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Fangirl #1


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A coming-of-age tale of fanfiction, 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, 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 fanfiction, 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 fanfiction 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? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

483 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 10, 2013

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About the author

Rainbow Rowell

116 books139k followers
Rainbow Rowell writes all kinds of stuff.

Sometimes she writes about adults (ATTACHMENTS, LANDLINE).

Sometimes she writes about teenagers (ELEANOR & PARK, FANGIRL) .

Sometimes — actually, a lot of the time — she writes about lovesick vampires and guys with dragon wings. (THE SIMON SNOW TRILOGY).

Recently, she’s been writing comics, including her first graphic novel, PUMPKINHEADS, and the monthly SHE-HULK comic for Marvel.

She lives in Omaha, Nebraska.

More at rainbowrowell.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 57,817 reviews
September 8, 2016
Actual rating: 2.5
Levi said. “It’s hard for me to get my head around. It’s like hearing that Harry Potter is gay."
Ok, why the fuck are you referencing Harry Potter after having based the entire book around a fictionalized version of Harry Potter known as Simon Snow? Why?!

If you wanted a true sense of fandom, don't look for it here. Don't get me wrong, I liked this book, but it is a coming-of-age book that was misrepresented as a book about fandom. This would have been so much better if it had been merely sold as a coming-of-age without the fandom aspect, but as a book that tries to sell fandom on me, it doesn't remotely work.

I feel like this book represents online fandom in the way that The Big Bang Theory represents math geeks and engineers. It caricaturizes and mocks fangirls/boys for the enjoyment of the reader, and not much more. It does nothing to dispel the myths of the laughable socially inept fanboy/fangirl, and that's just a damned shame.

The first 20% of the book focused lightly on the fandom, and then the book kind of forgot about it with the exception of the "Simon Snow" excerpts, which were absolutely fucking pointless to the story as a whole.

The summary brought in the tantalizing question "Will Cath be able to leave Simon Snow behind?" That's just it! By that point in the book, we had almost forgotten completely about Simon Snow and Cath's involvement within the fandom! The story was enjoyable, and I absolutely loved the dynamics of the relationships between the characters, but that's it. I felt like it wasn't an adequate representation of being a fangirl.

Of course, if I'm going to complain about the representation of fangirls in the book, I should show some street cred. You name it, I've probably squee'd over it. Harry Potter. Anime. J-pop. K-pop. Computer games. Tabletop games. I have RPG-ed, I have MMO-ed, I have LARP-ed. From computer games like World of Warcraft, which took over 6 hours of my day while enrolled in a full college courseload (you don't know the meaning of fun until you've teamed up with 39 other people to take down a virtual monster while drunk), to rolling dice while pretending that I was a 8-year old crazy vampire child wielding a doll (I AIN'T EVEN SORRY).

Anime conventions. Gaming conventions. I've done them all.

I know what it's like to be a fangirl. I am proud of it. Even of moments like these.

I was in Anime Club, which is a rough club formed around people into gaming/anime/Asian cultures. Needless to say, we had plenty of weabos and otakus and strange people in general. There were a whole lot of socially awkward people there, including me. We were dorks, yeah, we weren't entirely comfortable in company outside our immediate circle, but we knew how to adapt (it's called looking around and doing what everyone else is doing, not exactly fucking rocket science). None of us gamers/geeks/assorted idiots have ever been so socially incompetent as Cath.

Social Ineptitude
“I can’t help it,” Reagan said. “You’re really pathetic.”
“I am not.”
“You are. You don’t have any friends, your sister dumped you, you’re a freaky eater...And you’ve got some weird thing about Simon Snow.”
If you looked up neuroses under the Psychiatric DSM IV, you would find Cath's picture in the title page.

This book does a disservice to fangirls in general by making Cath so incredibly, painfully socially incompetent. I would have liked this book better if it had remained a contemporary, instead, this book chooses to perpetuate the worst of beliefs about fangirls---which is to say, they're all fucking idiots who wouldn't know the word "normal" if it were summoned from a Patronus (god help you, my child, if you don't get that reference).

Cath is drawn to be the person who wouldn't last 5 seconds alone in the wilderness, let alone a college campus. She is terrified of social interactions. She stocks up on food so she wouldn't have to face the terrifying, the monstrous, the ever-so-menacing...dining hall.
Cath broke open a box of protein bars. She had four more boxes and three giant jars of peanut butter shoved under her bed. If she paced herself, she might not have to face the dining hall until October.
Her life revolves around her twin (Wren) and the Simon Snow series. Cath is not an appealing character. Her hyper-clumsiness aside, she just has no fucking common sense. In an upper-level Fiction Writing class, she tries to pass off fanfiction as her own work. She then tries to submit it for a grade.
“Our professor asked us to write a scene with an untrustworthy narrator. I wrote something about Simon and Baz...She didn’t get it. She thought it was plagiarism.” Cath forced herself to use that word, felt the tar wake up with a twist in her stomach.
Fucking brilliant.

Cath is sort of a Mary Sue. She goes off on a writing partner for writing a Mary Sue in his story, but if you think about it, Cath sort of is one herself. She's so brilliant that she gets into an upper-div writing class with a famous professor, and we never really see what kind of talent she has besides writing fanfiction. She is so good that an upperclassman wants to be her partner for it. Cath does nothing exemplary, and she's incredibly fucking weird, and regardless, a cute, a funny, a really awesome guy just wants her.

She doesn't think of herself as beautiful, but identical sister is referred to as "hot." HMMMMMMMMM.

What Fandom?! From what we hear, Cath spent all her time writing Simon Snow fanfiction and going to premieres and chatting with her twin about Simon Snow...but that was in high school. No more of that.

In fact, if you wanted to hear and learn about fandom, you'd be better off stopping at around 20% of the book. Because that's pretty much where life interferes. Except for a few brief moments of Cath reading and telling people about her fanfiction writing and about her love of fanfiction---we almost never hear about the "fangirl" aspect of the book again. This would have---and in fact, is, a completely solid book on dealing with family and friends and growing up. It's just NOT A BOOK ABOUT FANDOM BECAUSE THE FANDOM IS SOLIDLY RELEGATED TO THE BACKSEAT. YOU COULD GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT FANDOM ON WIKIPEDIA.

Where are all the forum discussions?

Where are all the interactions with fellow fans?

Where's the Tumblr?

Where's the talking to fellow friends online for hours and hours on end because you're both fangirling so much that words are spilling over and you are just so happy to find a fellow fan?

Where is the daydreaming?

Where is the magic?

What little of the fandom that existed in this book was restricted to Cath. Cath. Cath. The Great Cath. Where is the fucking COMMUNITY?

The greatest part about any fandom is the community. We're all on Goodreads here, we love the books, but almost as importantly, we love interacting with one another, we love knowing that somewhere out there, there are people who understand us.

This book doesn't represent that at all. It is solidly about Cath and her legions of fans. her 20,000 hits per fanfiction.net clone. Her full-of-it based on that fact. The fact that she, herself, has fans.
Cath tried not to let it all go to her head. These characters belong to Gemma T. Leslie, she wrote at the beginning of every new chapter.
This book is about a girl who is full of herself.

The Writing: It tries too hard to be quirky. It works, at times, but some moments, and some sentences just made me wince.
His eyes were set so deep, it made everything he said more intense.
His mouth was small, but bowed. Like a doll’s. She wondered if he had trouble opening it wide enough to eat apples.
What the fuck?!
He was wearing a thick, navy blue turtleneck sweater that made him look like he was serving on a Soviet battleship.
She heard the very beginning of a smile in his voice—a fetal smile—and it very nearly killed her.
I'd understand "fatal" smile, but "fetal?"
Inside, her internal organs were grinding themselves into nervous pulp. Her intestines were gone. Her kidneys were disintegrating. Her stomach was wringing itself out, yanking on her trachea.

The Good: I fucking loved the relationships between the characters in the book. Wren and Cath. Their father and the twins. Reagan and Cath. Levi and Cath. The relationships were wonderfully, beautifully written, honest and realistic. I love the love, anger, and resentment between Cath and Wren.
“Are you the older or younger twin?”
She shrugged. “It was a C-section. But Wren was bigger. She was stealing my juice or something. I had to stay in the hospital for three weeks after she went home.”
Cath didn’t tell him that sometimes she felt like Wren was still taking more than her fair share of life, like she was siphoning vitality off Cath—or like she was born with a bigger supply.
I adored their awesome, manic father. He is the sweetest, cutest dad. This may sound gross, but I kind of have a dad-crush on him.
“Cath? It’s your dad again. It’s still late, but I couldn’t wait to tell you this. You know how you guys want a bathroom upstairs? Your room is right over the bathroom. We could put in a trapdoor. And a ladder. It would be like a secret shortcut to the bathroom. Isn’t this a great idea? Call me. It’s your dad.”
Reagan and Cath's relationship was the most unexpected, and the sweetest. I love the rough-around-the-edges Reagan. I loved her strength, I love her take-no-prisoners approach when it comes to pulling Cath out of her hermitage, and I love Reagan's unexpected moments of vulnerability.
“No,” Reagan said, “we’ve got to get this out of the way. You can’t be jealous. And in return, I won’t flex my best-friend muscles just to remind myself that he loved me first.”
“Oh my God”—Cath clutched her comforter in disbelief—“would you actually do that?”
“I might,” Reagan said, leaning forward, her face as shocked as Cath’s. “In a moment of weakness. You’ve got to understand, I’ve been [his] favorite girl practically my whole life."
Overall: a solid book if you are willing to read it for what it actually is: a contemporary coming of age. This is not a book that accurately represents fandom.
Profile Image for "That's All" Ash.
157 reviews1,932 followers
September 12, 2013
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It’s like Rainbow Rowell writes in peanut butter and stolen moments and lazy eyelash wishes.

That’s the best and only way I can describe it.

It’s 433 pages of a guaranteed good day.

I’m so jealous of you guys right now, it’s crazy!

Because I can’t read this book for the first time again.

So when you finish it, and you’re just sitting there all thoughtful and wordless (grinning like an 8th grader with prom tickets)… You’re not alone. ;)

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This book’s about the good ol’ college experience.

*ahem*… The Realistic Kind.

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But more importantly, it’s about Cath Avery’s college experience and all the life lessons in between.

Cath is such a phenomenal character. Because she’s both tough and endearing. Plus, she has this super quick and snarky wit that’s freaking hilarious in every way possible! And she’s kind of this cool eccentric, totally awkward girl. I mean, she writes fan fiction and she’s famous (but anonymous) for it, people make her nervous (which is where that snarky wit of hers comes in), and she has a twin sister who’s also her best friend and is Cath’s total opposite.

But I think my favorite thing about Cath is that she’s so damn relatable! She worries about the same things you and I do (like, “Good god… what happens when and if I’m late to class? Should I knock? Just walk right in and give the professor my coffee and pretend that’s why I was late in the first place? Should I bearcrawl my way to my seat and hope no one notices?). Just random, stupid things like that but that totally make a difference when you’re in the moment, know what I mean?

And she’s always been so codependent on her fanfiction stories and on her very independent twin sister… that she gets to college and finds out that she can’t be that way anymore. She has to learn to speak up for herself, and to be that awkward girl, and to be totally okay with it!

So in a way, this book’s about first experiences (the good and the bad) and seeing it through the eyes of an awesome/awkward/totally kickass girl who’s both the girl she was and the girl she’s going to be.

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You’re also going to meet these completely hilarious and awesome characters… who aren’t just characters, they’re people full of character.

*Like Reagan, Cath’s dorm roomie.

She did everything so forcefully. She swung their door open; she slammed it shut. She was bigger than Cath, a little taller and lot more buxom (seriously, buxom). She just seemed bigger. On the inside, too.

*Wren, her sister.

Wren had always been the Social One. The Friendly One. The one who got invited to quinceaneras and birthday parties. But before—in junior high and high school—everyone knew that if you invited Wren, you got Cath. They were a package deal, even at dances. There were three years’ worth of photos, taken at every homecoming, of Cath and Wren standing with their dates under an archway of balloons or in front of a glittery curtain.

They were a package deal, period. Since always.

