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DescriptionNot suitable for children under 13 years of age Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more - she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she's experienced in real life. Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. She's got a surly room-mate 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. Now Cath has to decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she's realizing that there's more to learn about love than she ever thought possible ...Praise for Eleanor & Park: "Eleanor & Park reminded me not just what it's like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it's like to be young and in love with a book. "-John Green, The New York Times Book Review "This sexy, smart, tender romance thrums with punk rock and true love. Teen readers-not to mention their Gen X parents-will swoon for Eleanor & Park." -Gayle Forman, New York Times bestselling author of If I Stay and Where She Went "A breathless, achingly good read about love and outsiders." -Stephanie Perkins, author of Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door
- Published: 30 January 2014
- Format: Paperback 480 pages
- ISBN 13: 9781447263227 ISBN 10: 1447263227
- Sales rank: 100
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Reviews for Fangirl
I really enjoyed reading this book. It's a quirky, uplifting and fun book, and if you have enough time; you'll probably read through it in one time. I really loved how it was different than any other book I've ever read. It was lighthearted but at the same time had some great messages hidden in between the lines.
The only thing that bothered me were the small pieces of fanfiction or a passage of the 'book' Simon Snow. At first it was fun to read, to get a bit of a taste of what Cath is writing and obssesing over in this book, but as time passes and pages turn, it gets slightly boring.
This however, did not take away much of the reading fun, as you can just skip it because it isn't closely related to this story.
In the future I'll enjoy reading more books from Rowell, because I surely recommend this book to anyone who's searching for a lighthearted summer book. by Carlotte Aartsunder review
Light and entertaining
I utterly enjoyed reading Fangirl. It was light and cute and quirky. If you've been reading my reviews, you probably know by now that light-cute-quirky is a winning combination for me. So why 3 out of 5 stars only for Fangirl?
It's enjoyable, yes. It's the sort of book that relaxes you when you read it. And it had the same effect on me. But half the time I was reading the book, I couldn't see where the story was heading. It was like things were going in circles. And even until the end, I felt like there were still some loose ends. Or maybe that's just Rainbow Rowell's style, I don't know. It just irked me a bit.
“Real life was something happening in her peripheral vision.”
Anyway, enough with the negativity. What I liked about Fangirl is that it showed a lot more about being, well, a fangirl. I totally connected with Cath. The introversion, the awkwardness, the trust issues, the not smiling to people. It was like reading a character that reflects myself (if only a bit). And she's a really good fanfic writer. I liked that there were snippets of her fic and then there were bits of the real Simon Snow books to distinguish Cath's style from Gemma T. Leslie's. And her passion for Simon and Baz! Only a fangirl would understand. *swoon*
And the characters! They're unbelievable. Wren is like the extrovert version of Cath. She's a fangirl, too, but not as hardcore as her sister. I just wish there's more of Wren in Fangirl. I love their relationship. I admire their closeness. They were each other's rock that anchors them to themselves. They were not just sisters; they're best friends. Reagan, Cath's room mate, is also something. She's more like Wren but like a harder, tougher, older, bolder version. It's a surprise she got along with Cath (eventually). But I love Reagan still. And dear Levi. He's not a perfect guy but somehow he's perfect for Cath. Sometimes he's adorable, sometimes he's annoying. Levi might be a cliche, but this cliche will make you swoon.
A few things aside, Fangirl is the perfect book if you are looking for a light and laid-back read. Very real and relatable. Rainbow Rowell succeeded in showing the joy and pain of being a fangirl. I only have one question, though: "Does Cath kill off Baz?" by Julie Rimpula
Happiness & Loveliness
I decided to pick up "Fangirl because I wanted to take a break from another (fantasy) book I'm reading. Going into it, I knew I was probably going to like it. If not a lot, at least a little. As it turned out, I was right---about liking it. ^.^
One thing that made this book stood out to me is the fact that I could relate to Cath, the main character, even though I'm not in any of the exact/same situations(s) as her. And although I don't really write that much fan fiction (nowhere near not as much as Cath did/does xD), I understood how she felt about being in a world that's apart from your own---apart from your own reality, and wanting to be in it, in whichever way possible. I do admit though, I wish she trusted herself more, with having to try and create her own original story. However, I also knew where she was coming from.
(Some spoilers ahead.)
Moving onto the side characters. I really like Reagan, Levi, Wren (but not so much when she was distant and unfriendly toward Cath---I still don't get why she would ignore her like that) and Arthur (Cath & Wren's dad, Mr. Avery).
I'm gonna start with Reagan. Let me just say: she was absolutely hilarious. I would crack up whenever she says something sarcastic or funny. xD Sometimes, I'd even re-read those passages, which always never fail to make smile. Sure, I didn't like how she acted sometimes, but it's like that with every character. They all have their flaws, and that's fine. That's what makes them, well, them. ^.^
Now, onto Levi. He's so sweet and cheery. How can anyone NOT like him? I mean, come on! He's like the light to a gloomy, dark day. I always smile when he appears. (Cath is so luck. And Reagan too.)
