[536]: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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GOODREADS SUMMARY | St. Martin’s Griffin | Hardcover, 455 pp. | September 10, 2013 | Young Adult Fiction | Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


I don’t really know why it took me so long  to read this book. Every time I walk by my bookshelves and see it, I kept having one of those facepalm moment when I’ll try to make a mental note to finally pick it up. Had I known the incredible high I’ll experience during and after reading this book, I’d have read it sooner than twenty months after its release. Why didn’t I listen to y’all? To be honest, I wasn’t going to write a review for this. I was just going to feature it in my Photo Vomit post (yes, I loved it so much, I took a bunch of pictures of it!).

It’s just difficult to express my love for this book. So hard to write down the words of all the whys. The easy way to do it, is to advise you that you should believe the majority of those people who gave this book the highest rating. It is all that and then some.

Hello, my name is Cath and I’m a Simon & Baz shipper. 

(I’ve become one, too, for that matter. )Twins, Cath and Wren have always been each other’s best friend since they were born. But college life is about to change the dynamics whether Cath likes it or not. Wren wants to branch out and meet new people, while Cath is satisfied with remaining who she’s always been and who she’s with all her life. She’s an introvert who finds solace in a fandom that she’s become a celebrity without being in the limelight. She finds comfort in books, and the things that are familiar.

Cath knew that she can’t survive College life living inside the dorm with her roommate and her boy-shadow.  Armed with a year’s supply of peanut butter, granola bars and the fictional world she borrowed, Cath is determined to try, anyway.

I think one of the reasons why this book is so popular and well-received is because it connected with a lot of us. She’s given as a character that resonated with us. I know it brought back memories of those years when I used to write fan fiction (nope, not going to tell you which fandom. Ha!) Cath was very insecure and maybe a little bit of a pushover at first. But it’s not hard not to accept all her frailties because I got her. She’s also not easy to get to know because she’s closed off and she has a hard time trusting anyone. Which is understandable considering what happened with her mother.

Levi, the boy for the rest of us. 

In a literary world full of handsome boys, Levi is probably one of those characters that was not cut from the same cloth. He’s not perfectly good looking; he’s got a learning disability. But he makes up for it by being the most charming boy ever to walk the pages of a book.

I was confused by his relationship with Cath’s roommate initially, but  Rowell’s uncanny ability to create unpredictable story arches saves the day.

Rainbow Rowell is for real, yo.

Honest-to-goodness goddess, y’all. I can’t say enough about how brilliant this woman is. She doesn’t write pretty proses ala Jandy Nelson, but her story lines consume me every time I read her book (except for Attachments – wasn’t a fan of that one). She almost never fails to create incredible characters and immersive stories. But one of the best things about this book is how credible Cath is as a writer. I’ve read a few books wherein the character was one, but not of them could light a candle to Cath. Not one of them as convincing, and that’s all thanks to Rowell’s illustrious prowess.

Fangirl is all about a lot of us, who’d become uncomfortable to the point of being scared at one point in our lives. It’s about embracing the fact that we can’t all remain stagnant. Life is about constant motion whether we like it or not. And that’s what I’m taking away from this book…and ultimate love for this author.

  • Yay! I was pretty late to the Fangirl party too; I only read it 3 or 4 months ago. It caught me by surprise how much I loved it. First, it was super hyped, and second the relationship that develops between Levi and Cath was a major part of the story, and I don’t play well with romancy sorts of stories. But this book was almost kind of perfect (although, the excerpts from the fan fictions kind of took me out of the story). The characters seemed so, so real and if I couldn’t find myself in them, I found my friends. It just sort of resonated with me.

  • I have a copy of this sitting on my book shelf. Like you, I’ve heard the enormous amounts of praise heaped on this story. I don’t know why I haven’t read it yet, I think I have a mental block. I did like Attachments, though, (sorry to hear you didn’t) so I’m sure I’d end up loving this one, too. Wonderful review, Joy! 🙂

  • Wow Joy! Now I know I have to get out there and get a copy of Fangirl for myself! It sounds like the best read. So glad you loved it and could relate to so many aspects!

    Naomi @ Naomi’s Reading Palace

  • i feel as if it is a small victory when you love a book as much as I do since that is not always the case. It HAS been happening more often as of late though 😉

  • Oh, how I am thrilled that you loved this book Joy 🙂 And YAY for finally reading it, lol. <3 Better late than never 🙂 You are awesome. <3 And yay for loving it so damn much. Sigh. I did too. Cath and Levi are awesome 😀 Thank you for sharing your amazing thoughts sweetie. <3 So so happy you weren't disappointed by it 🙂

  • I adore Fangirl so I’m thrilled you enjoyed it, Joy! I loved Levi (who wouldn’t???) and I also thoroughly connected with this storyline. Gorgeous review, dear!