*Cath’s single-parent dad.


“Hey, Cath.”

“Dad. Why haven’t you called me? I left you a million messages.”

“You left me too many messages. You shouldn’t be calling me or even thinking about me. You’re in college now. Move on.”

“It’s just school, Dad. It’s not like we have irreconcilable differences.”

“Honey, I’ve watched a lot of 90210. The parents weren’t even on the show once Brandon and Brenda went to college. This is your time—you’re supposed to be going to frat parties and getting back together with Dylan.”

“Why does everyone want me to go to frat parties?”

“Who wants you to go to frat parties? I was just kidding. Don’t hang out with frat guys, Cath, they’re terrible. All they do is get drunk and watch 90210.”

*And there’s ♥Levi♥.

Levi’s definitely my runner-up for favorite character.

He’s not the hottest guy on campus and he’s not all broody and oozing sex appeal. He’s the guy you want to come home to when there are puddles rivering through the sidewalks, and he’s the cute guy you want to call when you’ve just had the best two minutes of your life and you want to tell someone, and he’s the cute and amazing guy you want to walk you home late at night and who’s going to open your doors for you and make you laugh when your lower lip’s trembling from trying to hold a bad day in.

Levi’s just that guy who every girl is going to meet, has already met, and wants to meet. Does that make sense? He’s realistic, because he’s completely imperfect and is perfect in the ways that matter.

Especially for Cath. They go from being acquaintances, to friends, and turn into something inseparable.

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And these two banter the entire way through that’s going to make you laugh and keep you laughing.

(talking about Wren, her twin sister, and Wren's boyfriend) "Maybe we should go on lots of double dates," Cath said, "and then we can get married on the same day in a double ceremony, in matching dresses, and the four of us will light the unity candle all at the same time."

"Pfft," Levi said, "I'm picking out my own dress."

The way these two characters intertwine with each other and evolve towards each other in the book is where the story really is. Because they go from bantering friends to two people who become solid in each other’s lives. Their relationship is sweet, funny, comfortable, and comforting. All in one. And there’s just this overall warmth about them when they’re together on the page.

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So we’re barely in September… and I’m already thinking about going ahead and giving this book the Best Book of the Year award. And I think I’m going to. Because books like this don’t come around too often and I’d be lucky to read a book like this in the next five years.

Fucking amazing.

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Profile Image for Steph Sinclair.
461 reviews11.1k followers
January 28, 2015
It's time for Rainbow Rowell and I to break up.

I didn't want to admit it, but after reading all of her books now, I can safely say her writing style just isn't for me. It's like that time I cheerfully broke up with Cassandra Clare, though, admittedly, over different reasons. But this time it hurts. It wounds me to realize that I can't join in with all my friends, ride the Rainbow iz Queen bandwagon, roll around in a meadow of flowers that magically whispers witty Rainbow Rowell quotes and feast at the Fangirl banquet. I know it may seem foolish to be disappointed. I mean, what can a person physically do? No book can be universally loved and I did give it the good old college try.

Here's the thing: For all intents and purposes, I should have loved Fangirl

The strange thing about my reading experience with Fangirl is that I actually deeply connected with all of the characters on a personal level. As a person who suffers from anxiety and has dealt with a father who was admitted to a mental hospital when I was a teen, I sympathized with Cath. I remembered those feelings of craving independence from my sibling as Wren did. I understand having an intense passion for a fandom and being at midnight parties, waiting for the next book in your favorite series. I even connected with Laura's inability to handle life as a mom. In a lot of ways, quite a few of the experiences these characters dealt with, I have dealt with. For that reason alone, I gave this book an extra star. Unfortunately, that was not enough for me.

Rainbow Rowell lives and breathes characters. They are fluid, realistic (for the most part... Eleanor & Park excluded), memorable, flawed, and relatable. These aren't the type of characters that stay on the page. They shout, scream and jump out at you because Rowell is just that good. But it's also her flaw because that's all she writes, characters. In fact, many times it feels like her stories have neither a beginning or an ending, with the reader viewing a piece of a character's life through a small window of time. So I'm convinced that Rowell can't plot her way out of a brown paper bag.

I know that might anger some of you, but hear me out.

Fangirl is a very character-driven novel and doesn't actually have a plot. Rowell's created these characters, placed them in situations and forced them to react to said situations. She's great at that. But where does the book go from there? Which direction are the characters moving? What are they moving towards? What's the goal of the novel? These are some questions I've asked myself through every one of her books. And I often feel like I'm floundering around in her prose like someone who's gone swimming in the ocean drunk. Everything around these characters is static. Only they move from point A to point B to further the story along. Because of this, if you don't happen to fall in love with the characters early on, the story doesn't work. Rainbow Rowell's characters ARE her stories.

One thing positive that came out of reading all of Rowell's books is that, I've learned that I am not the character-driven sort of reader. I'm more of a reader that needs a strong plot to see me to the end of the book. I can deal with unlikable characters or characters that have issues if the plot can save the day. I have the patience of a fruit fly and if I'm expected to sit around reading about a character who is waiting for something to happen to them, then forget it. You've lost me as a reader.

The second issue I had with Fangirl was Rowell, once again, tip-toeing around elephants in her stories. Her novels are so focused on her characters that she never addresses things that feel essential to the plot. With Fangirl is was the slash fic and how it relates to fandom. With Landline it was the magical phone. With Eleanor and Park it was race and Park's self acceptance. It's the same formula for each of her books over and over again.

Step 1: Develop characters for half the book!
Step 2: Introduce something heavy to center my quirky characters around something.
Step 3: End the book without tying up loose ends because they served my purpose and Honey Rainbow don't care.

It's the most frustrating thing about her books! It's like she dances around the heavy stuff on purpose! There is almost always something that feels deliberately left out, basically anything that could remotely make the story more interesting. Which leads me to my third point...

Fangirl is boring. While I could relate to Cath, she is the dullest person to read about ever. The only scenes that she showed life with was either with her dad or Levi when she suddenly had a personality and wanted to be witty. Those scenes were the best in the book and what kept me reading. But they were few and far between and I started to question why this book was over 400 pages. Not even the fan fiction or cute romance could save this book.

And let's talk about this Simon and Baz fan fiction. Clearly it is a homage to Harry Potter, yet, Harry Potter happens to exist in the same universe as Simon Snow? No, I don't buy that. That's a plotberg if I ever saw one. The fan fiction sections in the novel really didn't do much for me. This isn't because it wasn't good, but because it didn't have enough page time for me to attempt to connect with the Simon and Baz. I did feel like bashing my head in when Cath would read Levi the long sections of her fic, so I guess they did spawn some type of emotional reaction in me, albeit, not a positive one. Also, did Cath ever finish her fic? Rowell wrote so much about Simon and Baz and just completely left that open... AGAIN FRUSTRATING.

Side note: I'm really curious to see how Rowell manages to write Carry On, Cath's fan fiction of Simon Snow, without people directly comparing it to Harry Potter. I mean, essentially it's Draco/Harry fic. But since monetizing fan fiction is now a thing, *cough* Cassandra Clare, E.L. James *cough* who am I to stop her?

To conclude, Fangirl ultimately let me down, but I'm not entirely disappointed that I read it. I learned something about myself as a reader and I did gain a few good laughs from the clever banter. I wouldn't call this a terrible book, and hey, it was better than Eleanor and Park. So there's always that.

I'm such a goddamn hipster, I swear.

More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuddlebuggery.
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
October 4, 2015
“Real life was something happening in her peripheral vision.”

I enjoyed Fangirl. Though the way I feel about it is almost exactly how I feel about Eleanor & Park. They are both cute books with complex, well-developed characters, and yet I feel like something is missing that just holds both books back from being truly memorable.

Rowell writes quirky, detailed characters that are different and honest. I liked the antisocial, awkward and weird Cath. I thought her story - both as a popular fanfic writer and as a new college student - seemed very unique and it was, for the most part, enjoyable, funny and occasionally moving. I have my own history of social awkwardness so I related to a lot of the strange and hilarious things she did.

Some readers didn't like Cath's desire to hole up in her room and eat protein bars because she wanted to avoid the awkwardness of the cafeteria, but this wasn't an issue for me. Unfortunately, I get these little things that plague us socially awkward people. I actually found it quite endearing.

And, unlike some other readers, I enjoyed the fanfiction aspect. I've never been much of a fanfic reader/writer myself, but I have been the kind of person who has been completely obsessed with a fandom, and I have never read a book that has done anything quite like this one. Props for creativity.

So... yes, I like the characters, and yes, I like the dialogue, but I feel there is something lacking in the plot/story arc of the two Rowell books I've read. I guess they are introspective "coming-of-age" books that don't really have much of a story, and I tend to feel like not much has happened or been achieved by the novel's close.

It's odd, though, because I often enjoy character-driven stories. For some reason, with Rowell, it never seems to be enough. I quite like her books while I'm reading them, but I get the impression that in a month's time, I won't be able to name a single character from this book.

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Profile Image for Kristin (KC).
251 reviews25.1k followers
September 4, 2018
*6 Stars!*

I loved this story to infinity and beyond...

My favorite types of books are the ones that speak to you; directly to the reader. The ones that resonate so deeply within your psyche that you feel as though you're actually learning things about yourself in the process.

That is exactly what I experienced while reading Fangirl. If you were to judge by the cover and blurb alone, you may think this story is nothing but a quirky, fun read about an interesting girl addicted to writing fanfic. But I persuade you to take a peek inside, because it's really so much more...

There is nothing over-the-top about this plot; no heavy drama infiltrating these pages. This story thrives in its delicate simplicity—and offers power through its unique relatibility.

Whether you find yourself in the insecure girl who's afraid of life; the happy-go-lucky guy always ready with a smile; the self-centered sister; the deceitful friend; the emotionally disabled dad; the outspoken, honest roommate; the talented but uncertain writer; the intellectual or the one who falls short; the life of the party or the one hiding in the shadows—there are bits and pieces of everyone scattered throughout this story; representing all the highs and lows that make us exactly who we are.

Cath is an introvert whose discomfort with social settings leaves her dwelling in the backdrop of real life. She has become at ease hiding within her fanfic stories: a world that holds her captive and lives on through her writings. Her insecurities equally broke and warmed my heart. I loved the way fan-fiction was explored and dissected; really presenting a good feel of its value.

Sometimes writing is running downhill, your fingers jerking behind you on the keyboard the way your legs do when they can't keep up with gravity.

Levi is the lovable guy who lights up a room with kind words and a perpetual smile. His character was genuine and honest, and won me over instantly. He is the first person Cath meets as she reluctantly moves into her dorm to begin her first year of college, and his charm became contagious.

The relationship between Cath and Levi was gentle and slow building. Levi initially gave off subtle and sweet hints of his interest, and I liked that you didn't see this relationship forming from a mile away. It was more about their solid bond than a steamy connection, and was a refreshingly honest portrayal of a young relationship.

And here's where the story skyrockets to that unreachable 6th star: The writing. It was genius. Clever and unique and so entirely captivating that heaps of drama weren't present OR needed. It was fluid and natural, allowing every situation to become relatable. The dialogue was witty and funny, with an effortless feel. There were pockets of insight that were never in your face, but hidden...waiting for the right moment to present itself, and I LOVED IT.

And sometimes you held somebody's hand just to prove that you were still alive, and that another human being was there to testify to that fact.

Although this story seems like a fun read—and it certainly was—there was a distinct and subtle coating of sadness. Nothing major, or heartbreaking—just the raw honesty of life creeping up to sideswipe you. Broken families; feelings of not being good enough, smart enough, pretty enough--it all became so emotional and life-like.

Fangirl definitely breaks the mold and doesn't display the standard rise and fall outline. It was steady...with random bumps in the road; like life. No dramatic peaks or disastrous downhill plummets for emphasis. It was easy. And that was the beauty of it. And then it just ended. No climactic finale or highly distinctive finish. There was a certain amount of closure, but the story felt like it was still moving even after the last page was swiped. As if it continues...just like Cath's fanfic.

