Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
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?
This book took FOREVER to pick up speed and for me to actually get into it.
Within the first chapter I decided that I didn’t really like Cath. I get that she’s never been away from Wren and that a ton of anxiety comes from starting college, but she’s using Wren as an excuse to be a hermit. She’s also super judgmental for no reason at all. She judges everyone even her supposed boyfriend Abel. They were toxic. Wren was right, Cath never really liked him. The way he broke up with her was terrible though. Throwing the other girl’s ACT scores in her face was a shitty thing to do. I think that Cath should have told Professor Piper that she wrote fanfiction and that was why she wrote the story that she wrote. Even if she still got the F I think Piper would have understood. Also, the whole thing with her seeing Piper as a mother figure was kind of a stretch. I feel like it just didn’t fit into the story and was thrown in just for the hell of it. I get that Cath was hurt by Levi when she saw him with the blonde and the fact that there was a lot going on with her dad but I think that her decision to try to drop out was too hasty. Again, I get there was a lot going on for her and it was overwhelming but the fact that Levi even contributed to that made me have to disagree with it.Towards the middle-end, I stated to like her. She was finally becoming her own person but I hate that she was dumb enough to try to get away without turning her project in. It was just a stupid thing to do knowing that she has a scholarship dependent on her grade and the fact that she had a second chance. But whatever, she got better I guess.
I’ve heard that Simon is supposed to be based off of HP and I don’t like the similarities, Simon Snow doesn’t deserve to be compared to Harry Potter. Not sorry. Every time there was an excerpt from Carry On, I wanted to stop reading because I sincerely do not care at all.
I always thought that Levi was nice. The one thing that I didn’t like was that her called her Cather when she didn’t want him to. (I have a pet peeve about pronouncing and spelling people’s names wrong because it happened to me so often). I love him with Cath though. I think he brings out the best and her and I love how much he supported her and her fanfic. I love that he always walked her home from the library I think it was a very nice touch and very Levi.
I like Reagan. Although, at the beginning I felt like she was just a background character. At least until the scene where she’s afraid that Cath has an eating disorder. She’s kind of a bitch but she’s a good person.
I hated Wren too in the beginning. She was terrible for so many reasons. I get wanting to branch out and all but she was terrible to Cath on multiple occasions.
Nick is an asshole for taking their story and trying to claim it for himself AND then trying to blame her for losing his spot as a TA. He got what he deserved. I love the scene when Reagan and Wren gang up on him, that was great.
I started to really like the story at the end but I felt like a lot of it was unresolved. What happened between Wren and Laura? What happened between Wren and Courtney? What happened at the end of Carry On (I have no intention to read it because I don’t care but I guess at this point she knew that she would release that book). I don’t even think it says what happens at the end of the Simon Snow story.
Either way, I kind of don’t care but I still thought that it was strange.
Anyway…3 out of 5 although I wanted to give it like a 2.5. Two’s are reserved for books that I really hate.
This is also my first Rainbow Rowell book, not going to judge it off of this one but Eleanor & Park is also on my list for this year so we’ll see how it goes.
Next I’ll read All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr