Thursday, January 29, 2015

"Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell

Let me start off tonights very first book review by saying..I've never done a book review. I may have back in elementary school when the teacher made me do a book report or two (shoutout to the Curious George books!), but I'll probably wasn't very good. 

And this one may not be too.

Ha. But jokes on you, this is my blog and I can do whatever I want! And that includes failing miserably about telling you about the amazing book I just read.

So let's us attempt this adventure together!

"Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell is fantastic. If you're into Young Adult books, (which you probably aren't, but totally should be!) this should be a must read!

The synopsis of "Fangirl" is this:

"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 fanfiction, 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 fanfiction 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?"
*courtesy of my homegirl Rainbow's website*

At first I thought, "crap, this is going to be the same story I always read. There's some dorky girl and she's going to go to this college and she's going to take off her glasses, and all of a sudden she's going to be hot..blah blah blah"

But I was wrong.

I identified with Cath. Not about fan fiction, because I've never read any..that I know of. But because of her walls. She found something to keep her from her life - this Simon Snow series - it keeps her in a fantasy land so she doesn't have to deal. Doesn't have to make an attempt. And no one's tried to break down her walls.

When I moved to Fort Worth, I had major walls. I was coming off of a particularly hard senior year of college, and wanted to just go to school with all of these weirdos (yes, art school kids are weirdos. Seriously though, totally 100% lovable..but they're weird.) and not talk to anyone. I wasn't interested in making friends with anyone, or even be a friend to the ones that I was friends with. I had built up walls because I was scared, tired and hurt. 
One day though, a group of people (who know who they are) decided I wasn't allowed to sit in the corner. That I had things to say and a life to be apart of. I don't think they know this, but I'm pretty sure they saved me from becoming a hermit. So, props

ANYWAYS..back to CATH..(oops..)

I mean, homegirl sums it up right there.

Thankfully though, there are people in Cath's world as well that think she has things to say and a life to be apart of as well. And piece by piece, instance by instance - she steps out of her comfort zone. The comfort zone she created because it seemed too hard to let anyone in.

And while you're rooting for Cath in her "time of need" - Rowell does something fascinating (that I wasn't expecting) as well, she weaves Cath's fan fiction into her story. Which only seems natural when you think about it - since Cath practically lives within that world, and not her own. 

Between each chapter (*spoiler alert*), Simon Snow's story (which reads entirely too much like Harry Potter!) into Cath's. And I applaud any author that can not only write a main story, but add special details - like another story - within it.

But, then she hits you with a love story.

*cue violin music*

Then again, it wouldn't be Young Adult fiction without a love story. (I'm sure John Green said that..)

Levi is Cath's roommates ex-boyfriend friend person. And, without telling you all the wonderfully awkward details, they end up snuggled up in bed together - and more things happen, and they begin to date. 

(I know you totally want to read this book after that very vague sentence..)

I definitely don't want to give anything away, but Levi kills me. Levi has this incredible need to want to fix everything for Cath. And, Cath being Cath, naturally shrinks back or questions his intentions - as if she doesn't deserve the love he pours out. (#preachingtothechoir) But, like all good white knights - he presses on. He keeps showing up. And she eventually swoons like all princesses do. 

All in all though, I give this book 5 stars. It's the right combination of nerdy love story slash I can fight my own dragons - which is something that I hope girls these days learn. That you can have both. That you can fight dragons and then come home and be in love. Or you can fight dragons together. I think too many girls are having to choose one or the other.

But that's a totally different blog for a totally different day.

Seriously though, read it. Give YA fiction a chance. It's taught me a hell of a lot more about life than the sparkly vampires ever could of a few years back. It's transformed into so much more. 

YA fan til I die,



  1. This just got added to my "to read" list. Looking forward to your next book review!

  2. Oh, I love Fangirl! It's one of my favorite books. I identify with Cath in all the ways that you mentioned and also with the fan fiction world. Mostly it's about escaping reality I think. I really like how you expressed what this book is about. Stay in the YA corner, there are some of the best books. ;)

    1. Thanks, Bruna! And I definitely will. If you have any recommendations, send them my way!