And I hope it does.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Book Stats:
▪ Genre/Category: YA/NA Romance
▪ Romance: Slow burn. Friendship first. Drama-free.
▪ Characters: Relatable and distinctive.
• Plot: Centers on a college introvert who writes fanfic coming out of her shell.
▪ Writing: Witty, fluid, unique, gripping.
▪ POV: 3rd Person Perspective
▪ Cliffhanger: None/Standalone
Profile Image for Zoë.
328 reviews65.8k followers
October 25, 2015
Reread October 2015: AHHHHH I felt all the love for this book that I felt the first time plus more! I love everything about this book and I want to reread it again immediately ;D

Original review from December 2013: Fangirl was so cute and relatable! I loved every single character and their relationships with each other. Rainbow Rowell's writing style is wonderful and I can't wait to read more books from her!
Profile Image for Maria.
67 reviews8,578 followers
March 26, 2019
4.2/5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

“To really be a nerd, she'd decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one.”

― Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl

I honestly adored this book. I adored the complex characters, the fandom aspect, the writing, the setting, the romance. This book was a true delight. I got a bit confused, at first, with the narration of this book being in third person, while most books of this genre are written in first person, but fan fics are always written in third person. I hope Rainbow did this on purpose, as she said in her interview at the end of my copy of the book that she read lots of fanfics before writing this book. Fingers crossed.

We start off with Cath. A character with social anxiety, a fangirl, a writer, a loner, a character which at the beginning of the book was exactly like I was at her age. And then progressed as a person, made friends, got a boyfriend all that with keeping her true identity as a fangirl. Something I did, too. I feel like the author kind of forgot about Cath's social anxiety after the middle of the book. I don't know if it was intentional. It probably was. But you don't just get rid of social anxiety like that. It gets better but it's an on going battle.

I have been a fangirl all my life. Even before I knew about fandom. I discovered the concept of fandoms in 2012 when I made my Tumblr blog. Fanfics, GIFs, fan arts, OTPs e.t.c. have been a part of me. I have had a very successful blog on Tumblr, been making GIFs for years for multiple fandoms I have loved and have always been keeping it a secret. Just as Cath did with her fan fiction persona. I so related to that I wanted to scream. And like Cath, after years, I found the right people to share my blog with, my love for fandoms, this world that was always been for myself and people online that I knew. And I'm so glad we both found people who didn't judge us for this, joined us or didn't understand it but are always there for us. And it makes me even prouder to be a geek than I was before.

We're moving on to Simon Snow. A hymn to Harry Potter and J. K. Rowling and Hogwarts. The books and movie series the sisters were in love with since always. Something I related to so much too. I think if I read the book back then when it first got published I would relate to it even more. It was the start of my fandom life and now I have grown a tiny bit out of it because of how life is and I was head on invested in everything back then. I'm still in fandom, but a tiny bit from afar now. I still make GIFs though and read fics.

I think Baz was supposed to be Draco. Call me stupid if I didn't find that obvious but it came to me after a while. Like how Baz called Simon "Snow" and not Simon. Like Draco called Harry "Potter". Or how Simon was trying to discover something sneaky Baz was doing and had an obsession with him. Like Harry in book six with Draco. I had never shipped Drarry but I totally ship Simon and Baz. Rainbow made them their own characters and the world her own. It wasn't just Harry Potter but it was inspired by it and it became something more. That's why the author continued and made a whole book out of this world. Cause it felt so much more special.

Now let's talk about some real life important issues the author tackled. Social anxiety, bi polar depression and alcoholism. I can't exactly say she handled them amazingly but I'm glad she added them. She didn't make her novel a flat out fluffy contemporary romance about a girl who likes a book series, writes fan fiction and is going off to college to new adventures. She added depth and I think the book would be much less without those aspects.

And now... *drum roll* THE ROMANCE. THE FUCKING ROMANCE. I WANT A LEVI. CAN SOMEONE BUY ME A LEVI? At first I shipped Cath and Nick. Like come on, you all did. Before he became a massive bitch ass fuckward. He was nice and they were both writers who worked together on a piece and that's only what united them. I didn't feel a spark between them or anything but it was the safest thing to ship. I always have to ship something guys, I'M A FANGIRL GODDAMMIT. And then... LEVI. Reagan's "boyfriend" out of many. The always smiling Levi who lets Cath read him fanfiction and get invested in her world. This little puppy who fell in love but didn't know what to do about it. I just loved him so fucking much. YOU GO GIRL!

I loved the humor of this book too. Some one liners were hilarious. Their dad was hilarious. FUCKING KELLY. (Also why so many names in this book that are mostly used for men used for women I always got confused). I remember this line that I laughed so hard about for some reason "Are you Cody or are you Zack?". Definitely Cath is Cody and Zack is Wren. And Cody was always my favorite. Also, the most amazing reference to the Harry Potter movies. When Cath, Wren and their dad were watching the fourth installment of Simon Snow and Cath was thinking "All the boys had longer hair in this one." I FUCKING LOST IT. Everyone had longer, ugly fucking hair in Goblet of Fire for some reason no one will ever understand.

This book made me hate and love characters with a burning passion. And I always love to do that.

Love list:

Their dad
The professor

Hate list:

Fuckward Nick
Their absent mother

Yes, Wren is on the hate list. Her "redemption" at the end didn't convince me. I hated the way she treated Cath like everything was her fault, like she had to be like her to live a good 18 year old college life. You'd expect Reagan to be the hated character but she wasn't. She was loyal and a good friend to Cath, despite her harsh tone sometimes. But Wren was selfish and only wanted to live her life despite everything. And then she got a huge ass slap in the face. I so wanted their dad to not let her finish school but it wasn't going to happen.

To conclude everything, I think this book was solid. It did some things wrong but it did most things right. I will read "Carry on" next to delve into the world of Simon and Baz. I'm really excited about this, to be honest. An alternative version of Harry Potter, the fucking King 👑 of books, is always something I love to read. Till the next one K BYE!
Profile Image for Gabby.
1,304 reviews27.9k followers
April 18, 2023
Soooo, I just finished my 5th reread of this book, it's officially my most reread book of all time. This year is the 10th year anniversary of this book and it's also my ten year high school reunion this year as well, so it felt like a good time to reread and I'm so glad I did. Even all these years later I feel so SEEN by Cath. This book feels like home to me. It makes me feel okay to be myself. Nobody GETS IT like Cath. I made this video a few years ago now about why I love this book so much and what it means to me and I 100% stand by everything I said in this review: https://youtu.be/fcLLwT2fIxs


I just finished rereading this book for the third time, and honestly this book is just everything. It's officially my most reread book of all time, and I just love and adore Cath so much - she's the most relatable character of all time to me. This time around I loved it even more and I forgot how much I love Levi and Ragen and her Dad. Her complicated relationship with Wren actually hit petty close to home this time around, and parts of this book made me cry. Ugh I just loved it so fucking much. I want to read this book once every two years.


I just finished reading this for the second time, and I stand by this review 100%. I love this book with all my heart, and I still think Cath is my most relatable character of all time. This story really hits home for me because like Cath, I am also incredibly awkward and scared of growing up and still in college and I used to write fanfiction with my sister. Reading from Cath's perspective is a lot like reading through my own perspective of life.

Oh my gosh. This book was like a breath of fresh air. I have never been able to relate to a character as much as I relate to Cath. I understand. This book made me feel so nostalgic in a great way. I am also a freshman in college right now, so that made it even more easy to relate to Cath. In 8th-11th grade, I wrote tons and tons of fanfictions about the Jonas Brothers. I know it's not exactly the same, but I totally get it. Me and my sister used to write one together and we would get tons of hits on it, so this story really hit home for me. Especially with the whole "Simon Snow series coming to an end" and the Jonas Brothers breaking up last year, I get it. It's extremely emotional when something you love comes to an end.

I've never read about a character who experiences social anxieties the way Cath does, and it's so refreshing. I experience social anxiety myself, and I am just like her, I don't go to parties and I'd rather stay in my room on my laptop. The way she thinks and talks is just so perfect. One of the quotes that really stood out to me, is when her Dad asks her why she is unhappy and she responds, "It's just everything. There are too many people. And I don't fit in. I don't know how to be." and I just relate to it so much.I am a social outcast a my college and as I was reading that I had to stop myself from saying "PREACH" out loud. Cath just gets it. And reading about her made me feel less alone.

Another line I love is when Cath says "And the more that I care about someone, the more sure I am they're going to get tired of me and take off," because I get it, and that's the same reason why I have trouble getting close to people. Cause I fear that I will disappoint them or they will get bored of me. And another quote from this book that I loved is when it says "Real life was something happening in her peripheral vision." I love that because it's so true. I get so lost in a book or another world that I forgot how dull real life is, and I love how Cath realizes that. I can't express enough how much I relate to Cath and how much her character meant to me. Especially how she has her room covered floor to ceiling in Simon Snow posters and she has pillow cases of him and all that, same here! I literally had Jonas Brothers posters that covered the wall and you couldn't even see what colors the walls were. I had blankets, pillows, t-shirts, CD's, pencils, backpacks, I mean anything you could think of, I had something with the Jonas Brothers on it. She was so relate-able in that way. And when she went to the midnight release of the Simon Snow books, I went to the midnight release of the Jonas Brothers new albums. Rainbow Rowell accurately represents the life of a fangirl through Cath and I love that so much.

I love her and Levi's adorable scenes. I laughed out loud sometimes at how awkwardly cute their scenes are together and I enjoyed all of it. Her and Wren's relationship developed so much throughout the story and it made my heart hurt sometimes. Me and my sister are literally best friends, and I can't imagine being that distant with a sister. I have experienced situations like that with best friends before where you stop talking for a while and it's weird and awkward and it's the worst. But I was really impressed with the complexity of their relationship, and to see how Wren and Cath developed as characters throughout the story. And the way it ended was so subtle and yet so perfect. I teared up a couple times at the end just because it was making me feel nostalgic and giving me so many memories of life when I was a hard core fangirl.

Overall, I just really adore this book. Cath's character is the most relate-able character I've ever read, and it was honestly so nice to read about a character who is so similar to me in so many ways. Rainbow Rowell understands what it's like to not fit in and what it's like to have your entire world revolve around a fandom and I really appreciate that. And this book really makes me want to write fanfiction again, it's just so inspiring. I want to reread this book every couple of years to remind myself it's okay to be awkward and remember how incredible this book is.
Profile Image for emma.
1,869 reviews54.6k followers
December 30, 2022
Exactly one star less worthy-of-fangirling than I remember it being. Still fun. Not life-changing. But we’ll get there. (I think that’s like, my new catchphrase. I’ve said that so many times in my recent reviews. I had always hoped when I got a catchphrase, it’d be something cooler. I don’t have an example of a cooler one - if I did, don’t you think I’d be using it?!)


Let’s talk about what’s changed since I first read this book. First off:

Technically speaking. I’m still incredibly youthful. And have very few responsibilities. Or at least live my life as if I have none. But legally, tragically, I have reached adulthood.

When I first read this, even though it was only a few years ago, I had No Semblance of maturity. I was very far from my freshman year of college (which is the surrounding storyline of this book), I was either into Justin Bieber or One Direction, probably, and I think I was into fanfiction.

Now, I am very not all of those things. I just finished out my freshman year, it’s been a long time since my male-teen-pop-sensation-fandom days, and fanfiction really, really makes me cringe. Also, I didn’t hate books all the time then.

A very different mindset, see?

Shall we start with the good stuff, though? I’m giving this four stars, guys. There was a lot of good stuff.

First off, I’m obsessed with Reagan. OB. SESSED. For the approximately 3 people on Goodreads who haven’t read this book, we follow Cath, a dweeby anxious fanfiction sensation entering her freshman year of college with her twin, Wren, who we are constantly told is the cooler/hotter/more confident sister. Anyway. Reagan is Cath’s roommate, who is super pissed at this living situation and has exactly none of Cath’s nonsense. She is so mean and badass and clearly could not give a sh*t about anything. While Cath is holing up in her room, she’s going out and having fun CONSTANTLY. Also she’s smart. She’s a less-creepy April Ludgate and I love her. I want to be her.

