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Book Discussion: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I have done a discussion on this book before but have now deleted it. This isn’t a repost but a revamped version of it since I re-read it.

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Name: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: ★★★★★

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 outside 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?

Review:

I loved this book. It’s absolutely adorable! Since it’d been so hyped, I was sure that I wouldn’t enjoy it much but to my surprise, I really did.

Fangirl touches upon a lot of issues that people have to face very subtly. It’s a heartwarming read. If you grew up reading Harry Potter you’ll probably enjoy this a lot.

Cath is a character who I think a lot of people can relate to for several reasons which is probably one of the reasons the book is so popular.

I definitely recommend this to everyone! If you’re looking for a cutesy, realistic contemporary with a smidgeon of romance, definitely pick this up!

This is the first Rainbow Rowell book I’ve ever read and now I’m tempted to read more!

Discussion:

This book, however isn’t as much about fandoms and fangirls as I expected. Cath is a Simon Snow fan, and yes, she does write fan fiction, but we don’t see any interaction of people in the fandom. There is a scene where a random fan comes up to Cath to compliment her Carry On, Simon T-shirt – that’s pretty much it.

Some of the Carry On and the Simon Snow excerpts were just a bit too long for my liking. There’s a part when Cath reads the fan fiction to Levi which I completely skipped because it was unnecessary and boring.

I loved the characters in this book – every single one of them! Except Nick and Cath’s mother.

The story is so realistic which is another thing I loved. Cath is such a relatable character for so many teenagers everywhere. She’s shy and reserved and resistant to change but she grows through the book and gets over some of her social anxiety. She struggles with her fiction writing class because she prefers fan-fiction over real fiction writing but she gets over it. She writes her story and it gets into the prestigious journal.

I think everyone’s been in a situation where a friend or a sibling or someone close to you ditched you for someone better. This book teaches you how to cope with it – don’t. Move on. Make new friends. Wren ditching her own twin sister was just sad. I really didn’t like her like the last eight chapters of the book. It’s okay, in fact it’s great if you want to branch out and try new things for college but leaving someone who’s been so close for so long for that is terrible. Not just with Cath but her father too. When he was ill, Cath went to see him, Cath took care of him. Wren, on the other hand, stayed up partying and getting drunk eventually leading to her getting alcohol poisoning. I liked that she changes by the end and rekindles her relationship with Cath.

Levi is probably one of my favourite male leads in a contemporary. Most YA books have a six foot something hot football playing jerk who has a rep of being a “bad boy” as the male love interest. This was a nice change. Levi isn’t six feet, he works (lives) on a ranch and he’s nice. He’s nice to everyone and he’s kind and sweet and lovely. Unlike the stereotypical rude bad boy most contemporaries have.

Nick is a terrible character and I love that we see Cath standing up to him and telling him to keep his story for himself. We all have Nicks in our lives – people who try to take credit for things other people do and it’s great to see him suffer.

More than anyone, I liked Raegan. She is what I aspire to be like. She has a very no-drama attitude which I really admire. She’s funny and sassy. She’s a really great character and I wish we got to see more of her in the book.

What I didn’t like about this book was Cath’s obstinacy. She’s completely against writing for her Fiction Writing class despite being given a second chance. She doesn’t give her mother a chance. She’s too shy and reserved. But then again, she wasn’t supposed to be perfect.

I loved the Cath and Levi moments in this book. They were adorable. Cath reading to Levi, Levi driving her places – it’s all so cute!

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What did you think about it?

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