Blog Review

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

16068905Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Published : July 3, 2014

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?

I enjoy Rainbow Rowell’s books usually. I think I gave Landline a 3 or 4 out of 5 and Eleanor & Park a 5 out of 5. And I thought I’d love Fangirl I really did. I heard awesome things I had the most positive mind set, and it was one of the biggest let downs for me. And I don’t think there was anything wrong per-say with the book. I just couldn’t get into it and maybe it wasn’t the right book for me.

I have been pushing contemporary a lot lately. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon , Inconceivable by Tegan Wren, and now Fangirl maybe I just had a big contemporary overload. It took me 200 pages to get remotely interested. I didn’t like Cath I thought she was someone who I couldn’t relate to at all and most people wouldn’t. I understand having anxiety and being a shut in because I’ve dealt with all those problems and the way they it was portrayed through Cath I just didn’t know if it was something that was written like that purposefully or not.

I also didn’t really like the whole Simon Snow and Baz fanfic. I understand fanfic I used to write fanfic and I used to avidly read it and it was similar to what I’ve known fanfic to be, but, it just didn’t feel right for the Harry Potter esque feel I’ve heard this to be like. But I in no way found any relation to what magical fan fictions I’ve read and Carry On especially if she was getting the hits she was in the book.

I enjoyed Levi, I thought he was pretty awesome. And I thought he was a good voice of reason in times like  WHEN CATH DECIDED SHE DIDN’T WANT TO TAKE THE SECOND CHANCE HER PROFESSOR GAVE HER?! I would’ve KILLED for moments like that in college. I suppose it was just a lot of frustrating things that kept chipping away at me that kept me in a weird like/dislike stage with this book. I don’t want to say it’s a bad book, because it’s not.

It’s a good book for the right person. Contemporary has never been my cup of tea and I’ve somehow read 3 contemporary books in a row and not managed to throw myself off a bridge. But I do believe I need to take a break from contemporary, but maybe if i re-read this sometime later down the road, I’ll see it in a different light, but it sure as hell won’t stop me from reading Attachments at some point either this year or next.

Book reaction gif:
giphy (2)

Excited at first, disappointed in the end.  Sorry Rainbow Rowell! I’m still a big fan though!





  • Trisha Ann

    Exactly the gif reaction I had too! I read this after Eleanor and Park and thus my expectation was a little high. I enjoyed it at some points though. Have you read Attachments? That book was, I think, the biggest Rowell letdown.

  • I had a similar experience with Fangirl. This is what comes of overhyping books sometimes, I suppose. Despite having an interest in fanfiction, I didn’t care much for those elements in the story either, and there was just something about the book that ultimately I disliked. It had its qualities, but Landline and Eleanor & Park are definitely her better works, in my opinion.

    Good luck if you decide to read Attachments! Strong beginning and middle, weak ending. A very un-Rowell ending, in fact!

  • Stephanie

    I’m so relieved to hear you had the same experience I was worried a lot of people who saw this post would feel very upset with my dislike and vocality of the dislike.

    I just was very underwhelmed by it. I thought the characters were a bit juvenile for the story as well. Cath acted like she was 12 not 19 which I think was annoying to me. Girls around that age mature into something a bit less…winey.

  • Stephanie

    I haven’t read Attachments! And I’m hearing a lot of mixed things, mostly on the negative side which upsets me!

  • Myrthe

    This is exactly why I haven’t read the book (or picked it up) yet; I’m just no good with contemporaries, and well I’ve heard more people that don’t like contemporaries too much give this one a not-so-good review. I suppose I’ll be staying away from it; plenty of books to read I know I’ll enjoy!

  • I felt the same way when I didn’t like John Green’s Looking for Alaska! However, I feel you gave a fair and justified argument, and that’s all that we can do in an honest review! :3

    I agree with Cath acting younger than she was, and I thought she seemed unrealistically naive for her age. In my opinion, the same can be said about the protagonist of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – I don’t know if you’ve read that one? Maybe it is something to do with the authors not empathising with modern young female thinking? Or maybe we were just maturer when we were that age!

  • susannahhtaylor

    I’m sorry you didn’t like it :( I guess too much contemporary does that. I didn’t like Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews and I had high expectations while going in. I guess it just happens sometimea

  • Stephanie

    If you’re looking for a good Contemporary, PLEASE read Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. You’ll love it. I did and I don’t like much contemporary.

  • Stephanie

    I didn’t like any John Green book except The Fault in Our Stars. But I agree with P.S. I Love You I didn’t much enjoy that either, but I kind of want to give it another chance, but yes I did find it to be a bit juvenile/immature in a way.

  • Stephanie

    Eh it is what it is! I do like Eleanor & Park though and Landline! So she’s 2/3 right now! I did like Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. And I know that gets a lot of mixed reviews, so I think that’s just contemporary is, it’s a hit or miss type of genre.

  • susannahhtaylor

    That’s true, I agree. I read Eleanor and Park and loved it but I haven’t read Landline or Attachments so, hopefully I’ll get to those soon.

  • Stephanie

    I’ve heard Attachments is no good but I still want to try it out.

  • susannahhtaylor

    Oh! I hadn’t heard that one. Yeah, I still want to for my own sake

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