My favorite Reagan moment is when Cath keeps talking about how she’s not the ~type of girl~ who steals someone’s boyfriend and how Levi (we’ll get to him) would never date a ~girl like her~, Reagan just keeps saying, “The girl kind?” Because, you know, GIRLS DON’T COME IN TYPES.

There’s more good stuff, too! I can hardly believe it. Okay, so yes, the good stuff is mainly Levi. But he’s really great.

Levi is the love interest of this book. He is very fantastic. Just a total sweetheart and a charmer. Why aren’t there more adorable twenty-one-year-olds with receding hairlines in this world??? Anyway. If you pick up this book for one reason, let that reason be Leviiiiii.

More good things, more good things...I’m kinda blanking. There are a lot of descriptions of delicious-sounding Mexican food in this, which made me hungry and now I really want a burrito thanks.

I also pretty much flew through this book. Two sittings-ish, which isn’t bad for 400+ pages. (We’ll get to the length.) And it was fun, for the most part! So that’s a big positive.

Aw. (You can’t see me, but I’m frowning.) I think it’s time to get to the bad stuff now. Which makes me sad. Because I didn’t think there would be any bad stuff. (Don’t @ me about my unrealistic expectations; I’m still giving this FOUR STARS.)

First, I have to say: I almost reread this in August, during my college orientation, and I’m SO GLAD I DIDN’T. Rowell does a brilliant job of capturing Cath’s anxiety (although it’s undiagnosed, which isn’t actually great mental illness rep). The downside is it made me, as a reader, also feel that anxiety, and if I had felt that way going into college you can BEST BELIEVE it would not have turned out well.

Also, there are just some things about this book that are mildly stupid. I unlocked this knowledge after actually, you know, attending a college. Like, for one, who lets a freshman into a junior-level English class just because she asked? A freshman who doesn’t even know the professors yet? Wild. I barely got bumped into a sophomore-level class even when I knew the instructor super well.

And now that I’m thinking of it, who offers intro to fiction writing at the junior level?! That SHOULD be a freshman class. There’s gotta be a better way to let the audience know that Cath is talented. Ugh, God, can you imagine being a junior who’s worked their ass off to get into that class and some nobody freshman shows up and submits fanfiction as an assignment? I’d DIE.

Which, like, speaking of...of freaking course you can’t submit fanfiction as an assignment. That is inSANE to me. Are there people who could think that is okay? The secondhand embarrassment I got when Cath submitted gay smut about two wizards in a book series for children to a respected novelist...my God.

And about those children’s-book-series-wizards. The fictional series within this book, Simon Snow, just IS Harry Potter. There’s a Harry equivalent, a Draco, a Hermione, a Dumbledore, a Cho, a Voldemort, even a flippin’ Viktor Krum, and it all happens in a knockoff Hogwarts. It didn’t bug me the first time I read this book, or when I read Carry On, but the fact that Harry Potter also exists in this universe doesn’t add up. Why wouldn’t it be mentioned more than once, anyway? At least with someone being like, hey, did anyone else notice that these books are the same? Bleh.

I got all that information from the fanfiction mentioned in the first quarter of this book. Because after that, I stopped reading it. I got bored. I don’t care about Simon Snow, or Cath’s fanfiction empire. (How did I make it through Carry On? That’s literally all that is.)

Other bad stuff...Oh, yeah. The first chunk of this book features a sh*t ton of rape jokes. Like, of the “Don’t get raped!” variety. Which is just in poor taste.

I also am suuuper not into either of the twins. Cath is a total wet blanket, and Wren is dumb. Cath never does anything, and when Wren gets alcohol poisoning, she’s all, “It’s fine!!!” They’re both way too extreme. Just let Wren party once in awhile, and let Cath make a friend or two. Jesus. Could be kind of exhausting. Some of this is solved through character development, and their exhaustinglyyyy extra relationship gets better, but it’s a bumpy ride.

I also didn’t really...feel the chemistry between Cath and Levi? At some points I felt the angst, but not the SPARK. Their relationship just seems really hard. Instead of the typical oh-my-god-did-you-cheat-on-me-do-you-like-someone-else-I-can’t-be-with-you will-they-won’t-they drama of most contemporaries, this book just spent a bunch of time on Cath and Levi slowlyyyy, painfullyyyyy settling into a relationship. Which, like, not interested. Boring at best and upsetting at worst. (Not often the latter; I didn’t care that much.)

The last thing: This book is very, very, VERY long. At its best, I wanted it to be 10,000 pages/live inside it/neverever finish, but when it was more boring and I reality checked myself before I wrecked myself, I was all, “This could be 200 pages shorter."


Bottom line: I just complained SO MUCH (is anyone surprised?) but this was actually...fun.
Profile Image for Cecile.
192 reviews68 followers
October 12, 2014

This review is long (even for me) and if you liked the book, you probably shouldn’t bother with it. (And yes, before you ask, the titles do refer to fangirling lore)

1. My Body is Ready

I was quite excited to read Fangirl, at first. Trusted GR friends have loved this book, and I thought it would actually be -a bit- about the fangirling life (which I have been living fully for a year and a half, so I was like “Oooh, my ELEMENT, yay!”)

Dear Got in Himmel, was I wrong.

Anyway. Let the Games Reviewing begin.

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2. OMG You did NOT just GO THERE

You see, what’s her name (God, when I dislike the book I just can’t remember main characters. Cath was it?) supposedly fangirls over are a fictionalized version of Harry Potter. It consists of 8 books revolving around a boy wizard chosen to defeat...something. Ring any bells? This immediately annoyed me because everyone who’s hasn't lived in a cave for the past 20 years knows about Harry Potter. So to recreate an obvious copy of that for book purposes is weird to say the least. Writing bits of said, um, copy is even more unnerving because who cares about teeny tiny excerpts of a non-existing book which copies another one? Adding other, fanfiction excerpts based upon this non-existing copy of a book is just ridiculous.

And I was willing to let go of the obvious HP plagiarism if for copyright reasons the author couldn’t include excerpts (which were pointless but let’s go with it) or names or whatever. But then the author confirmed what I was already thinking and I swear I wanted to throw my reader against the wall.



Well then. Anyone who’s read Harry Potter semi-carefully knows that line. EVERYONE.

And then (in case people were still wondering) this:

"It’s like hearing that Harry Potter [...]

(This, by the way, is the opposite of fangirling. Well it’s fangirling, but negatively. You know, in defense of something you love)

Seriously. Whoever let this be a part of the book and let it be so atrociously done does not deserve to give anyone advice.

3. What is air? What is life?

To top all that, the general writing isn’t good.

“His eyes were set so deep, it made everything he said more intense.”
Say what?
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“since Wren drunked at her.”
Um, again, what?!
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“His lips were thin but dark, the same color as the inside of his mouth”
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I know, technically this exists, but it hurts my eyes. IT’S EXPLOITATIVE

*lies down in order to recuperate*

The writing of the Simon Snow excerpts is terrible.

“my fair share of apple-cheeked protagonism”

*cause of death: cringing*

“She knew she was lovely, and she shared it like a gift. Every smile from Agatha was like waking up to a perfect sunny day. Agatha knew it. And she smiled at everyone who crossed her path, as if it were the most generous thing she could offer.”

*suddenly resuscitates (because maybe I died in the Murder House from AHS and now I’m haunting it with the rest of the ghosts. Like Tate. Oh Tate…) and dies AGAIN*

The writing of the Simon Snow Fanfiction parts is abysmal.

“Anyway, it was totally forgivable because woodfoul and spiders and rats.”
It is NOT OK to write in that manner in something you consider a “book”, this isn’t Twitter! (Also, woodfoul?!)

“Simon twisted his lips to one side”
What? How? OMG.

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Also, for your pleasure, a bit of a recap of all the times eyes/hair are mentioned in either SS or FF SS.

Thingy #1 (I can’t be bothered to research the storyception names, sorry)‘s hair/eyes

- cold, grey eyes
- pearl grey eyes
- slick, black hair
- dark-haired boy
- his smoky grey eyes
- his long face as grey as his eyes in the gloaming.
- He flicked his black hair
- his grey eyes glinting

Thingy #2’s hair/eyes

- Simon’s caramel brown hair.
- his eyes as wide and blue as the Eighth Sea
- it did nothing to dim his blue eyes or blunt his glare.
- the thick fall of bronze hair partially trapped in his goggles

And other people’s hair/eyes:
- girl with the red hair
- She had pigtails and old-fashioned pointy spectacles


I don’t know, maybe I’m doing the whole life thing wrong. Should I have started my review with “Hi, I’m Cecile with dark-blonde-but-sometimes-not-so-blonde-but-the-tips-are-lighter-hair with blue-with-hazel-specks-but-sit-depends-on-the-lighting eyes and I’ll be boring you reviewing this book.” No?

I still don’t know if the quality of the FF writing in Fangirl is on purpose to show how bad fanfiction can be but considering the theme of the book I’m betting the irony wouldn’t go that far. (Unfortunately)

Which brings me to the next part.

4. *dying whale noise*

Naming this book “Fangirl” was ridiculous. If you haven’t ever fangirled over anything you’re bound to find it stupid because you probably find fangirls annoying or don’t even know what it refers too. Or you just assume they’re rabid 12 year-old fans who obsess over boy-band members/actors, etc. Which happens, but that's really not what fangirling is about.

If you are in a fandom however, you will likely be insulted by this book and its misrepresentation of the whole process. Which, you’ll have guessed, is what happened to me.

I. Am. A. Fangirl.

I didn’t think I’d ever be, but then I read The Trilogy. Oh wait, should I call it by some incredibly subtle code-name? Such as The Arena Paradox ? The Panem Diversion? The Katniss Paradigm? No I am not just picking BBT episode titles at random and adding HG stuff to it

Anyway. I’m a fangirl and I love it, being in the fandom has brought me a lot of wonderful moments and enabled me to meet amazing people who have become friends. There’s nothing quite like having a simultaneous meltdown with thousands of others because a trailer has just come out for the movie based upon one of your favorite books.

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Especially when you’ve stayed up most of the night to see it.

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And you end up sobbing with everyone else because of all the perfection.

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This book, however, clearly has no idea of what it is to actually be in a fandom. It is not, as it tries to make us believe “writing fanfiction”. Some of the fans do that, true, but being a fangirl certainly CANNOT be defined by writing fanfiction. Although I do read some, I tend to be very picky about it because no one ever comes close to writing as well as the author or staying perfectly canon and in character. So I prefer Alternate Universe fics because it allows more disgressions from the initial story and I'm more forgiving about it.

That being said, for an author to write a book heavily featuring fanfiction and establishing that that’s basically all the fangirls do… nope.

Especially considering how Fangirl is written. The “book” parts (as opposed to the “FF" parts) are still terrible. They read like fanfiction. And it’s awful.

5. Don’t even TOUCH me

Moving on. Another huge problem in this book was the main character. Cath. Or Cather (seriously, how do you even pronounce that?)

Never mind her being as naïve as…as… well, being super naïve (the ridiculous metaphor Inspiration Gods are on vaycay apparently), I just couldn’t stand her point of view on fanfiction. I know it’s the point of the book but regardless, after the whole Mortal Instruments debacle and fanfiction readers generally being all “Yeah, this feels SO canon, it’s like the author wrote it, OMG you’re so talented” I tend to balk whenever it comes up.

Anyway. This just about killed me:

“She didn’t get it. She thought it was plagiarism” [Cath, getting called out for submitting fanfiction as an assignment]

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It IS plagirism, you idiot. It's fine if you do it for your pleasure, but if you start submitting it for school assignments it can lead to other, despicable stuff, pretty fast. (I suggest you read about the Cassandra Clare debacle in case this isn't clear)

6. sobbing/flailing/screeching

Now I'm rating this 1* because it annoyed me a lot but it's more of a 1.5* (how generous of me, right?)

The second half of the book wasn’t as bad. In fact, if the first part had been dropped along with any mention of Simon Snow, fanfiction and Nowhere-to-be-found-Nick, and only the second half had remained, I might have gone up to 2.5*. The romance part was really quite cute.