Shifiting over to Wren. I sort of already went over my thoughts about her, so there's nothing much else to say. Adding on, though, I guess, I just wished Wren was there for Cath when she needed someone to talk to. Going back to what I commented before, I don't understand why she abandoned Cath like that... It was as if all of a sudden, she wanted to go off on her own, without Cath at all. That didn't make sense to me because from the past dialog/memory scenes of her & Cath, Wren was so close and caring toward Cath. What made me like her, even a little, was that she stood by Cath AFTER their dad punished her, and made her go back every weekend. I kind of wanted them to make up on their own. But I guess in a way, they did---which was good.
And last not least: Arthur (or Mr. Avery, aka Cath & Wren's father). I admit, even though, he's a little looney in the head, I still really liked, and quite frankly, admired him. That scene when he was hugging Wren & Cath in the hospital... Man, I couldn't help but say: Aww! He didn't say much, but somehow, I felt like he did. He's just such a loving father. Especially when he realized that in order for Cath not to worry about him so much, he got to start taking care of himself. (Or get some help taking care of himself, aka asking for Cath & Wren's grandma.) I mean, I'm not sure if he did completely, but it seemed like he did, somewhat.
Out of all of the main female protagonists, I would say that Cath is one that I found myself connecting to the most. That's also probably why I was always rooting for her. I wanted her to finish her story---for Fiction-Writing as well as Carry On, Simon. I wanted her to talk it out with Wren (and vice versa). I wanted her to make up with Levi. I wanted her to be happy with where she was. I still do.
(Spoilers end here.)
All in all, I really enjoyed reading "Fangirl." It made me want to make more progress with my writing, and perhaps, meet more new people. ^.^
***This book is also posted on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/941035690?book_show_action=false by Alice
Enjoyable but lacking in some ways
Review also available on my blog: http://readingismycupoftea.tumblr.com/post/91771951736/review-fangirl-by-rainbow-rowell
I know IÃ??Ã?Â¢??m a bit late to jump on the Fangirl bandwagon. With everybody raving about it I went into this book with very high expectations. Even with the odds against it, in my view, I did enjoy Fangirl. However, although the book was good, I did find it lacking some things.
IÃ??Ã?Â¢??ll start with the negatives. At the end of each chapter there was an extract from either the Simon Snow books (the fictional books which the protagonist, Cath, fangirls over) or from CathÃ??Ã?Â¢??s fanfiction of these books. When I first heard about extracts being used in a review I read before the book, I was really excited and interested in how Rowell would utilise them. The problem, for me, is that the extracts, particularly from the Simon Snow books, seemed completely irrelevant to the book. I mean, once youÃ??Ã?Â¢??ve grasped that Simon Snow is meant to be Harry Potter you donÃ??Ã?Â¢??t really care about tiny, irrelevant extracts from it. CathÃ??Ã?Â¢??s fanfiction, although more relevant as it gives the reader an insight into how her mind works, does seem detached from the main story. It would have been better if, say, the Simon Snow extracts gave some message that reflected the previous chapter, or how Cath felt. Or if the extracts were from CathÃ??Ã?Â¢??s updates of her main fic Carry On, Simon and we could see how her fic developed as she developed. Even the extracts from fics written years before this book is set could have been used to contrast how Cath writes alone and how she writes with Wren. But none of this happened in any of the extracts and I had to force myself to read them at the end of each chapter, hoping they became relevant. I asked my sister about it and she said that when she read Fangirl she just skipped over the extracts.
The ending was disappointing for me. There was a steady build up to the release of the eighth Simon Snow book and the anticipation to finish Carry On, Simon. But the ending kind of flopped for me. This could be because Rowell didnÃ??Ã?Â¢??t want to give the book a sense of finality so she could return to the world later, but I still would have liked more information on how the eight book affected Cath, how she finished Carry On, Simon and just generally a bit more of a closed ending considering this is a stand-alone.
