Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher/date published: Macmillan Children’s Books (30th Jan 2014)
Rating: 5/5 Stars
So I picked up Fangirl on a whim. I am a sucker for gorgeous covers and wasn’t this one a beauty. I chose the hardback special collector’s edition because I am a dirty old book collector and my mouth froths at anything limited edition. Just look at it, so beautiful *-*
Now this wasn’t my first time hearing of Rainbow Rowell. I have been meaning to pick up one of her books for a looong time, specifically the much acclaimed Eleanor and Park. However I was in a YA funk and just never got round to it. Blah.
After reading Fangirl I am 110% definitely going to be reading her other books. Try and stop me.
Now onto the review (hooray)
So the story takes place in England, and as someone who is British and proud this was already a gold star for me. I love stories I can relate to. I love reading about British culture and mannerisms we are often perceived as having. All the tea drinking and the accents I love it, it’s wonderful.
Enter the main character. She is a girl called Cather. Cath for short. Anyway Cath has a twin sister called Wren (CatherWren – Catherine hehe.) They are both off to University for the first time and although Wren is excited, Cath is more nervous. You see Cath likes to write fanfiction. She writes fanfiction on the Simon Snow series or more specifically on Simon and Baz. Two characters from the Simon Snow universe who Cath claims are so obviously in love with each other that it is almost canon.
Wren decides she wants to become more independent and flies solo at Uni, doing the whole freshman party scene shabam whilst Cath struggles with opening up her heart to anything other than her online haven she has comfortably created for herself. Enter the love interest, a few twist and turns and there you have it. A glorious masterpiece. Mwah.
Now onto what I loved.
The characters. Rowell created flawless characters. I think everyone who reads Fangirl relates with Cath in some way or another. I know I do, which is probably why so many of us adore the book. Cath is shown to have a pretty blunt personality. She doesn’t sugar coat things. Her interactions with Levi are hilarious, especially when they first meet. There were moments where I actually laughed out loud. Levi is also a great character. He isn’t your typical male protagonist. He isn’t described as brooding and sexy, mysterious and cool. He is described a real boy, maybe a little two skinny and lanky. But 100% real. I like that. I feel like a romance like Cath’s and Levi’s can really happen to anyone.
I loved the whole fanfiction aspect. It was unique and was what captured me to read the book in the first place. It was like Rowell actually built a small world within a world. She really took time out to describe to us the Simon Snow series. As readers we learnt a lot about Simon and Baz. It really made me want to fall in love with a world like that again. The Simon series really reminded me of The Harry Potter series with the whole magic aspect. I felt a connection with Cath when she gushed over her OTP and described the hardships of being a fanfic writer. It was like looking into my own mind.
The plot was fun and easy to read. It has just the right balance of cutsey stuff alongside real world problems and troubles. Cath’s frustration with her classes was something which I enjoyed reading about, and how she overcome her problems. I also loved her relationship with her sister and the journey she went on to self-discovery without her.
What I would improve.
There were times when reading where I felt the plot was slowly lagging. I wanted more to happen. I wanted something exciting to take place. I just.needed.more. I felt like some chapters were just there as fillers. Specifically the parts when Cath was reading out her fanfiction. It would span pages. If they incorporated another twist or exciting event to the plot I believe it would have made the book flow more smoothly.
I also wasn’t satisfied by the ending. I felt like there was more to be told. More holes to be filled. I am assuming this is partly because I didn’t want the book to end? I dunno. It just felt too abrupt.
All in all, Fangirl was a great read. I haven’t felt such a strong connection with a character in a long time. I like reading about books I relate to. I like reading about problems that can honestly happen to anyone. Things like Uni stress and family problems. Rowell tackled issues like these in the book. The book made my heart leap and ache for the want of falling into another fictional world like Simon Snow. I crave that obsession. Something new to fan girl over. Ahh. It really does bring back memories.
Rainbow Rowell you have intrigued me. I will pick up your other books and enter your other worlds. For my first read of 2015 Fangirl definitely lived up to its expectations. I loved it.
I give this book 5/5 stars.