It got ruined, however, by the numerous descriptions of *scratches head, tries to remember the name* Levi, and his “long face”, “feathery (I know, I know, bear with me) blonde hair” and the general impression that he was so far from someone that would ever make me fangirl swoon, physically that I just couldn’t ever add him to my Best Book Boyfriends list. But it was still cute and fluffy. And it explains why I finally decided to give Eleanor and Park a shot and I really liked that one. So. Not all is lost (except my brain cells and inner voice, who’s been screaming in all caps ever since the first Simon Snow sentence) I guess.

Anyway. I’m off to fangirl some more (in the true sense of the word) about Catching Fire, ‘Kthxbye!

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March 24, 2022

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I'm an introvert. A lot of people don't think I am because I'm very involved in a lot of things - I'm in a lot of clubs, I host a book club (IRL and online), and I like to plan parties for people. But I am an introvert, because too much socializing exhausts me, and I need a few days to kick back and just curl up with a book to recover. It's not that I'm antisocial, it's just how I am. I love being with people, but I can't do it all the time. In middle and high school, I also had social anxiety, to the point where I would sometimes try to call in sick on days when I had oral reports. As soon as I got up in front of everyone, I'd shake so hard I could barely stand upright. I would sometimes skip lunch so I could sit in the library and not talk to anyone.

Writing empowered me to find something in myself as a young teen that made me feel really special and talented. I didn't have the best self-esteem growing up, so every review I received on my works when I posted them online made me feel really good about myself. Sometimes, I'd have a bad day, and then I'd read something really nice and then suddenly everything would be all right again, because someone had read something I'd written and found it meaningful in some small way. Connecting with the reading and blogging community also let me find people who shared my interests and reinforced that my opinions mattered. I joined Goodreads as an older teen (19) and quickly, it became a place where I felt that I could be myself. Now, nearly ten years later, I feel perfectly secure in who I am as a person. And while there are many factors that contributed to this, such as finding a good job and earning my own income, and going to a good school, I also credit my writing and my friends in the blogging community as well to contributing to that developed sense of self and self-confidence. When I read the summary for FANGIRL, I was excited initially because FANGIRL was about an introverted, socially phobic girl who found empowerment in writing and in her fandom. I am also an introverted girl who found empowerment in writing and in her fandom. I even wrote fanfiction many, many years ago - Inuyasha, if you're curious - although obviously (wink), I gave that up and switched to original fiction. I thought, "This is going to be a book about a character who is just like me! There is no way that this cannot be good! I am going to read this and feel all the feels and it will be great"

Reader, this book was some serious, mega kind of BS.

I have not hated a character as much as I hated Cath in a long time. I think the last time I encountered a trash person who achieved Dumpster-Grade status was in Molly McAdams's SHARING YOU, another book that let me seething. The difference between the two is that SHARING YOU doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is - a guilty pleasure sort of soap opera 'romance' - while FANGIRL basks in its own inflated self of self-importance, featuring a selfish, whiny, genuinely antisocial main character who is so far up her own rear end that she couldn't find her way out with a spelunking team and a searchlight.

Cath whines nonstop about going to college. She whines about her sister, Wren, not rooming with her. She whines at the idea of being forced to socialize. She judges the heck out of her roommate, Reagan. She locks her roommate's friend, Levi, out of their room, leaving him outside to wait for hours in the hall but not before she basically calls him 'rapey.' She whines about her sister not wanting to read or help her with her stupid fanfiction anymore. She describes somebody like this: "He looked like someone with a steerage ticket on the Titanic. Somebody who'd be standing in line at Ellis Island. Undiluted and old-blooded" (31). She whines about her fanfic readers being too demanding and when she's not acting like her fic has a greater place in her life than her education or even her friends, seems totally ungrateful about her 30,000+ readership. She turns in a fanfic for her ORIGINAL FICTION class and is SHOCKED when the professor gives her an F. Then she argues with the professor over what constitutes original writing. This is a professor who has already allowed Cath to take a class that isn't generally open to freshmen, by the way. She makes fun of someone for reading a "kids' book." She bursts into tears every time someone insults her fandom, acting like it's completely off-limits, when she uses it as an emotional crutch to compensate for her lack of healthy relationships or hobbies. She is upset when her sister gets her t-shirts for Christmas and the shirts aren't fandom shirts. She makes out with her roommate's boyfriend and then says "I'm not that kind of girl." She voluntarily helps this guy in her writing class with his stories, but is condescending AF. Then when she finds out he plans on turning it in for his final assignment, she tries to stop him because it's "her" work too. Then she rats him out to her professor, he gets fired from being teacher's assistant. Oh, and guess what? At the end of the book, his story gets considered for a magazine but the professor (the same one Cath argued with) won't let him publish it unless Cath agrees. Cath refuses, while all of her friends smirk and jeer at him. Which is pretty ironic, considering Cath has her sister help her on her precious fic, and even though Wren is credited on their past works, I don't believe she isn't credited on the most recent story. Cath gets into another argument with her professor over original work, and even though her professor gives her a chance for an extension, Cath considers throwing that all away because she wants to finish her fic before the author of her precious fandom publishes the last book. She gets into a fight with Levi over it, who threatens not to talk to her until the book drops. She cries, but of course, Levi ends up relenting. I would have said sayonara, but that's me. Anyone who's willing to throw their life away over fandom doesn't have their priorities sorted out. She calls Aretha Franklin a "diva" and yet says this of herself: "[W]hen I'm writing Gemma T. Leslie's characters, sometimes, in some ways, I AM better than her." To her professor.

Oh. Oh. Oh.

And the BEST PART OF ALL? Cath decides last minute that maybe she shouldn't completely screw herself on her creative writing assignment, so she writes a last-minute story about her mommy issues (which are also done really badly, and feature a lot of Cath-whining). Her last-minute story ends up winning and getting published in the same magazine she blocked that guy in her creative writing class from publishing in. ISN'T THAT BLEEPING GREAT?

So what is the moral of this story? You can treat people like garbage and be considered adorable, quirky, and eccentric as long as you make sure to tell everyone you're an "introvert"? That all introverts are whiny, nasty creeps? That writers are high-strung, arrogant butt-clowns who should throw out all their opportunities in life and hold their craft above all their relationships? That people involved in fandoms are all using their fandoms as emotional crutches and are highly dysfunctional people? That you can do all this stuff and STILL have everything in your life turn out exactly the way you want it because the world isn't fair and life is one giant, gosh-darn wish fulfillment fantasy?

I don't know what this book was trying to say, but I HATED it with a passion - as a writer, as a fangirl, as an introvert, as an ex-socialphobe, and as a reader, who was hoping to find something to get fangirly about and instead encountered a big, festering planet of garbage populated by The Queen of the Trash People Herself: Cath Avery. Oh, and guess what - you can read Cath's fanfic now because it was published as a book

I'm honestly shocked that more people aren't complaining about the unflattering portrait of introverts in this book. I was completely disgusted.

1 star
Profile Image for The Burning Rose (Jess).
162 reviews374 followers
March 17, 2020
4/5 stars.
I remember being 12 years old. I was a girl who didn't so much love the real world, who didn't like people communications. A Little misanthropic girl with attraction to inner worlds. Even then, I had invented my inner world; My own characters, my own storylines, beginnings and endings, love and hate, black, white and even colorful. Breakups, disappointments, quarrels, mental problems, anxieties. These are all difficult moments in my characters' lives, but I could handle them. Why? I don’t know, I guess it's because I knew that in the end, I would find a way to reach a happy ending.

In my real life, I had a difficult childhood. Everything I mentioned before and even more. I couldn't handle it all. So I ran away. I fled into the inner world I created. I ran away to my main character, who was created in my image, but she’s much better than me, much stronger than me, much more deadly. But that wasn't enough, because there was still my reality, and at such a young age, the realization that despite the escape - in the end, I should return to my real life.

We were a pretty poor family, so every time I asked my mother to buy me a computer, I was refused. I don't remember how she finally agreed, but I got the computer I wanted. And at the same time, I got another escape- The fanfiction world.
I remember reading countless stories and plots about singers I liked, book characters, movie characters. It has become a significant part of my life. But that wasn't enough either...

I began to combine my two worlds of escape.
I started writing a fanfiction myself.
I remember choosing a celebrity and connecting him to the characters I created. I remember I had quite a few readers. It overwhelmed me.
I have come to a position where I’ve been in my inner world for too long, moving away from reality drastically.
It's a common denominator between me and Cath.
She escaped into the fanfiction world. She loved the world Gemma T. Leslie invented so much, and she let it engulf her, take control of her life. She wrote a fanfiction with 20,000 readers. She chose her favorite characters - enemies, in Leslie's world - and made them lovers.
Oh, the beauty of the fanfiction...
Later in the book, Cath was asked to write her own short story, unrelated to Leslie's world - but she was having a hard time. Plus, she was really crushed by the fact that she wasn’t allowed to write about Simon and Baz. Look how hard it is to move from the inner world to reality...

Cath's anxieties and misanthropy sounded very realistic. Rowell conveyed the mental disorders well and accurately. Even if you felt connected with Cath, and even if you didn’t, you will understand the significance of her anxiety.
Still, even though Cath and I had SO MUCH in common, it was hard for me to connect with her. I'm not sure why.

Another wonderfully accurate character- Cath’s father. It’s mostly the way Cath's father dealt with bipolar disorder. With him -though he‘s a secondary character- I felt connected.
The percentages of the disease vary from person to person, but there are fairly proven statistics, although of course in the world of psychiatry nothing is certain.
Bipolar disorder erupts in women aged 18-25, which for men around the age of 30. Women tend to experience more depression, which men experience more mania.
You can definitely understand that Cath's father has experienced his life around the mania.
The mania takes over the way Arthur functions, and you can see it’s something that is hard to deal with in daily life, especially when you are an adult who works, and raises children. You can see how the disease affects him and, of course, those around him. Usually, it's hard for me to read books that have bipolar characters (such as the amazing Jennifer Niven's book, which I unfortunately couldn't finish because the tears took over and the identification was incredibly powerful). But thank God, it didn't affect me very much, even though it was hard for me.

I'm not sure if I want to put Wren into this review, I have to admit I didn't particularly like her. But Rowell built her well and knew how to convey this character's message and lesson. A college girl trying to live life in a way most young people try... But in the book, as well as in real life, I tend to stay away from this kind of person.

Now I'll talk about Levi. He's a good guy.
I really like the fact that he's not the handsome man on campus, or anything like that... Just another ordinary guy who looks nice, goes to college and just lives his life.
And again, I would like to point out the amazing writing of the writer, the precise conveyance of his difficulty in reading. I knew someone in the past who also had difficulty reading, and when I put myself in his shoes, I realized that it was probably hard for me to live my life, without my escape, which is inside the pages of the books. So thank goodness, because I don't get along with audiobooks either, lol.

In addition, I really liked the connection between Cath and Levi. I loved how they both helped each other in difficult situations. How Cath read the book to Levi nonstop, despite the sore throat. And how Levi was there beside her when she needed company. How he cared for her from the beginning of the book and accompanied her back to her room at nights.
I liked to see how the relationship with him changed her for the better. The way she slowly opened up, the way her anxiety was a little forgotten. How at the beginning of the book he looked simply cute to her and in the end he was perfect in her eyes. It's really nice to know that your love for someone makes him perfect.

P.S- I know that the excerpts about Simon and Baz supposedly helped to understand about the book series that Cath loved and the fanfiction she wrote. But I have to admit it kind of bothered me. Like, is it really necessary to insert a section between each episode?
In addition, I realized that Simon and Baz had their own book that Rowell wrote. So in general, it wasn’t so necessary in my opinion.
Still, I guess I'll buy this book soon. It also intrigues me to know if the book is based on Cath's fanfiction.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,917 reviews33k followers
September 10, 2018

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I just LOVED this book! It made me so happy! Everything about it- just fantastic!

Cath is a twin. She is a writer. She is a Simon Snow fan. Quite possibly the biggest Simon Snow fan there is. Cather’s big thing is fanfiction. She takes her most favorite books, and writes her own stories. She makes the two main guys in the books gay and in love.
"It's bad enough that you have homemade Simon Snow posters," Reagan had said last night while she was getting ready for bed. "Do you have to have gay homemade Simon Snow posters?"
Cath had looked up at the drawing over her desk of Simon and Baz holding hands. "Leave them alone," she said. "They're in love.”

