Author: Rainbow Rowell
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
This book is one of absolute favourites – the story of Cath is one I absolutely adore and find resonates with me. I see so much of myself in her and I often come back to this book for a comfort read.
From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park. 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?
There are not enough words in the world to explain how much I truly love this book. This story follows Cath, a new college student who just wants to write and read, and who is dedicated to Simon Snow. We follow her as she navigates her college classes, deals with the divide between her twin sister Wren and gets to know Reagan, her roommate and Levi, who appears to be Reagan’s boyfriend.
One of the reasons I love this book is that I see so much of myself in the way Cath goes through her life. I see myself in her just wanting to be inside, I empathise with her not wanting to go to the cafeteria and I feel for her with every exchange with Nick.
The characters are so wonderful and there is such a great juxtaposition between them all. You have the rough and care Reagan who tells it like it is. You have Levi who is happy and chatty to everyone. You have Wren, who just wants to have a separate life to her sister and Dad. And you have Cath, someone just treading water with all these changes. It makes for some very funny exchanges on page and I could read thousands of words about these characters.
I adore the romance in this book. Levi and Cath are absolutely wonderful and I just love seeing it unfold on page. The way Levi looks at her and speaks to her is so swoon worthy and I love the fact that Cath grows a lot by being friends with both Reagan and Levi. It also happens really naturally and not ridiculously fast which is always appreciated. No insta-love!
The writing is beautiful, the family dynamics are great and see a lot of growth and . . . well, just read it to find out!
Fangirl is an ode to those people who prefer to stay indoors, who feel lost and who feel as though they might never find their way or find anyone who wants to know them. This book every time has me smiling with joy as Cath talks with Levi, as Reagan welcomes her in (in her coarse, abrupt way) and as Wren comes back. You can’t help turning the final page and wanting more of the story, more of these characters that you’ve seen grow and move together.
Fangirl is one of those books that stays with you forever. It’s a book that sits on your shelf and begs to be read again because the truth that it speaks, the pure humanity in the book is something that drags you back into it again and again. I have read this book three or four times since it first came out and I will continue to read it until my copy falls apart.
Recommended for: Contemporary lovers, fangirls, people who love reading about readers and fangirls. This book ticks so many boxes for booklovers and I highly recommend it if you sometimes feel like you’re not doing life so well.
Quotes (Spoiler Free):
“Underneath this veneer of slightly crazy and mildly socially retarded, I’m a complete disaster.”
“Just… isn’t giving up allowed sometimes? Isn’t it okay to say, ‘This really hurts, so I’m going to stop trying’?”
“It sets a dangerous precedent.”
“For avoiding pain?”
“For avoiding life.”
“You give away nice like it doesn’t cost you anything.”
“I don’t think I’m any good at this. Boy–girl. Person–person. I don’t trust anybody. Not anybody. And the more that I care about someone, the more sure I am they’re going to get tired of me and take off.”
“I choose you over everyone.”
Have you read this book? If you have, let me know what you thought in the comments!
xx Maddy xx