Sunday, October 20, 2013

Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

From Goodreads:

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park.

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love. 

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?

I read Attachments 2 years ago (almost to the date! See review here) and liked it fine (chicklit is not my usual genre). Recently I'd read lots of good reviews of the author's other book, Eleanor and Park, so I thought I'd give that a try. I found out the author has another new book, Fangirl, so I reserved that too at the library. The 2 new books came at the same time for me to pick up at the library, and I thought I'd read Fangirl first as it seems like Elenaor and Park has better reviews. 

My library marked this (and Eleanor) as YA. I haven't been in YA mode lately (since I was pregnant really... coincidence?), but was in a fluff read mode. Only took me 2 days to read so that's a good sign. I can identify with Cath to some degree (not the fanfiction part, but when she first went to college). Overall I think it's an okay book - it's a little long (over 400 pages), and I admit about half way through I started skipping the Simon Snow excerpts (whether it's from the book series itself that's like Harry Potter, or from Cath's fanfiction). I supposed if I was a Harry Potter fan I may be more curious. As per usual, this genre is a bit predictable for me.

I do like Rowell's engaging writing, and that her characters seem real. You want to know what happened to the characters. But there's just something missing for me. I don't quite know what - I guess I like books that make me feel sentimental, but this one didn't quite bring me all the way there. Will read Eleanor next, and we'll see if I like that better.

3 Stars.

Note - The book was borrowed from the library.

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  1. I'm waiting to get this book from the library. I do like Rowell's books though some parts make me roll my eyes. I like her characters most - they feel very real.

    1. Yes I feel the same way - the characters feel real, but some parts make me roll my eyes (ha, and her characters do too apparently lol). But I thought maybe I'm just getting old since the characters are 18-early 20's in this one.

  2. I purchased (sale) this one as an eBook. I enjoyed E & P so I hope this will hit the spot when I'm in the mood for it. :)

    1. I think if you like E&P, you'd like this also. Very similar style.