I think Cath is the most awesome person ever. Just throwing that out there! She is awkward, introverted, funny and so relatable! Now back to the fanfiction... She has followers. Thousands and thousands of followers. Sometimes, she struggles with living in the real world, talking to and meeting new people. Her twin sister Wren has no such issues. Although they are identical twins, they are very different. Cath and Wren are starting college and Wren think they need to meet new people. So they don’t room together. Cath’s roommate’s name is Reagan. Reagan is so different from Cath. She notices how awkward she is and decides to befriend her.
“I feel sorry for you, and I'm going to be your friend."
"I don't want to be your friend," Cath said as sternly as she could. "I like that we're not friends."
"Me, too. I'm sorry you ruined it by being so pathetic.”

Cath doesn’t have a lot of friends. But it’s all good... she has the internet.
“Most of my friends went to other schools. Or their online.”

“Internet friends don’t count.”

“Why not?”

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Her first day of college, along with meeting Reagan, she meets Levi. Levi is the most wonderful character! He is smitten with Cath. Friendly with everyone. That’s just his thing. And he’s always around. I adored Levi. He was one of the best characters. So kind, good hearted. I will read to him all day and night.

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Cath spends the first semester of college making friends with Levi and Reagan, trying to deal with her twin sister pulling away from her, being separated from their father, and trying to figure out if she can write in the real world, make her own characters and her own way, while trying to keep up with her Simon Snow fan fiction. On top of all this, things with Levi start to progress from friendship to more...

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I know, I know, I’ve already mentioned how much I love Levi, but I seriously adore this guy!
Reasons I want a Levi:

He works at Starbucks
He likes to be read to
He is nice to everyone
He smiles all the time
He thinks Cath's geekiness is endearing
He is swoony and sweet <3
“What's the plan?' she asked.
He grinned. 'My plan is to do things that make you want to hang out with me again tomorrow. What's your plan?'
'I'm going to try not to make an ass of myself.'
He grinned. 'So we're all set.”

“You’re beautiful,” she said.
“That’s you.”

“Don’t argue with me. You’re beautiful.”

“Cath couldn't stop thinking about Levi and his ten thousand smiles.”

“I choose you over everyone.”

You will fall in love with this book and these characters. There is so much I know I’m leaving out... perfect coming of age story! READ READ READ!

“You’ve read the books?”
“I’ve seen the movies.”
Cath rolled her eyes so hard, it hurt. (Actually.) (Maybe because she was still on the edge of tears. On the edge, period.) “So you haven’t read the books.”
“I’m not really a book person.”
“That might be the most idiotic thing you’ve ever said to me.

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I feel like this book was written just for me, and well... probably a lot of you reading this. For those of us who spend more time in a fictional world than the real world. Who talk to our ‘internet friends’ more than our ‘real life’ friends. I think most of us can relate to Cath in a big way, I know I did! Even though this book wasn’t completely light, it kept me continuously smiling! The day I finished, I went right out and bought a hard copy to put on my shelf. LOVED IT!!! I’m going to say- If you haven’t read this one, you need to!!!
Profile Image for Elena May.
Author 13 books697 followers
September 2, 2017
Such a difficult review to write! Some parts of this book were well written. But, at the end, it all boils down to one thing.

The main message was so wrong.

Before I go on, let me make one thing clear – I’m not giving this book three stars because I hated the message it was trying to push. I always do my best to rate books objectively, based on the quality of writing, plot structure, characterization, etc. I may not always succeed in separating my own enjoyment from my rating, but I try. I am giving Fangirl three stars because I think it wasn't well researched, and the characters were not always consistent. However, in this review I’ll start with something else.

Since this is a super long review, even for me, I’ll divide it into 3 parts, and you can read whatever you like:

Part 1: Presenting fanfiction as training wheels for “real” writing: The book pushes the message that people write fanfiction because it is easier and safer, and some bravery is all that keeps them from the real deal, which will be much more satisfying. The author fails to understand that for most people fanfiction is a hobby, not a step towards being a professional author. Some people enjoy writing fanfiction, but have no passion for creating original writing, and there is nothing wrong with that. Fanfiction is more about being a part of fandom and sharing your love with others than it is about writing.

Part 2: Fandom in this book: Ugh. I can’t decide if it’s an unrealistic representation or a complete lack of representation. The author doesn’t seem to understand that the fanfiction community is a COMMUNITY and people are actually interacting and sharing their passion.

Part 3: Non-fandom stuff: Mostly well written, especially Cath’s struggles with mental illness.


But first, some background is in order. When I first heard about this book, I thought it would be The One. I thought that finally someone is telling this story; the story I so much wanted to hear. Those of you who’ve read my guest post at Lavender Prose already know my dark secret – I started out as a Lord of the Rings fanfiction writer. During those years, I had various ideas for original novels, but was never passionate enough to write anything more than a short story. There was just one idea I planned to revisit one day.

I considered writing a book about a fanfiction writer. There was SO MUCH to write about. The incredible and unique community! All the different people you meet and everything you learn from them! All the support you get! All the ways it makes you grow! All the miraculous ways in which this changes your real life, and all of them for the better! All the crazy adventures you get into (You may not think fandom gets you into real-life adventures, but, guys, I randomly went to Malaysia by myself when I was 21 because of my involvement in the community, and now I keep going back. Long story, but this is just one of the hundreds of examples I can list)!

When I heard this book was coming out, I was incredibly excited. I had always wanted to write this story, and I thought, “Yay, someone else wrote it already! Can’t wait to read it!” But, for various reasons, I couldn’t get my hands on the book right away. And then, years later, I started seeing reviews.

Most of them said one thing: This wasn’t a book about fanfiction writers. This wasn’t a book about fandom. This wasn’t a book about the community. It was a generic, coming-of-age story.

Now I’ve read the book and know this is all true. But I could have lived with it. I was prepared for it, so it wasn’t a disappointment. What put me off were some terrible ideas this book was trying to push.

Part 1: Presenting fanfiction as training wheels for “real” writing

The book, through the character of Professor Piper, is trying to tell us that original fiction is the real deal. It’s braver, it’s harder, it takes more effort, but with a higher payoff, and every writer should strive towards it. Fanfiction is something girls do in high school and then grow out of it.

And here, Cath’s argument is absolutely spot on. She doesn’t want to write original fiction. She is not passionate about it. It doesn’t make her happy. She’s not made for this. She is extremely passionate about a specific fictional world, and she wants to keep playing in it, and she doesn’t see the point in doing something she doesn’t like and something she doesn’t plan to do for a living.


Professor Piper has an argument against this – you don’t make money out of fanfiction. Well... duh? It’s a hobby. You don’t make money out of knitting, or bird watching, or stamp collecting, or hiking, or reading – you do it because you like it and you want to. And, again, Cath has the perfect argument – it’s not like most people make money out of original writing.

I liked Cath during this discussion. She was level-headed and knew what she wanted. And then, she ends up discovering herself and writing her original story, and the book makes it look like Professor Piper was right.


It reminds me of a post on fanfiction I read years ago on George R. R. Martin’s Not a Blog. While overall well-written, I found it poorly informed. Among other things, he calls fanfiction “lazy writing” and “bad practice.” While it’s debatable whether it’s either of these, that’s not the point here. The point is, what is the context here? “Lazy” compared to what? It’s a hobby, not a job, and we should compare it to watching TV, not to writing novels authors get paid for. “Bad practice” for what? It’s not like every single person on the planet wants to be a published author and is writing fanfiction to practice for the real thing. People don’t write fanfiction to practice and learn. They write to have fun.

Let me say it again – fanfiction writers are not all high-school girls who either give it up when they grow up, or use it as a stepping stone to “real” writing. Some of them are in high-school, and some do give it up, while others move to original writing, but that’s just one small part of fandom. Fanfiction a hobby that people of all ages and walks of life can practice, and it is unrelated to what you do for a living. I’ve known fanfiction writers, women and men, of all ages, including quite a few in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. And for all of them, it’s a leisure activity on top of an already rich life and an (often) unrelated and fulfilling career. University professors, elementary school teachers, nuclear physicists, architects, doctors, investment bankers, linguists, archeologists, lawyers, pet stylists – I know at least one fanfiction writer from each of these fields. They don’t write original novels not because they can’t – guys, some of these writers are sooo good, they could write anything – but because there is no point. They don’t want to write original fiction, and it can’t really replace their other career, so why do it?

When choosing a career path, I see three main questions to consider:

1) Are you good at it?
2) Are you passionate about it?
3) Do you have good chances for a secure job that will place bread on the table?

If at least two of these are satisfied, you can push through the third. But in Cath’s case, the professor is pushing her to pursue fiction writing just because she’s good at it although she doesn’t care about it and is unlikely to have an income out of it. And that doesn’t make any sense.

Not everyone wants to publish their own original books. I realize that I’m reinforcing the stereotype here – I started by writing fanfiction and am now publishing my own novels. But not everyone wants this, and it doesn’t mean they are wrong.

Also, I have to say that of course Cath had to write the story. She was being spoilt and irresponsible in refusing and endangering her grades and scholarship. You don’t want to do it? So what? No one can go through studies and work only doing work they WANT to do. Sometimes we do things we don’t enjoy because they need to be done, and running away from this would be childish. So I’m happy Cath wrote the story, but I’m unhappy the text presented it like she had it in her to do the brave, hard, real thing.

Part 2: Fandom in this book:

The thing that bugged me the most is that Cath is supposed to be this popular author with many readers who send her letter and comments, and yet we never see her interact with online friends. She doesn’t even seem to talk to her beta, which is just insane. How did she choose this beta reader in the first place? Weren’t they talking before?? Did Cath select her based on a CV and kept their relationship only business???

The most egregious example (I’m going to take on Cath’s voice here and say, “There are not many opportunities to use the word ‘egregious,’ but this is one of them”) is when Cath is upset about her “F” and the professor’s words about fanfiction (And, seriously, what was she thinking? The professor’s reaction was too much, but WHAT was Cath thinking exactly? She doesn’t seem like the type of person to go around submitting fanfiction for creative writing assignments, and this is one of the several examples in this book when someone does something very out of character to push the plot forward.) Cath is upset that the professor doesn’t understand what fanfiction is and wants to talk to Wren about it, but Wren is unavailable. And this means she has no one to talk to, and the only possible solution is to throw a one-person dance party.

Are. You. Kidding. Me. She has no one to talk to??? She has thousands of readers, and she has NO ONE to talk to about this? She has this huge support network that she can share every problem with, and this specific problem is exactly what they know best and what they could help with! Cath feels the need to discuss it, and she never shares it with any of her online friends (who we are told exist, but it’s really hard to believe.) And this shows the author’s complete lack of understanding of how the fanfiction community works. It's not a distant author and many readers asking questions related to the story and getting answers. It is people interacting. Sharing joy and sorrow. Fangirling together. Helping each other. Supporting each other.

The other thing that bugged me is Cath not reading other writers’ Simon/Baz stories. What? It is explained in the text, but the explanation is even more insane – she doesn’t want to be subconsciously influenced by other writers. Again, what? This is something professional writers often do. But it is not what fanfiction writers do. Fanfiction writing is more about being a fan than about writing. It’s about sharing. Often, the writers whose stories you read are also reading yours. Often, your sets of readers overlap. Often, you will make small nods to their works in your tales, and they’ll make references to yours. And readers will recognize all these because they are reading your stories as well as the other authors’. And it’s beautiful. It creates this collective consciousness, this folklore of sorts, where everyone adds to the storytelling and everyone benefits. And this is how the concept of fanon comes to life.

But we see none of this here. Instead, we see Cath viewing her readers as “fans” or “hits,” but never as actual friends with whom she shares a great passion and with whom she can talk for hours.

Okay, so the author has no understanding of how the fanfiction community works. But does she at least present an accurate picture of what fanfiction is?

