Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – REVIEW
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?
“To really be a nerd, she’d decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one.”
I’ve had Fangirl on my TBR pile for months but never got around to reading it. The only other Rainbow Rowell book I’ve read was Attachments which I really enjoyed. However, Fangirl was even better. If you’re a bookworm who prefers fiction to reality, then this is the book for you. Cath is definitely my bookish twin! She avoids reality due to anxiety and other mental health issues and Rainbow Rowell portrays this in a sensitive manner. Cath was very easy to identify and empathise with.
“I’m not really a book person.”
“That might be the most idiotic thing you’ve ever said to me.”
The plot deals with moving away to college and leaving behind the past, but there are so many more issues explored. Cath isn’t the only character with mental health issues – her dad is bipolar, and her twin sister Wren has a worrying alcohol dependency. It was refreshing to see these issues talked about rather than hidden away as something embarrassing. We need more books about mental health that sufferers can identify with.
“Because I’m the kind of girl who fantasizes about being trapped in a library overnight.”
I loved the character of Levi. He was such an optimist and we all need a bit of that in our lives. The relationship between Cath and Levi seemed natural and healthy, and Levi was able to help Cath stop avoiding her problems and face reality. Fangirl was such an enjoyable book and has definitely made me want to read more Rainbow Rowell. I’ve already ordered Carry On, which is the Simon Snow fanfiction Cath is writing. I’ve heard amazing things about it so I can’t wait to start reading.
Fangirl is perfect for all the socially awkward nerds out there!
|About the Author
Rainbow Rowell writes books. Sometimes she writes about adults (ATTACHMENTS and LANDLINE). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (ELEANOR & PARK and FANGIRL). But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love.
When she’s not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of things.
She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.