Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Review: Fangirl

Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
ISBN:  1250030951
Release Date: September 10th 2013
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Book Source: NetGalley

Buy From: Amazon - Barnes & Noble

Goodreads Synopsis:

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've heard of Rainbow Rowell from way before Fangirl came in the picture, but never got an opportunity to actually read any of her books. So reading Fangirl sounded like the perfect thing to do. Not to mention the adorable cover and title of this book. I enjoy fangirling and have many fandoms at the moment myself, so this definitely called out to me.

Cather's mother was too lazy to come up with two names when she found out she was having twins instead of just one daughter, so one was called Cather and her sister was named Wren (Catherine.) Cather's a huge Simon Snow fan. Not only does she own a lot of Simon Snow merchandise, but she's all over the forums for anything related to the book and even writes her own fan fiction in relation to the book. Her twin sister Wren being a Simon Snow fan as well helped their fangirling and that in itself helped Cather get over her mother's leaving them when they were children. Now that she's finally going to college with her sister she thinks everything will stay the same until she realizes Wren wants to be roommates with someone else and break free from the somewhat codependent relationship. Cather's stuck with a roommate she's convinced hates her, one that has her strangely friendly boyfriend around all the time. If that wasn't enough, her creative writing professor is adamantly against fan fiction. Oh and her social anxiety is at its peak.

To be honest, at first I could relate to Cather. When I started university I was so glad I had my sister in the same one. She was two years ahead and I remember not making many friends of my own at first, the prospect of starting anew is a bit overwhelming and for someone like Cather, I could just imagine how hard it must have been.

But I have to take her professor's side when it comes to fan fiction. Personally I hate it as well. A book should be the way the author intended it to be. It was their world, their characters, their magic. It feels weird taking them and messing around in that world to what you think could have been better. A better ending, better matchmaking, better story lines, whatever it is, I dislike it. If you want magic of your own, create your own world. I hated many fan fictions I'd stumbled upon with Draco ending up with Hermione or even Harry. Twisting them around to what makes them completely different from what they originally should have been is distorted.

Cather was a well developed character, assuming everything is fine because it's what makes her comfortable, just not getting how everything from Wren's point of you is like, how she's practically begging for individuality and not just being a part of a twin set. I do sympathize with the sudden way Wren dropped it all on Cather, but otherwise I can understand Wren's point of view. The way Cather dealt with it all was great. Surprisingly, with all that's gone on I think Wren was more conflicted as a character than her sister. But we don't get to dive into her character much to understand in depth what's making her act out. Raegan's character was very refreshing, she wasn't the typical bad girl nor was she the perfect best friend figure. She was an interesting blend, especially with her relationship with Levi and how different they both are in nature, yet still they were very close. I enjoyed their dynamics.

Rainbow's writing was wonderful, she has a very special way with words and making the characters come to life, even the more fictional ones within the actual book. Fangirl was a perfect summer read. Many college freshmen would relate to it.

I'm definitely working on getting my hands on Eleanor & Park by Rowell and hopefully a copy of this one as well when it comes out.

Rating: 4/5!

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