Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Rating: 4/5
Genre: YA
Description from Goodreads:

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?

My thoughts:

This story gave me SO MANY happy feelings. The Simon Snow fandom was very reminiscent of the Harry Potter fandom to me.

Harry Potter changed my life in so many good ways, but I can also remember it being quite isolating at times. There was a moment in my life where I chose my friends based on whether or not they’d read Harry Potter. I’m not proud of this, but that’s how obsessed I was.

I really related to Cath because there were moments in the story where she was isolating herself from others because of her Simon Snow obsession. And I mean obsession in the most endearing way possible.

“Real life was something happening in her peripheral vision.” 

I love that there is now a book that captures so many of my feelings around what it means to be part of a fandom.

Also, while I was writing this review, I discovered that Rainbow Rowell actually published a book about Simon and Baz and I AM SO EXCITED TO READ IT. It’s called Carry On, if you’re interested.

In the book, her twin sister used to be into Simon Snow, but “grew out of it.” I feel like a lot of the people who used to love Harry Potter with me also grew out of being quite so into it, while I’ve stayed the same. THIS CHARACTER IS SO RELATABLE.  

Another part of the book that I related to was Cath’s lack of wanting to do typical college things. I was never really into parties or drinking or any of the other typical experiences people like to have in college. Until I found a consistent group of friends who I could just watch movies and play board games with, I would much rather spend my time in my room than out doing stuff.

Sometimes I worried I was missing out on things I should be experiencing, but it just wasn’t something I was interested in. It’s nice to see someone like myself represented in books.

If you’ve ever been a major fan of something, or if you’ve ever felt like you didn’t really fit in with the norm, this is the book for you.

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