Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press – an imprint of MacMillan
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary, Romance
Format: Purchased Hardcover
“Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell is a story about a girl named Cath who loves Simon Snow – a fictional character in a bestselling book series in the book (wasn’t that confusing?). She writes fanfiction about Simon and his nemesis, Baz, in their world and setting, and by doing this she has thousands of views on the website she posts them on. When she and her twin sister, Wren, go off to college, things couldn’t be more difficult for Cath. She’s much more recluse than her sister and prefers spending time on the Internet than with real people. And then her new roommate, Reagan, has this guy over all the time: Levi. He smiles way too much and is way too nice, and Cath doesn’t really know why he’s over so much. And then she and her sister grow distant… Her first year of college is a mess before it turns around one day.
Now, with all of that being said, I really wanted to read a lighthearted book, and I believe I found that in “Fangirl.” Rowell’s writing style has been difficult for me to transition into because she has a unique style, but as soon as I was comfortable, I flew through the story. It only took about two days’ time to read the book – which I’m very proud of myself for.
As the book progressed, I found that it was very much like a typical lifestyle of a college freshman: people partying, exploring new places, hook ups, drama, classes, worry, stress. It’s a big ball of mush and I could really connect with how real a lot of the views and opinions expressed by various characters were. Some of the views I obviously didn’t agree with because of my own experiences when I was in college, but I know that a lot of people have similar views, especially when it comes to fraternities and sororities. But that being said, I’m glad the sole focus wasn’t on the school aspect – not completely – and I’m glad that it focused more on Cath’s writing and online world at times.
It also focused a lot on family and issues such as divorce, alcohol addiction, mental illness, and togetherness. It wasn’t just a romance or a school story; it was a family story and about how the members of the family dealt with the situations at hand.
But that’s not to say that I didn’t love the romance in it. The love interest and romance of the story was too adorable. I love how it progressed over time, and that there was even plausible drama in it. It wasn’t fast, wasn’t sudden, and that’s what I like about Rowell’s writing, but I still wish there was more.
I liked the installations of Cath’s fiction writing throughout and how they actually played their parts as a precursor to the chapter ahead. I thought it was clever and it was also fun to read a story within a story (storyception!).
Overall, this book was highly enjoyable, fun, engaging, but also serious at times. It didn’t make me bored or keep me guessing.
I rate this book 5/5 stars and highly recommend it if you’re looking for something lighthearted.