Kiiiiiind of. She does get some parts right, and I like it that she tries to be respectful, but the picture painted here is very narrow. First of all, if you read this book, you might think all fanfiction is slash, or, at least, shipping. While this is the case for some stories, there are numerous other possibilities. Also, I didn’t like it when Cath explains Levi what fanfiction is, and says in her world she can make Agatha evil. Well, she can, but writing completely different characters and giving them canon names is really not the point of fanfiction. You can have out-of-character stories, but they should be labeled as such. The majority of tales strive to keep everyone in characters and tell stories of the past, the future, and anything in between, but keep each character as close to their canon version as possible.

Also, many authors crate original characters – antagonists or friends who interact with the main cast, or even entire casts of original characters in a given fictional world. And this concept doesn’t seem to exist in this book.

Part 3: Non-fandom stuff:

If we scrap the fanfiction element, a large part of this book was well written.

For starters, the characters and interactions between them are great though it might have been nice to see what exactly Levi likes about Cath.

Also, it paints this vivid picture of the quintessential US college, which is so different from higher education institutions in most places in the world, in good, bad, and crazy ways – campus life, the large selection of classes and freedom to experiment with your major, the complete lack of public transport or biking culture and everyone driving (often trucks!) to get around, rooming with randomly assigned people, sororities and fraternities, this messed up all-or-nothing relationship with alcohol that has led to so many hospitalized kids, professors being extremely nice to the students, etc, etc, etc. If you’ve never seen it, this book will help you visualize it, and if you have, it will look familiar.

At some points, Cath’s struggles with anxiety were brilliantly described. Cath not going to the dining hall for months because she doesn’t know how to behave in a new environment is great. My favorite part was when Cath is looking for Professor Piper’s office, while at the same time she hopes she won’t find it, so that she can later tell herself that she tried and got halfway. Really well written.

But often it all falls apart. The professor is returning their unreliable narrator assignments, and she doesn’t give back Cath’s. Instead, she asks her to come to her office after class. And how does Cath react, as person with an established long list of anxieties? Does she panic that something’s wrong? Does she think the professor hated her story? None of that! She thinks the professor wants to offer her a place in her super advanced class that only a few are allowed to attend.

Seriously? That’s how a person suffering from neurosis reacts? This goes contrary to everything established about Cath’s character in the rest of the book. It’s painfully obvious Cath is acting the way the plot needs her to act, so that she is later surprised when she sees the F. But she is the only one surprised.

Another thing that bugged me about this Fiction Writing class is how the professor never gives Cath any criticism. It’s all about how amazing Cath is and how the professor absolute can’t wait for what she comes up with. But how exactly is she supposed to learn?

It’s hard to say if I would recommend this book. As a coming-of-age story, it’s pretty decent, and the representation of mental health issues is mostly well done. If you’re not a part of fandom and don’t care about a realistic representation, you might enjoy it.

Let’s end with a nice quote:
“Why are you reading that?” Wren had asked when she noticed.
“Something without a dragon or an elf on the cover.”

I wondered the same a few times while I read this book. Perhaps I wasn’t in the mood for this genre. Time for some fantasy!
Profile Image for Natalie.
567 reviews3,196 followers
February 17, 2020
“You don’t do magic,” she said, trying to smile modestly and mostly succeeding. “You are magic.”

My annual reread of Fangirl has been completed (2 years and going), and it just gets better and better.
Sometimes, on a gray day, I flip through this book to cheer myself up or to remind myself that everything will be okay. And it does its job every single time, which I’m more than grateful for. It’s like a consolation, an old friend, a favorite old, comfy sweater. Fangirl is everything.
And because of its importance to me, it’s my most reread novel and I love it through and through.

This follows Cath through her freshman year at the University of Nebraska, along with her much more outgoing identical twin sister Wren. But Cath is having a hard time adjusting to college.

This review contains *spoilers*.

But thanks to her writing fanfiction to a dedicated book series - following the adventures of Simon and Baz - she manages 'to disappear.' To get free of herself, to make people laugh, to stop being anything or anywhere at all.

As I mentioned at the start of my review, Fangirl is very near and dear to my heart. I reread it at least once a year, and could probably quote passages of it by heart (which I'm pretty proud of). It introduced me to a new world that I consider to be like a second family.

Rainbow Rowell came up with such fantastic characters and the dynamics between all of them blows me away every time.
Like, it physically hurts trying to stop smiling when Cath and Levi or Cath and Reagan have a scene together.

And I, of course, have to feature one of my favorite interactions between Cath and Reagan:

“You’re making me feel sorry for you again,” Reagan said.
Cath turned her fork on Reagan. “Don’t feel sorry for me. I don’t want you to feel sorry for me.”
“I can’t help it,” Reagan said. “You’re really pathetic.”
“I am not.”
“You are. You don’t have any friends, your sister dumped you, you’re a freaky eater … And you’ve got some weird thing about Simon Snow.”
“I object to every single thing you just said.”

I can totally see why Cath and Reagan hit it off.


Oh, and since I happened to mention Levi (so casually), I will just say that he is one the sweetest character I’ve ever had the pleasure to read about. I mean, I actually felt homesick the first time I finished reading Fangirl because I couldn't believe I was done. I missed Levi for weeks (and rereading it only made it that more painful).


The first time Cath read to Levi has and always will be ingrated into my heart:

“Levi laughed, and she tried to grab her pillow from him. He held it to his chest with both hands. “Cather…”
“Don’t call me that.”
“Read me some of your secret, dirty fanfiction.”
“It’s not dirty.”
“Read me some anyway.”
She let go of the pillow; he’d probably already filthed it beyond redemption.
“Because I’m curious,” he said. “And I like stories.”
“You just want to make fun of me.”
“I won’t,” he said. “I promise.”

And then to top it off, Levi used one of my favorite expressions— “To be continued.”

“Come on.” Reagan turned to Levi. “Plant Phys. Are we doing this?”
“We’re doing it,” he grumbled, sliding off Cath’s bed. “Can I use your phone?” he asked her.
Cath handed him her phone, and he punched a number in. His back pocket started playing a Led Zeppelin song. “To be continued,” he said, handing it back to her. “Solid?”
“Sure,” Cath said.”


And Levi being Levi, he kept his promise to Cath and gave me one of the most memorable book scenes of all time:

“Cath shuffled the pages with her thumb.… It really was a short book. With tons of dialogue.
She looked up at Levi. The sun was setting behind her, and he was sitting in a wash of orange light.
Cath turned her chair toward the bed, knocking his feet without warning to the ground. Then she rested her own feet on the bed frame and took off her glasses, tucking them in her hair. “‘When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house—’”
“Cath,” Levi whispered. She felt her chair wobble and knew he was kicking it. “You don’t have to do that.”
“Obviously,” she said. “‘When I stepped out into the bright sunlight—’”
She cleared her throat, still focused on the book. “Shut up, I owe you one. At least one. And also, I’m trying to read here.…”

It hurts so good. They are my sun and stars.

“It was really late. And too dark in the room to be reading this much. Cath’s voice was rough now, like someone had run a dull knife across it. Like she was recovering from a cold or a crying jag.
At some point Levi had put his left arm around her and pulled her back against his chest—she’d been fidgeting and rubbing her back on the wall, and Levi just reached behind her and pulled her into him.”

I've read this scene so many times, and it still gives me chills. I honestly needed a minute to slow down my heart. And my stomach—too many damn butterflies.

“You okay?” he asked.
She nodded again. And then she felt him slowly moving. “Here…”
Levi slid down the wall onto the bed, resting on his side, then tugged Cath down so she was lying on her back in front of him—his arm beneath her head like a pillow. She relaxed her shoulders and felt warm flannel against the back of her neck.
“Better?” he asked in his superscript voice. He was looking at her face. Giving Cath a chance to say no without having to say it out loud. She didn’t speak. Or nod. Or answer. Instead she looked down and shifted slightly toward him onto her side, leaning the book against his chest.
She started reading again, and felt Levi’s elbow curve around her shoulder.”

I'm literally sweating because of them.

“Cath closed the book and let it fall on Levi’s chest, not sure what happened next. Not sure she was awake, all things considered.
The moment it fell, he pulled her into him. Onto him. With both arms. Her chest pressed against his, and the paperback slid between their stomachs.
Cath’s eyes were half closed, and so were Levi’s—and his lips only looked small from afar, she realized, because of their doll-like pucker. They were perfectly big, really, now that she had a good look at them. Perfectly something.
He nudged his nose against hers, and their mouths fell sleepily together, already soft and open.”

Is it physically possible to love a fictional relationship this much??

And I could go on and on about him, but I think it's best (for my heart) if I quietly move on to my next couple of favorites moments and people.
The first being: Magicath and Wrenegade.

I just wanted to mention how truly great the close bond they had with one another was:

“They listened to each other when they wouldn’t listen to anyone else.”

I love this sentence so much because it perfectly describes how they have each other's back.

“I’m like him,” she’d whispered.
“You’re not,” Wren said.
“I am. I’m crazy like him.” She was already having panic attacks. She was already hiding at parties. In seventh grade, she’d been late to class for the first two weeks because she couldn’t stand being in the halls with everyone else during passing periods. “It’s probably going to get worse in a few years. That’s when it usually kicks in.”
“You’re not,” Wren said.
“But what if I am?”
“Decide not to be.”
“That’s not how it works,” Cath argued.
“Nobody knows how it works.”
“What if I don’t even see it coming?”
“I’ll see it coming.”
Cath tried to stop crying, but she’d been crying so long, the crying had taken over, making her breathe in harsh sniffs and jerks.
“If it tries to take you,” Wren said, “I won’t let go.”

This really hit home for me. Everything Cath said and did is something I've said or done before. And it scares me to no end. So I really appreciated when Cath had Wren to talk to. The way Wren had her made my heart soar.


Also, I want to briefly mention the girl in the library because she was a literal angel. I think about her daily:

“Magicath is my absolute favorite,” the girl interrupted, like she couldn’t hold it back. “I’m obsessed with Carry On. Have you been keeping up?”
“She’s been posting so much lately. Every time there’s a new chapter, I have to stop everything to read it. And then read it again. My roommate thinks I’m crazy.”
“Mine, too.”
“But it’s just so good. Nobody writes Simon and Baz like Magicath. I’m in love with her Baz. Like, in love. And I used to be a major Simon/Agatha shipper.”
Cath wrinkled her nose. “No.”
“I know, I was young.”

I’m smiling so much, it hurts.

“It killed me how long it took Simon and Baz to get together. And now I’m dying for them to have a big love scene. That’s my only complaint about Carry On—not enough Simon/Baz action.”
“She almost never writes love scenes,” Cath said, feeling her cheeks pink.
“Yeah, but when she does, they’re hot.”
“You think?”
“Um,” the girl laughed. “Yes.”
“This is why people think we’re crazy perverts,” Cath said.
The girl just giggled some more. “I know. Sometimes I forget that there’s still a real book coming out—like, it’s hard for me to imagine that the story is going to end any other way than the way Magicath writes it.”

She perfectly describes how I feel.


And, funnily enough, the first time I read this book I wasn't expecting it to be so hilarious. Fangirl, while still handling really important issues, has such an impeccable sense of humor. There’s this one instance in particular that I love because I can’t help but crack up every time I read it:

“And besides, Cath still wasn’t sure whether Nick was actually hot or whether he just projected hotness. Specifically in her direction.
Someone sat down next to her on the bench, and Cath glanced up from her phone. Nick tilted his chin up in greeting.
“Think of the devil,” she said, then wished she hadn’t.
“You thinking about me?”
“I was thinking … of the devil,” Cath said stupidly.”

This is my style of humor.

And on a completely unrelated note, I know I said I was done talking about Levi, but I have to mention this scene from their first date, because reasons:

“She stepped away from him, and he took her hand. “Wait,” he said. “I think there might be an evergreen over there—”
Cath looked up.
“False alarm,” he said, squeezing her hand.
She shivered.
“Are you cold?”
She shook her head.
He squeezed her hand again. “Good.”

He is so damn smooth. Rainbow Rowell wrote their relationship so well that even I felt nervous whenever Levi touched Cath's hand.

