Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Published September 10th, 2013
St. Martin's Griffin
434 pages (Hardcover)

In Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, 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? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?  (From Goodreads)

There was a lot of hype surrounding Fangirl, which always makes me a little weary.  Fangirl did not disappoint.  It felt so real and intense and I absolutely loved Cath's journey.

I love the originality of the story.  I mean, fan-fiction?  That's an interesting idea.  I liked that Cath was in her first year of college.  It's a crazy time in anybody's life.  Her experience felt very real.  There are the Caths and there are the Wrens.  Rainbow Rowell hits many of the issues people encounter when beginning college, from the loneliness to plagiarism.  I think the realistic feeling has a huge impact.

The characters were fantastic.  It was so easy to relate to Cath and feel like you were in her head.  I had a really rough first year of university.  Cath's story validated many feelings that I had. Most books I have read featuring characters at this age present them in a completely different way, where they have problems but have no issues adapting to post-secondary life.  I just say this because not everyone just walks onto campus and makes friends and has a great time.  Okay, enough about that.  All of the other characters felt just as real.  It's hard to describe, beyond the ability to relate to them.  I loved Levi and the slow-building chemistry between them.  Again, it felt real.

This is one of those books that I honestly don't know how to even review.  I felt such a connection to the story and the words written.  The best way to describe it is as a slow burn.  I didn't just plow through Fangirl.  It read slower and I savored it.  I wanted to read it again the moment I finished.  I really don't know how to describe this feeling.

In conclusion, read this.  *throws down on bed**walks away*


  1. I have heard SO many good things about this one too. I had it in my hands recently and almost bought it, but was trying to exercise restraint on the book-buying front. I think I might just have to buy it anyway. ;-) I really enjoyed ELEANOR & PARK, so I bet I'd like this one too. Thanks for the review and rec, Samantha!

  2. Love your review! I cannot wait to read this! Have you read Eleanor and Park yet!?


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