Monday, 3 June 2013

ARC Review of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Pages: 416
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
FangirlRelease: September 2013

Plot: 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 room mates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly room mate 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. (Goodreads)

Good Points: I didn't really know what to expect from this book having never read anything by this author before but I actually really enjoyed reading this.
The book's tag line 'A coming of age-tale of fan-fiction, family and first love' definitely intrigued me into reading it. I'm not exactly someone who reads much fan-fiction but I still managed to relate to the main character, Cather in multiple ways. Her love for writing and her obsession with the made- up 'Simon Snow' book series echoed my own experience with the Harry Potter franchise. The similarities between the two were uncanny however Rowell manages to make the series seem believable; crafting her own Wikipedia page and supplying multiple extracts from the books. This was one of the main things that stood out when I was reading 'Fangirl'. Rowell has this amazing and rare ability to successfully write in different styles believably. There were three main tones to the book- the main story of Cather and her tale of growing up and finding independence,  the extracts of the Simon Snow series written by the original author and finally Cath's own fan fiction of the series. Each could be easily identified in my opinion without stating so. Cath's fan-fiction was undeniably good yet sought of seeped more humour than the original Simon Snow extracts.
To be honest though I think Rainbow manages to capture the truth of what it really is to be a fangirl and she portrays the obsessive, sit-at-your-computer, slightly unsociable character extremely well.

Things I didn't like...  I did think that maybe the book was just slightly too long. However at no point did I get bored of reading about Cather, Levi and Simon Snow.

To Sum Up... Although it's unlikely that I'll read this book again, I have to admit that I did enjoy it. There were moments within 'Fangirl' where the writing style reminded me of John Green's books which is always a good thing and even after I had finished reading I was stuck in the world that Rainbow had created. Although some may not like the ending because it does leave a couple of things unsolved I thought it worked really well and reflected that not everything in life will end up with a happy ending. I'm trying really hard not to give a spoiler here so I apologise if I sound cryptic.
Basically I would reccomend anyone to read this book especially if you think a.) You are a fangirl and you love fan-fiction, b.) You're heading off to Uni/ College soon or c.) You just really want a good book to become absorbed in for the next couple of days.
I'll definitely be checking more of the books by this author ( Eleanor & Park) and Fangirl is out later this year (September 2013)


  1. Amy, I have heard a lot of good things about Eleanor and Park but this is the first time I hear of this book
    I will definitely be checking this out sometime soon
    Your reader,

  2. I've not heard of this author before but your review has certainly got me interested! I think I'll be looking out for this one now. Really enjoyed your writing! :)

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