Monday, 21 April 2014

Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – Book Review
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: 2014 (UK)
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback
Length: 459 pages
Summary from Goodreads:
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 out 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 initially picked this book up because of all the hype surrounding it and I guess I wanted to jump on the Rainbow Rowell bandwagon as everyone seems to love her books. I also wanted to read more contemporary novels and this one seemed right up my street.

I really liked Cath, the main character. I felt I could relate to her as I am quite an unsociable person and have troubles meeting new people and talking to people that I don’t know well. I personally haven’t written much fan-fiction in my life but I think it definitely shows how much love a person can give a certain book or series. (There are definitely some that I fangirl over – a lot).

I liked the twin dynamic between Cath and Wren – her full name is Cather and I had never heard that name before and I thought it cool how their names went together. (You’ll have to read Fangirl first though to figure it out)

Wren is the opposite of Cath – being that she likes to flirt, party and drink a lot and pretty much make the most out of the university experience. Cath even is dismayed that Wren cut most of her hair off without telling her as opposed to having long hair like Cath.

My favourite part of the book was definitely any scene that had Levi in it. He was definitely my favourite character; he was just such a sweet, kind and considerate guy and I just loved how he and Cath fell in love. I just want to find my own Levi in real life now! Haha.

I also liked the aspect of Cath and her fan-fiction writing and how each chapter started with an excerpt from a Simon Snow book – as I said previously Cath really reminded me of myself and how I am quite a socially awkward person. It was really refreshing to see how she expressed herself through fan-fiction, but with the help of Levi learned how to talk to and meet people in the real world.

Reagan was also a cool, snarky character that was quite outspoken and who wasn’t afraid of letting Cath know how it was; I really admired her feistiness and how she was different to Cath; she’s definitely someone I wouldn’t mind being friends with in real life.

I really enjoyed Rainbow Rowell’s writing – the story just flowed and she really has a way of creating flawed characters that you can’t help but root for and become attached to – I will be definitely be purchasing all of her other titles, especially since I haven’t read Eleanor & Park by her yet.