"Fangirl" was a fun and sweet story, similar in tone to Eleanor & Park. Cath and her twin sister have gone to college, and college is quickly becoming a time of independence and discovery. Cath finds herself adrift as her twin begins to separate and party, while Cath deals with the family drama and her ever-present love of fanfic for Simon Snow (think Harry Potter Harry/Draco style fanfic).
Cath is taking a fiction writing class, but it is not quite what she thought- her fanfic won't work there. Add to that, her growing crush on her roommate's boyfriend, who seems to always be around and is interested in listening to her fanfic. On top of all the newness, her father is having the same troubles, and their absent mother may be popping back into the picture. With a whole storm of emotions- and lots of fanfic- this was a heart-touching story of finding oneself and loving who you are.
Overall, I thought it was a fun story, although somewhat emotionally difficult (similar to Eleanor & Park). I definitely recommend it to lovers of contemporary YA fiction.
I almost gave up on this book. Several chapters in I was not identifying with the main character. She was so weird and introverted and anxious that she seemed extreme to me, and I'm an anxious introvert. Maybe she struck me as what I could be if I didn't try extremely hard every day NOT to be like her. Anyway, she was frustrating me with her weird choices and problems that weren't really problems.
But Cath grew on me.
Because, you see, Cath is adorable, and smart, and talented, and charmingly quirky. You just have to let her come out of her shell a little bit.
I left the book with a deep affection for her, and if anything I wanted to stay in her world longer to make sure everything would be okay.
I like that she and one of the other characters turn up in a cameo in Landline, because it helped tell me what happened after the book ended.
Very 3-dimensional characters
Addresses mental illness
Made me understand fan fiction
I don't even know how it took me so long to read this book or rather to think about reading this book. Maybe it was because although I'd seen it everywhere I didn't actually know what it was about.
To be honest, I didn't actually READ this one, I listened to it. I got my copy via AUDIBLE and can I just say that I forgot how much I loved listening to audio books. I haven't listened to an audiobook since that time I re-read Order of the Phoenix with my Walkman in 2005. (Yes, I still owned a Walkman in 2005, get over it).
Let me start out by saying that I hated Wren. I have two sisters that I'm really close with and if either of them behaved like Wren had behaved in this book, oh boy. I would have had it out with them.
I get that Cath is shy, and anxious and overall uncomfortable. I get it because I AM Cath in so many ways. My blog is even titled Fangirl. Still, if she and Wren really were as close as she claimed through the entire book, then she would have had no problem telling her what a downright awful bitch she was being. At first, I saw it from both of their sides. I got that Wren wanted the independent college experience and agreed that Cath should be forced to meet new people (because look what happened she met Levi and Regan!).
As the story continued, though, enough, Wren was just awful. Like that 'want to be independent' streak that had saved her in my eyes was quickly overshadowed by everything else. Even by the end, is it bad of me to say that I was ecstatic when she was shut down by Cath on the roommate offer? I know she had her own problems but I guess I wasn't as forgiving as Cath was.
There were a few times where I wanted to grab Cath by her hair and slam her head into the wall. Like when she's arguing with her Professor about Fanfiction. Like when she refuses to do her project. I get anxiety, trust me do I get it, but that whole situation was infuriating. Maybe this is because I caught H1N1 and then pneumonia in my freshman year before finally recovering only to roll my ankle and my professor still failed me in Dance. I would have killed to have Professor Piper rooting for me.
Levi, oh Levi. I knew that he was eventually going to become a thing. I knew the moment that they met and she panicked thinking that he was her roommate. I fell in love with him long before Cath did and when he was misguided, I was in pain. Eugh, I love this book.
Overall this was a great book. I was left wanting more. It felt, unresolved in some way. Maybe because the resolution was the final Simon Snow novel and given that, although we were read snippets of the novels, and fan fiction throughout, that wasn't really a resolution because I had never read the supposed Simon Snow series. I wanted more Cath and Levi, I wanted to know how they worked out over the summer, how the next year of school went. I guess I could take to writing my own fan fiction!
-Cath is so relatable to introverted Fangirls everywhere
-It's a well paced story
-Makes you want to read the Simon Snow series
When I heard about this book I had just finished Eleanor and Park and I anything by Rainbow was going on my TBR pile. And then I found out what the book was actually about and I actually fangirled thinking about it. I knew that I would absolutely love this book. I mean come on, it was basically a book about my life. (In the fangirl aspect, not fanfiction.) But unfortunately, (and I already know I'm the black sheep in this situation) this just wasn't what I expected.
Don't get me wrong, I did like it. I absolutely loved Levi. He was super sweet and so nice it killed me. Then there was Wren. Sde wasn't afraid to live and be her own person after being Wren AND Cath for so long. (Don't get me wrong, she did go over board, but at the same time, she wasn't afraid to let it happen.) Last but not least, I loved their father. He was so driver by work that sometimes he let it consume him. I can't lie, that's kind of how I feel sometimes. But unfortunately, that's basically all of what I liked. Cath was not a great character. Her anxiety and fear of change made her sit in her room through out everything and it seemed like she did nothing but mope. Now I understand that there may actually be some people out there like that (hell I'm one of them, just obviously not as severe) but I mean really, I won't not EAT because I'm too afraid. I would at least take it back to my dorm to eat or something. I just felt like it was a little too much.
Then there was the romance. It was sooooooo slow, but once it got going it was AMAZING. Like I said, I loved Levi. He did have his bone head moments, but without them he wouldn't have been a guy. But really, he was the sweetest kid EVER! And he was a nerd. What I wouldn't give for my boyfriend to say "Read to me , sweetheart." They were beautiful together and I was so excited that they finally made it work.
What I didn't like was the fanfiction parts. At the beginning I felt that it was pretty cool that Rowell had written fiction inside fiction, but towards the end I felt like it was just there. Like it didn't have a real reason to be in the story. After a while I found myself skimming it t see if it helped out the story in any way.
Overall, I didn't just head over heels love it like I loved Eleanor and Park, (and yes I know I'll be the black sheep), but I just couldn't fall in love with it.