Published by St. Martin's Press on September 10, 2013
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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?
CatFairy’s Frustrated Thoughts
Catfairy’s Bookish Babbles
Rainbow Rowell is a name I have heard in the YA world for a few years now and I remember feeling intense FOMO that I had never read any of her books. Finally, I picked up her book Eleanor and Park and I remember feeling so excited over this book! Unfortunately, when I finished reading it I was completely DISAPPOINTED. Rainbow’s writing style wasn’t a problem but I just couldn’t connect to the characters in her story. Eleanor was just a depressing character and the author wrote Park as your cardboard cutout Asian stereotype which was horrifying to read.
Then I heard about Fangirl and everyone was raving about this book. The title of the book got my attention and I love the fact that the book was about fandoms. Since I read Geekerella and absolutely adored the fangirl aspect of it, I thought I was going to change my mind about Rainbow Rowell once and for all. Boy, was I wrong…
Fangirl begins with the main character of Cath who is going away to college with her twin sister Wren. Cathis having anxiety about being away from everything she has ever known. Wren is the polar opposite of her and looks forward to the going away college experience. All Cath wants to do is write Simon Snow fanfiction and be holed up in her dorm room eating granola bars. Cath is a total fanatic for all things Simon Snow; hence the fangirl reference…
Simon Snow is a thinly veiled version of Harry Potter and Cath writes fanfiction for these stories. She is obsessed with the relationship between the character of Baz and Simon Snow (Think Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy in a relationship) and she ships them together in the story. Cath is an extremely well-known author in the fanfiction world and she loves nothing more but to stay in her own little Simon and Baz world.
Wren who is Cath’s twin sister wants to live her own life and be her own person. Cath now has no one to lean on. Now that Cath is living the college experience she has anxiety about interacting with other people until her roommate Reagan pushes her out of her comfort zone and a guy named Levi helps her realize that there is a world outside her laptop and dorm room.
Pop Culture References
So when the Twilight hysteria started I just didn’t get it! I was never big on vampires but I decided to read the first book and attempted the second and when she threw herself over the cliff because she was depressed over the glittery vampire I just completely stopped reading them altogether. My sentiments about Twilight is exactly the way I feel about Fangirl! I just don’t get the hype. There are so many people that praise this book but I honestly don’t get THE HYPE!
Let the rant begin…
Catfairy’s Unfangirl-Like Thoughts…
So I read this book through audio and I have to say that the voice of Cath who is the main character was extremely whiny and the voice of Levi who is the main love interest of Cath was just creepy. I felt that he was kind of a douche but he was painted as your happy-go-lucky kind of guy who is nice to everyone. Levi is the kind of person that makes you feel like you’re the only one in the room but then you realize that he makes everyone feel like they are the only one in the room. Cath stated her annoyance with Levi being so nice to everyone and I agree with her on this statement. Honestly, I don’t see the attraction to Levi and frankly, I feel that he is a smarmy character that shouldn’t be trusted to be in a committed relationship. The relationship between Cath and Levi didn’t convince me that it was an authentic relationship and I just felt that they were put together to just help Cath through her anxiety.
Maybe reading this through audio affected my review but I still stand by the fact that I just really disliked the character of Cath. Rainbow Rowell’s writing is extremely character driven and it is well-written but it just so happens that I deeply dislike all of Rainbow’s characters! Eleanor and Park didn’t do it for me and Fangirl’s characters fell completely flat for me.
I know that Cath has social anxiety but I was extremely frustrated that she spends her time whining about how she doesn’t want to try new experiences through 80% of the book. Cath never really showed growth through the story and if it wasn’t for her friends Reagan and Levi she would be sequestered in her dorm room for the rest of her college career. Since Cath didn’t have her twin sister Wren to rely on I feel that she just uses Reagan and Levi to hide away from the real world. I wanted to seeCath make an inner change within herself instead of having some guy help her through her social anxiety because without him she would probably retreat into herself again.
The Simon and Baz fanfiction did not hold my interest in the slightest and I never really felt the passion of the fandom in this story. The fanfiction is completely boring and the action and magic aren’t even close to the same degree as Harry Potter. Most of the book is just Cath whining about her life, about not wanting to talk to people, or try any new experiences that would actually help her grow as a person. I thought that the fangirl aspect of this book was going to make this book come to life but it was just a huge downer with all the WHINING I had to endure!
The book was long enough to have some kind of arc for Cath and it was practically non-existent throughout the book! After two failed attempts Rainbow Rowell and I have officially broken up and it will take a miracle for me to pick up any of her books again!
TWO @charliechuchi STARS!
Chat with me in the comments below and tell me your thoughts about this book! The book you think about Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl?! Let me know what you think about Rainbow Rowell’s books and if you connected to them.