normal it is).

Fangirl is such a wonderful, happy and relatable read. I can't believe it took me so long to read it and I can't wait to reread it already! I will definitely be checking out Rainbow Rowell's other books too.

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  1. Ahh I love this book! I was kind of late on the bandwagon too, because I didn't get around to reading it until last February when I was in the contemporary mood. I've heard Carry On is pretty good too, but I haven't read that one yet!
    Krystianna Downright Dystopian

    1. It's good to hear I'm not the only one that was late. I'm always late on the bandwagon for anything! I would love to try Carry On to. I just need to time and a copy.


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