But the thing that bugged me most about this book is how narrow its perspective is. When you tackle something like fandom (particularly if fandoms are close to your heart like mine) and name your book Fangirl, youÃ??Ã?Â¢??re taking on a massive thing. There are hundreds of fandoms and hundreds of fanpeople(?) and each person in that fandom has something they enjoy/contribute e.g making videos/graphics, writing fanfiction, writing songs, cosplay etc. Inevitably some people are going to be disappointed. When I heard that Fangirl was a YA book about fandom I was expecting all this to be incorporated. So when I discovered it was just about fanfiction I was kind of disappointed. I think the most important thing about fandoms and fangirls is the sense of community, support and understanding you get. The main downfall for me was that Fangirl had no real sense of fandom community and was focused on Cath individually. There was nothing about Cath talking to other fangirls, or interacting with anybody online. We all have a few people who we talk to regularly online and perhaps even consider friends. I would have expected somebody like Cath, like ME, would be talking lots to online friends about a big experience like university. I also wanted there to be a more universal view of the fandom, more fanart, more videos, graphics, cosplay, songs etc. Let me reiterate. I enjoyed Fangirl a lot. But I think when you sell a book as Fangirl and being about fandom you need to make it more elaborate. Fangirls donÃ??Ã?Â¢??t just write fanfiction. We communicate and socialise with other people online. Frequently. I felt like Fangirl stuck to the fanfiction but didnÃ??Ã?Â¢??t expand. Which isnÃ??Ã?Â¢??t bad, but if you sell a book as a book about a fangirl, I expectedÃ??Ã?Â¢?Ã??Ã?Â¦more fangirling.
However, that being said, Fangirl was a lovely book. Everyone has different opinions about what is most important in a book: plot, setting, description, dialogue. For me, I think itÃ??Ã?Â¢??s the characters. Even if the plot is mindblowingly good, if the characters are rubbish then the plot doesnÃ??Ã?Â¢??t work and the book fails for me. I loved the characters in Fangirl. I have social anxiety and hearing about CathÃ??Ã?Â¢??s nerves about university (e.g. going to the dining hall/finding a seat) is something I know IÃ??Ã?Â¢??ll get nervous about too. Reading this so close to uni with a protagonist so like me was almost reassuring me that uni will be okay. CathÃ??Ã?Â¢??s only downside was the fact she handed in fanfiction as her own work and got upset when her teacher called it plagiarism. What else did she expect?? That aside Cath is a lovely and relatable character. I also loved Wren and the adorable (and refreshingly understanding) Levi. But my favourite has to be Reagan. I love her character as she is so real. SheÃ??Ã?Â¢??s spiky but sweet and I think itÃ??Ã?Â¢??s great how she doesnÃ??Ã?Â¢??t try to understand Cath but accepts her.
Overall, Fangirl is a wonderful book about coming of age and facing scary but inevitable experiences like university. I was just disappointed by the fact it was sold as Fangirl but only incorporated one element of fandom and no real sense of the vital community that fandoms produce.
How did you find Fangirl? :)
-Molly by Molly Gibson-Mee
- Top review
It is going to be very hard for me to not to fangirl ;-) all through this review because I absolutely loved it. I have it on my Kindle but believe me, I will be buying a physical copy so I can re-read it in all its tactile glory.
Fangirl tells the story of Cath as she starts university and all the troubles that that entails for the incredibly shy introvert that Cath is. Making this big scary step even scarier is the fact that her twin sister Wren wants to go her own way in university Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?? to not room with Cath and develop her own circle of friends separate from Cath. CathÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s only escape from the real world is her love of Simon Snow (think Harry Potter) and the fanfiction she writes about his world. On top of this, she has to deal with a gruff never there roommate and her always there boyfriend, a cute classmate who is only interested in her for one thing but itÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s not what you think and a writing professor who wants her to expand her writing outside of fanfiction. Plus, a dad who is not coping so well now heÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s on his own and absent mother who wants back in her life. Phew!
I loved Cath from the get-go, she is a girl after my own fangirl heart, we may obsess over different things Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?? I donÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t write or read fanfiction but I understand why people do Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?? but both our obsessions make the real world a bit more bearable. She is so realistically drawn (as are all the characters) that as a fellow introvert, it is easy to connect with her. I adored Levi (the roommateÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s always there boyfriend) and I want one for myself, he is just simply, well, adorable. It took a little while for me to warm up to CathÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s twin Wren and her roommate Reagan, but once I did, I loved them too.
I really liked how important relationships were in this book - parent/child, siblings, friends and lovers. Her relationship with her dad is so cute; I wish the relationship with my dad was like that. As much as Cath could happily shut herself off from the real world and only having contact with her dad and sister, she learns that she needs other people Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?? real life people.
The character growth for Cath was realistic Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?? she didnÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t suddenly become an extrovert but she did slowly come out of her shell, although not all the way, which again is realistic. Speaking of slow developing, the romance was also on slow boil and was super sweet.
I also really liked that every chapter ended with either an excerpt from a Simon Snow novel or from CathÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s own fanfiction. It was like a story within a story, a story that I wish was real because I really like Baz Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?? Simon SnowÃ?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s nemesis, roommate and maybe lover.
I recommend this book to anyone who loves contemporaries, coming of age stories, romances and books with socially awkward characters. If you read and loved Eleanor and Park by Rowell, you will love this too.
Thank you Rainbow Rowell, for your wonderful books and your real and relatable characters.
First published @ natheartsbooks.blogspot.co.uk by Natalie Johnson