Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
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?
Fangirl was really disappointing to me. After reading Eleanor & Park, one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read, I had high expectations. I mean if an author can write a story that amazing, they should be able to follow it up with something that is at least pretty good. This book was just...it just wasn't as good as I had hoped. It was hard for me to read because it was so slow paced and nothing really happened for most of it. Cath didn't really change much or grow, she is basically the same person at the end as at the beginning (though she will kiss her boyfriend at the end so I guess she grew somewhat. That and the her story at the very very very end, just sneaking it in under the wire).
One of my least favorite things about this book, though, was the fanfic and Simon Snow sections. I found them really boring and skimmed them. Having an excerpt from the book or from Cath's fanfic after every chapter just took me out of the story. I kept trying to figure out why I was reading the passage I was and it never really seemed to fit. It didn't add to the story, it just took away from the story for me. By the end I wasn't even really skimming the passages, I was just skipping them since I disliked them so much. There were parts where she read long sections aloud and I skipped those pages all together. I just couldn't do it. I needed to so I could finish the book.
Cath was also kind of annoying for me. I understand she has issues and she really probably needs some help dealing with her anxiety and such. Does she deal with all of this throughout the book? Not really. Yes she is forced to by her roommate to do some things, but she still has a lot of issues at the end of the book. Yes, her sister Wren has a stereotypical college life and her dad goes crazy so she has to deal with some new things, but by the end most things are back to the way they were before the beginning of the book. I really didn't like Wren, though she had issues as well. Sometimes Cath just seemed to whine about things and that got on my nerve. She hid herself away in her room writing her fanfic. The dad seemed like a caricature of someone with a mental illness (maybe it is just the way I read him).
There were two characters I did like though, Reagan and Levi. I loved Levi. He was so happy and fun and I wish this would have been a book about him and Reagan instead of Cath. Or just him. I don't really care. I wish it would have been told from his super happy point of view. I probably would have enjoyed it more. I also liked Reagan as she was just so grumpy fun. I love the tough exterior on her. Story told from her point of view as well would have been good. I loved both of them and wish I would have been reading their story instead.
Overall not a very good read. Very disappointing. And I felt like it just ended. I kept flipping back and forth on my ereader like wait am I missing some pages? Nope, that is the end. Now I am on the fence about reading the authors next book. I probably will just because Eleanor & Park was so amazing. Hopefully it will be better than this book.
Rating: ★ ★