Review – Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Series: No
Source: Personal Purchase

 Description from Goodreads:

In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, 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? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?


I swear that 2013 was the year of Rainbow Rowell. I could not visit a blog or scroll through Twitter without seeing people praising her work. When they went on sale, I bought Eleanor & Park and Fangirl, but I procrastinated on reading them. After my friend Jac read and reviewed Fangirl, I knew I had to move it up my TBR list, and when I was looking for something to read between review books, I picked it up.

Cath is an introvert and a bit socially inept, and Fangirl starts off with her arriving at college and meeting her roommate for the first time. Honestly, I was a bit horrified to find that Cath’s identical twin sister, Wren, left her socially inept sister to figure out college on her own, but I really enjoyed seeing Cath’s adjustment.

Cath is going to school for creative writing because she has spent the last several years writing Fanfiction of her favorite series, Simon Snow. I totally got a kick out of this because even though I was late to the Harry Potter fandom, I’ve heard enough to know that Cath’s experience with Simon Snow is very similar to what many fans had with Harry Potter, and I definitely enjoyed feeling like I was part of it through Cath. In fact, Simon Snow is very reminiscent of Harry Potter.

The characters felt so real in Fangirl that I really felt for Cath. I wanted to punch both her sister and Nick in the face multiple times, but I loved her roommate Reagan, and Reagan’s maybe-boyfriend Levi so much. Reagan actually comes off as really intimidating and almost scary when Cath first meets her, but as they develop a friendship, I really like the interaction between them. I like how Reagan takes her under her wing and gets completely creeped out by the twin thing.

Rainbow Rowell intersperses scenes from the “actual” Simon Snow books, along with excerpts from Cath’s fanfiction. Sometimes I could say how they applied to the current place in Cath’s story; sometimes I couldn’t. One thing is for sure, though, it made me really wish that Rainbow Rowell would write the Simon Snow series because I want to read it!

My biggest complaint was the ending. It wasn’t bad, really, but after getting so invested in Cath’s story, it just seemed a bit abrupt to me. I would have liked a little more, but like I said, it wasn’t a bad ending. It was pretty good.

Overall, I thought that Fangirl was a great, fun contemporary read, and I would highly recommend it!

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3 thoughts on “Review – Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

  1. Susan (Bloggin' 'bout Books) January 30, 2014 at 9:32 am Reply

    I agree. I loved Cath, who definitely earned both my empathy and admiration. FANGIRL’s a fun read, but it also brings up some really good points about the real world v. the virtual world and staying true to yourself in both. Glad you enjoyed the book, too!

    • Mommy's Reading Break February 2, 2014 at 8:42 pm Reply

      I liked her, too. I’m always sad that I wasn’t a part of the Harry Potter fandom until the series was complete, so it was cool to get a fictional sneak peek at what it would have been like.

  2. […] Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (4 stars) […]

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