Author: Rainbow Rowell
Provided Synopsis: 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? Writing her own stories?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
Review: I am so conflicted about my final opinion on this book because I enjoyed it yet at the same time I cannot shake the feeling that something was missing to push it into the realm of brilliance.Fangirl is the story of Cath Avery, a freshman in college who struggles to adjust. She is a twin, but now her sister wants space; she is anti-social, so she does not want to partake in the friendship building that is occurring on her dorm’s floor; as a fangirl of the highest degree, Cath wants to continue to immerse herself in the world of her favorite fantasy books and write fanction for her favorite characters. Because the Internet and the magical world she has known since childhood are the safest places to be, which all comes to make sense once the reader gets continuous glimpses into Cath’s family life.
All in all, I liked Cath. I thought she had a good head on her shoulders, and there were certainly aspects of her that I could relate to my college experience. I’m sure there are others who will relate to her more or not at all, but it is what it is. Levi is probably the standout character of this book; he is so good, and charming, and endearing, and had a way of alighting every page that he appeared on with his personality. It is safe to say that I fell in love with him and the idea of there being someone out there who will accept you and embrace you for all that you are. His relationship with Cath was built slowly – they transitioned from friends to more at a pace that suited them, and I just adored when he would coax her to read her fanction to him because he understood that to hear her read her stories was to let her soul shine.
So what did I not like about this novel? I still don’t know. I just have the feeling that there is something there. The ending was a bit abrupt; Cath had been freaking out about the final Simon Snow book being released for the entirety of the book, and then the ending of the book is never revealed to the reader! Cath’s story never receives a definitive ending either. It just was — it just came to a point where it was and would continue to be? I don’t know! But the ending was not even the main problem since throughout my reading experience I waited for something more from this story. The overall connection to the plot was nowhere near as strong as I had anticipated.
But please don’t let my final reservations dissuade you from reading and enjoying this. I think Fangirl is a good story about coming of age. The characters were realistic and the depiction of college life was spot-on.