Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Book Review | Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

“I choose you over everyone.”

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Published by St. Martin's Press
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Released: September 10, 2013
Pages: 445
Other Books By Rainbow Rowell: Eleanor & Park, Landline

My Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis:

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?



Teisha's Review

I'm sure that everyone who has written a review for this book has opened like this, but you guys:

It is impossible not to fangirl over Fangirl.

I had heard so many good things about this book, so I just had to read it.  Usually, when people rave about a book, I worry that it won't live up to the hype, especially when said book comes from a relatively new author who I've never read before.  However, Fangirl did.  It didn't just live up to the hype, it surpassed it.

This is officially one of my favorite books.  Ever!  Rainbow Rowell is a genius.

Here are the five + reasons why I gave Fangirl 5 out of 5 stars.



★ Plot & Characters

Whenever I scroll through Goodreads, looking for new, interesting books to add to my TBR pile, I tend to find that many of the plots blur together.  The synopses all sound the same.  But, Fangirl was different, and it caught my attention.  A friend of mine had already recommended Eleanor & Park to me, and I've been wanting to read that one for quite some time.  But, the synopsis of Fangirl just spoke to me more.

A book about being a fangirl? Something that I do 24/7?  Yes, please.

And, the characters made the story all the better.  Regan reminds me a lot of my roommate freshman year, who became one of my best friends.  And, Wren, Cath's twin sister...

Well, I admit that there were times when Wren made me upset.  She was kind of a bitch, and I wished that Cath wouldn't forgive her so easily.  But, I'm just more stubborn.  When I have an argument with my sisters, I have to be the one to hold out the longest.

But, by the end of the book I was liking Wren again.

I'd never really disliked a character who wasn't a villain until I read Fangirl.  And, I think that that has a lot to do with how real Rowell's characters are.  Some authors make all of their characters (besides the bad guy) likable, but Rowell's writing says, "No.  People don't like all people."  And, I love that aspect of her writing.



★ It's A Story Within A Story.  It's Story-ception.

Cath writes fanfiction about Simon Snow.  Simon Snow is a book series, written by Gemma T. Leslie that is reminiscent of Harry Potter.  The main character, Simon, is a student at Watford School of Magicks who gets roomed with his nemesis Baz.

Before every new chapter, we get a Simon Snow blurb either from Leslie's books or Cath's fanfiction.  

I've heard some people say that they don't like the Simon Snow stories within the book because they are disorienting--is this book about Simon Snow or is it about Cath?  I didn't feel that way.  I felt that every Simon Snow excerpt was placed before each chapter for a specific reason.  They may seem random, but I think that the Simon Snow stories definitely parallel to Cath's story.

Overall, I liked the Simon Snow excerpts.  I thought that they were interesting and that they definitely added to the plot of Fangirl.



★ Levi, The Perfect Fictional Boyfriend

If you keep up with my book reviews, then you may know that not too long ago, I wrote a review of Hopeless by Colleen Hoover.  And, uh, in that review, I named Dean Holder the Perfect Fictional Boyfriend.

So, that makes what I'm about to say a little awkward.

Levi is the Perfect Fictional Boyfriend.  Holder has been demoted.

I can't say that Levi has anything that Holder doesn't, but I just really enjoyed Levi and Cath's relationship.  He is so kind, sweet, and sincere to her.  I love that he doesn't care what other people think of her, or even what she thinks of herself--he loves her no matter what.

I feel like I'm probably going to keep changing Perfect Fictional Boyfriends, so maybe I should just make one for every genre?

New Adult: Dean Holder
Contemporary YA: Levi



★ I Am Cath, Cath is Me

You guys...

With the story of Cath and her obsession with the Simon Snow series, and her going to college and falling in love, I just knew that I would be able to relate to this story.  And, I most definitely did.

I have never been able to relate to a character the way I related to Cath.  I am that socially awkward girl who would rather sit in her room on a Friday night writing up posts for internet people than go out to a party.  I am that girl who doesn't speak up in class.  I find it hard to make friends.  I don't like change.

I am Cath, Cath is me.

I find that what's most important about being able to relate to this character, about having someone write down all of these feelings that I've experienced time and time again, is to know that I'm not alone!

I'm not alone in wanting to be alone, in not liking to party.

I love Rainbow Rowell for reminding me that I am not the only socially anxious, shy, hardcore fangirl out there.



★ Rowell's Writing Style

The first thing I noticed about this book that I really liked was Rainbow Rowell's writing.  

Rowell uses a lot of dialogue in her writing, and I love that.  I know that dialogue isn't everyone's cup of tea, but it is for me.  I love when characters interact with one another and speak to one another.  I find that in books that contain a lot of expository writing, I'm just waiting for someone to start talking to someone else.  

I don't have to wait for that with Rowell and that's what made this book so enjoyable for me.  I was able to get through it easily.

I've always been taught that too much dialogue can ruin and take away from a story, but I didn't feel that way with Fangirl.  

Rowell proves that there is no set formula to writing.  Everyone does it differently, and some people can make work what others cannot.  



★ All The Feels

Fangirl is literally the cutest book ever.  I couldn't get enough of it.  It made me squeal and laugh over a dozen times.  And, when I came to the last page of the book, I flipped to the next page expecting there to be more, but there were only the Acknowledgements.  I cried out in pain: "Give me more!"

The ending of this book is satisfying, but I would honestly love to have a sequel.

I loved every moment of Fangirl--the family drama, the boy drama, the roommate drama.  It was incredibly fun throughout, and it made me feel warm and fuzzy all over.

Fangirl was exactly what I needed after my Sci-Fi binge.


***

I am not someone who tends to reread books, but this is one that I think I'm definitely going to come to again.  I mean, as soon as I closed it I wanted to open it back up and start over.  It's that good.  

I've heard many people say that Fangirl doesn't live up to the hype.  Do you know what I say to those people?  THEY'RE WRONG!

Just kidding--we're all entitled to our opinions.  And, my opinion is that you, yes YOU, you should go out and buy this book right now and read it.  I don't care if you are a boy or a girl, old or young, happy or sad... (Actually, I do care whether you're happy or sad.  I hope you're happy.  Have a nice day!).

Just, go read Fangirl.

Questions

1)  Have you read Fangirl?  Feel free to share your thoughts with me!
2)  Would you read a sequel to this book?  
3)  Have you read any of Rainbow Rowell's other books?  Do you have a recommendation of which one I should read next?

Talk to you soon!




2 comments:

  1. "I mean, as soon as I closed it I wanted to open it back up and start over. It's that good." I feel the exact same way. I just never wanted it to end. I even liked the ending, even though I didn't want it to come. I could live in that novel for the rest of my life and probable be OK.

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who felt this way about the book! I could definitely live in that novel, too:)

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