"Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell | Book Review
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Page Count: 433
First Published: September 10, 2013
I finally did it guys, I read Fangirl—my first Rainbow Rowell book. Now, I know my rating will raise some eyebrows because this is a book with a huge following, but hear me out on this one. I thought it was a very enjoyable book, which is why I gave it the rating I did, but it's also not the kind of book I gravitate towards and some of it had me rolling my eyes. While I remember the anxiety that comes with your first year of college and meeting new people, I'm at a very different point in my life at the moment, so some of the struggles described in this book just didn't work for me.
This coming-of-age story revolves around Cath, who is starting her first year of college and having a bit of a rough time with it. She is a very lovable, introverted girl who writes fan fiction, but she is pretty dependent on her twin sister Wren. Because Wren wants to go her own way in college and doesn't even want to be roommates with her sister, Cath has to try to put her social anxiety and awkwardness behind, and survive college on her own.
Fangirl was a really quick and easy read for me, and Rainbow Rowell's writing had a lot to do with it. The way she writes dialogue and characters is very natural, and feels effortless—it's so easy to just keep on reading! My favorite characters were Reagan (Cath's roommate) and Levi (Reagan's friend): I loved Reagan's personality and her attitude towards life, and as for Levi—he was charming, funny, and sweet, but not in an unrealistic way. I liked Cath for the most part, but I occasionally wanted to shake her for being so stubbornly awkward. What I loved about her character arc was that despite having some growing up to do, she didn't have to change the essence of who she was. Yes, she learned to adapt to her situation and life without Wren at her side, but she didn't lose herself in the process, which I think is a very important message.
Some of the romance and drama in Fangirl seemed a little "chick lit" (I really dislike that expression, but I don't know what else to call this) to me, so there were points when I thought things got a little ridiculous. I also didn't care for the amount of the fan fiction excerpts that were included—I liked the idea of them, and I liked the role fan fiction ended up playing in the overall story, but there was a little too much of it for my taste. However, I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority here because I was never a hardcore Harry Potter fan (no, I don't hate Harry Potter—I'm just not #obsessed), so I suspect that's why the Simon Snow parts weren't as interesting to me.
Overall, I enjoyed Fangirl for what it was, and I am definitely looking forward to checking out Rainbow Rowell's adult fiction. I think if you like young adult and/or new adult contemporary literature (and you somehow haven't read this book yet)—you should definitely give this book a try.
What is your favorite book by Rainbow Rowell?