Title – Author: Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Format – Source: ARC – Borrowed
Cath is a big Simon Snow fan. Well, that’s actually an understatement. She has posters and figurines and her fanfiction stories get thousands of views every day. She and her twin sister, Wren, would obsess over the books and movies, Now that’s they’re both headed to college, Wren has a grown away from the fandom but Cath isn’t ready to let go. When Wren tells Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates, Cath doesn’t know what to do. She’s stuck with an irritable roommate with an overly friendly boyfriend. With a tough writing professor and a dad she can’t stop worrying about, Cath isn’t having the same college experience as her outgoing sister.
I had high expectations for Fangirl. Like ridiculously high. We all know how I flailed over Eleanor & Park. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Rowell’s next novel. Suffice it to say, my expectations were met and even exceeded. Fangirl is amazing, y’all.
Basically Fangirl is everything I thought New Adult was going to be. Clever dialogue, un-cliched characters, and a realistic college experience. Perfection. But the best part for me was Cath. I related to her SO MUCH. While she has much more anxiety than I do, I’ve felt a lot of the same things. When she gets to college, she doesn’t eat in the dining hall for a month because she doesn’t know where it is and doesn’t want to ask anyone. I had all kinds of dining hall anxieties when I got to college. What if I couldn’t find the people I came with? What if someone judged me about what I was eating? What if I had to eat alone?! Like Cath, I also have an extreme obsession. She lives in Simon Snow’s world; I’m a major Potterhead. Finding so much in common with Cath made it so easy to feel with her through all her family troubles and her difficulties fitting in at school.
I wasn’t sure how the twin relationship would be portrayed, but I loved it. I loved how Wren and Cath have such different college experiences. They may be twins, but they’re completely different people. Wren has a more typical college time, drinking and partying with her vapid roommate. They grow apart and grow back together.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a Rainbow Rowell novel without a swoon-worthy romance. Levi is sweet, friendly, and happy, the kind of open person that’s the opposite of Cath. I loved watching her slowly open up to him and by extension, to life in general. She starts to trust him with the deepest parts of herself, like her troubled family and her fanfiction stories.
PS. Does anyone else want to read the Simon Snow books now?
Fangirl is the perfect college contemporary novel. Read it, fall in love, and share it with everyone you know.