  • I hate to admit, that I’m one of the very few who didn’t like Fangirl sadly. I know, clearly my life choices are all wrong. I really liked the main storyline, but it was the fanfiction that I just couldn’t get into. I loved her previous release in Eleanore and Park, and have thought about giving it another go. It’s happened before actually, not liking a book the first time, rereading it and then loving it. You’ve given me the push I’ve needed Joy, and the gorgeous editions out now of this one doesn’t hurt either. Absolutely lovely review <3

  • This is another really popular book that I have on my Nook waiting to be read that I have yet to give a chance. I am so slow and reading really popular books. I’m so afraid I’ll hate it – I have NO idea why!

  • This is just such a great review. I now feel totally motivated to finally read this author. I have had a couple of Rainbow Rowell books both on my TBR and my physical shelf and still have not read any of them.

  • I have this on my Kindle but have not read it yet too! I need to read it soon, especially since you ended up loving it to pieces! I’ve yet to read anything from Rainbow Rowell but I think I’ll start with this one 🙂 Levi sounds like a great love interest. Awesome review Joy!

  • I loved this book so, so much!! I will say though that I liked Eleanor and Park a bit more.

  • And once again we find an author whose books I should really get around to trying. I have heard a lot of praise about this author (and now also from you!) and I just know I will like her books once I try them. I just need to try them. I think that because we can relate to her character it will be even easier to like her as well ^.^

  • I am now officially the only person who has not read this book. *Commences massive hunt for a copy of fangirl!*

  • Lauren Becker

    I’ve actually only read Attachments, but I’ve owned Eleanor & Park for a long time, so I need to read that. At any rate, that’s awesome you loved Fangirl. It’s one I really really want to read too. I think I’d really relate to a lot of it – I used to write fan fiction (Harry Potter, but it was never online – I just read a ton online haha).

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

  • levi sounds well done and glad that he is a different sort of main character

  • * cries tears of joy * Yayyy! I’m sooo freaking happy you enjoyed it! I loved everything about this book, from the fanfiction, to all of the characters, ESPECIALLY her roommate whose name I can never remember. I can not WAIT to see how great Carry On is going to turn out, I mean we are talking about Rainbow here. That woman delivers every time!

  • lornak99

    This sounds really good. I do have a question-the fan fiction part-do we actually read what the character has written? And if so, how much of the book is that? I am not sure I would like that.Thank you!

  • YESS YESS! You finally picked it up, happy you really enjoyed this one, I know I did! I thought Rowell’s story, message, and writing really connected to a lot of readers.
    Cannot wait for Carry On!

    Happy Reading
    Patrick @ The Bookshelves

  • I loved this one also! I have to say, I think it’s funny that you didn’t like Attachments, since that was my first Rainbow Rowell book. If I hadn’t loved it as much as I did, I probably wouldn’t have picked up Fangirl.
    Great review!

  • The Simon & Baz book comes out in September (I think), so we have more fabulous to look forward to! (Yes, I made fabulous into a noun.)

    So glad you enjoyed this. Cath really resonated with me, especially with the whole starting uni thing, and being too freaked out to go to the dining hall!

  • Yay and YAYYYYY!! I love that you loved this. I absolutely adored it too. 🙂

  • This really was a surprising read and lots of hidden messages in it for sure. So happy you liked it!

  • Yayyyy Fangirl is my favourite contemporary book so I’m so glad you loved it! *happy dance*

  • YES!!
    Levi was one heck of a charmer and this book was just so delightful. I loved how different it was from other college-aged characters’ stories. I’m so glad you loved this one, Joy.
    Lovely review! 🙂

  • I really liked this one but I confess that the fanfictions part were difficult for me though, it’s not really my thing

  • Gosh! Finnneeee Joy! Just finneee. I’ll read this book. I’ve been seeing it around but have never picked it up just like you. 🙂 You had me at: Cath the relatable character and mmmmm hmmmm Levi. 😉 I can’t wait to check this out and I’m glad you loved it so much!:)

  • I really love Fangirl too! There’s a lot of similarities between Cath and me that made it easier to connect.

    Anyway, great review!

  • I absolutely loved Fangirl as well, we can definitely all relate to Cath and her fandom love and I adored Simon & Baz. Cannot wait for the next Rowell book, Carry On!

  • And now I wanna read it too!