“You’re not all hands…,” he whispered later. He was tucked back into the corner of the love seat, and she was resting on top of him. She’d spent hours on top of him. Curled over him like a vampire. Even exhausted, she couldn’t stop rubbing her numb lips into his flannel chest. “You’re all mouth,” he said.
“Sorry,” Cath said, biting her lips.
“Don’t be stupid,” he said, pulling her lips free of her teeth with his thumb. “And don’t be sorry … ever again.”
He hitched her up, so her face was above his. Her eyes wandered down to his chin, out of habit. “Look at me,” he said.
Cath looked up. At Levi’s pastel-colored face. Too lovely, too good.
“I like you here,” he said, squeezing her. “With me.”
She smiled, and her eyes started to drift downward.
Back up to his eyes.
“You know that I’m falling in love with you, right?”

I totally smiled a Levi smile at this part. My stomach was wringing itself out every time Cath and Levi had a scene together.


I also loved the fact that Reagan gave Cath and Levi ground rules because same:

“What are the ground rules?”
Reagan held up a finger. Her nails were long and pink.
“One. Nobody talks to me about sex.”
“Two, no lovey-dovey stuff in front of me.”
“Done and done. I’m telling you, there is no lovey-dovey stuff.”
“Three, shut up, nobody talks to me about their relationship.”
Cath nodded. “Fine.”
“You’ve really been thinking about this, haven’t you?”

I aspire to reach her level of coolness. Reagan wasn’t anybody’s fool.

I love and root for everyone in this world so damn much. And it never fails to make me feel incredibly sad to reach the end of Fangirl. I'm in such a haze while reading it, it’s like everything surrounding me disappears into oblivion. This book has my heart and soul.

And I mean, I don’t know Rainbow Rowell, but I still wholeheartedly trust her. She somehow makes me love Fangirl in a new way every time I read it, and I'm so grateful.

I also kept looking for the perfect way to describe how deeply personal this book feels, and I finally found it with this quote by Laurie Halse Anderson:

“You can tell a book is real when your heart beats faster. Real books make you sweat. Cry, if no one is looking. Real books help you make sense of your crazy life. Real books tell it true, don’t hold back, and make you stronger. But most of all, real books give you hope. Because it’s not always going to be like this and books—the good ones, the real ones—show you how to make it better. Now.”
—Laurie Halse Anderson

5/5 stars (without a doubt)

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Profile Image for Ashley Nuckles.
190 reviews7,201 followers
July 27, 2017
Screaming internally because I want my own Levi now, please and thank you.
Profile Image for Lauren.
53 reviews107 followers
December 4, 2013
And just like that, I'm finished.
Now what?
Dammit Rainbow, I'm going to be lost for the next week now, with no fictional boyfriend to curl up with at night.

I'm sure in your internet travels, you've all seen the comic that says "That moment when you finish a book, look around, and realise that everyone is just carrying on with their lives as though you didn't just experience emotional trauma at the hands of a paperback."

That is me. Right now. At 1am.
Lonely, and alone. With no Levi to cuddle up to.

This is the third book to have this effect on me this year. First it was 'Anna and the French Kiss', and then it was 'Flat Out Love', and now 'Fangirl'. All of these books made me fall in love with their characters. Fangirl delivered all the awesome and addictive elements of a story that keep me coming back, that keep me up reading past midnight.

I don't like to go into specific details when I review books, because I don't want to spoil things for those who haven't read it yet. Lets just say, that if you like reading YA novels, then this book should be at the top of your list. The characters will frustrate you with their flaws and their not always perfect relationships. They will make you proud of them as they stand up for what they want and believe in. Levi's unwavering patience and passion makes him completely desirable.

I could keep babbling on for ages, but I really should not write book reviews at 1am.
Read this book. Trust me. It's worth the time.
Profile Image for Lauren.
1,447 reviews70 followers
September 9, 2016
You know, it’s been so long since I’ve disliked a book to the point of wanting to rant about it that I was starting to think I’d lost my cynical edge.

So I guess that’s one point in Fangirl’s favor.

And, you know, I liked Fangirl at first. It seemed that it was going to do something new with a protagonist that wasn’t the typical quirky teen girl.

Here’s where I stop and give my short review before delving into a much-needed rant: The protagonist, Cath, is a wholly passive character who gets exactly what she wants with no effort. There’s a dreamy love interest who makes Prince Charming look like an inconsiderate jerk. Anyone who disagrees with Cath is awful. This book very much needed an editor, because even Mary Sue is side eying Cath and saying, Really?

There are a lot of problems with this book.

But none of them are quiet so amusing and creepy as The Scene. The Scene reads like a rejected outtake from Fifty Shades of Grey (which I haven’t read, other than the super snarky blog posts of some of the more hilarious excerpts). That in and of itself is kind of appropriate, because Fangirl is about fan fiction and Fifty Shades of Grey is Twilight fan fiction with names changed.

I should preface my description of The Scene with some background: the protagonist, Cath, is emotionally stunted and almost assuredly has some mental issues. That part of the book works beautifully: Ms. Rowell’s ability to capture Cath’s social phobias was one of the strongest parts of the book. Cath is painfully shy and awkward, not in a cute way, but in a painfully brutal way that makes ordinary social interactions uncomfortable.

That part is good. No complaints there.

What makes the love angle weird is that Cath has the emotional maturity of a 13-year-old girl. In comparison, her dreamy boy toy reads as a guy in his mid- to late-twenties. Which leaves readers with a love scene between one character who reads like she’s in junior high and another character who reads like he’s pushing, at the very least, 30.

Eat your heart out, Nabokov.

The Scene itself is about our almost lovers attempting to overcome the girl’s phobias about a physical relationship (WHICH IS EXPECTED, BECAUSE SHE’S 13). To make her comfortable, her Prince Charming suggests she read a slash (homosexual) fan fiction she wrote about two characters from a best-selling children’s book series (the fictional versions of Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy).

That’s right. The big romantic scene features a virginal straight girl reading her boyfriend a gay love story that she wrote about characters from a children’s book.

Look, I’m all about different strokes for different folks. As long as everyone’s consented and is capable of giving said consent, have whatever sort of kinky fun you want.


I doubt most readers would find the reverse of this sexy. If the guy said “hey, sweetheart, I have issues with getting my motor revving and the only way to fix that will be if you and I look at a bunch of naked photos I took of two straight girls pretending to be lesbians,” I think the reaction would be outrage rather than “OMG So Hot and Understanding.”

But – and this is really the major point – it wasn’t sexy. It was creepy and weird and not good creepy and weird. Cath has the maturity level of a preteen, which worked at the beginning of the book, but she doesn’t mature at all over the course of the novel. Having a twenty-something guy seduce her? No thanks.

Said scene isn’t helped by the fact that readers are given no understanding as to why Mr. Perfect is attracted to Cath. The only reason I could come up with is that Mr. Perfect is an odd dude who has a thing about the conquest of really virginal girls. No other reason is provided to explain his attraction. She’s just kind of there, and he’s just kind of there, and she’s mean to him, and she reads him her fan fiction and he loves it because, duh, she’s that amazing. She shows no interest in his life whatsoever and apparently that translates into him being crazy about her.

I mean, put like that, he sounds like he has some deep-seated issues of his own, what with being attracted to women who treat him horribly.

After taking a break to distance myself from feeling that I had just read something that veered way too close to erotica involving a minor, I started reading again.

I wish I hadn’t. Over the last part of the book, the plot, already not great, takes a nosedive. Cath is way too passive throughout the book, but her passivity reaches epic levels towards the end, and the take-away message seems to be that “coming of age” means everyone doing exactly what Cath wants and having everyone stay at the maturity level of junior high, only with sex.

I like coming-of-age books because, done well, they resonate and tap into a plethora of emotions. Even the middle-of-the-road stuff is engaging. But there is nothing here to warrant a “coming of age” tag. Nothing.

Cath doesn’t grow at all. The few times when she’s challenged, she never has to stand up for herself because someone else rides in to save the day. Sure, she has some family issues that suck, but who doesn’t? Plus, those family issues are within her comfort zone. She’s dealt with them for years, and she knows the drill. Whenever she’s challenged outside of her comfort zone, someone else swoops in and saves her. She’s never held accountable or forced to stand up for herself. It’s an anti-coming of age story.

Also, as someone who spent most of my freshman year of college hiding my childhood obsession with all things Star Trek, I hated how the “nerdy fangirl” was treated here. Granted, I never wrote Star Trek fan fiction and went to all of one convention, but the way Fangirl tackles the topic lacks any and all finesse. That Cath’s twin sister wanted to make a break from their shared childhood hobbies and interests doesn’t make her a bad person, although that's the lesson here. I know a lot of people who struggled with reconciling who they were in high school with who they wanted to be in college, whether it was science fiction and fantasy, religion, or hair color. That's normal! It’s part of growing up: trying on different personas and finding what works and what doesn’t and what is a childhood obsession and what may turn into a lifelong obsession. Given the blurb on the jacket flap, that’s what I expected here. Nope.

Frankly, a book from Cath’s sister’s perspective would have been loads more interesting than Cath’s trapped-in-the-past-and-everyone-else-is-awful-because-they-want-me-to-grow-up neuroses.

I was excited to see a book out there about fangirls that claimed to not treat them as pathetic punch lines. I guess I was sort of expecting something like Galaxy Quest (which, incidentally, was just voted a better Star Trek movie than some actual Star Trek movies – how amazing is that?).

But Fangirl is almost worse than outright mocking. I liked seeing a ‘traditional’ author opting for a sympathetic portrayal of fan fiction. I view fan fiction as the literary equivalent of fantasy football, and I’m baffled by the bizarre stigma attached to it. Spend fourteen hours every Sunday from September to January glued to a TV watching men give each permanent brain damage and that’s acceptable (says the sports fan). For that matter, go see the studio-sanctioned JJ Abrams fan fiction of Star Trek and that’s hip (which is awful, because Abrams’ version is nothing more than a crappy, dumb-as-nails Explode-o-rama in space). Those are fine. But a written-for-free story about Harry Potter? The horrors!

Honestly, Fangirl, rather than celebrating the creativity of fans, simply affirms the ‘weirdness’ of the hobby.

To that end, the fiction class subplot was awful. Just awful. I get it. Cath is a special snowflake who can do no wrong. Based on her experience writing fan fiction, she is a perfect author in need of no correction. She’s learned it all and should probably be teaching fiction writing, because she’s that amazing.

Sure she is.

The one thing I can usually rely on in novels is that writers know about writing and the world of writing (to be fair to Ms. Rowell: she does have a few good paragraphs about getting into the zone). It’s therefore weird to read a novel that features such an unrealistic portrayal of creative writing.

Working in a creative field entails dealing with criticism and rejection. Criticism is painful, but it is pain with a purpose. It takes people with raw talent and potential and forces them to improve.

I live in LA, and more than once have heard people use “So what’s the worst review you’ve ever had?” as an icebreaker. As a way to get to know someone, it sounds awful, but I’m amazed at how well it works. Because everyone has that story. Most have multiple stories, because it’s a normal part of the job. As a film professor once told me, none of his students would improve if he told them nothing more than “good job” and “you’re so talented.”

But that’s all Cath hears. Because Cath is perfect. Except her mean old professor doesn’t like fan fiction and doesn’t want Cath turning in fan fiction for assignments. How dare she. Because Cath is flawless. She needs no critiquing. Any piece of work she touches is brilliant.

In other words, the Simon Snow series is not the biggest fantasy featured in Fangirl. NOT recommended.
Profile Image for Ariel.
301 reviews64.1k followers
August 5, 2016
WELL. FANGIRL. IT’S KIND OF A BIG DEAL RIGHT NOW. I read it, so let’s talk about it!

Things I liked:
- The examination of fanfiction as a type of literature
- The importance of family through sibling and parent relationships
- The importance of moving on and letting go (although I felt this plot point was drobbed and underdeveloped.. but the idea was there!)
- Adorable adorable romance
- Showing the reality of social awkwardness
- The alternate Harry Potter land
- That it made me pull almost an all-nighter finishing it
- OVERALL: I thought this was a well written, cute story, with a cute romance that made me feel all bubbly, while still demonstrating some important transition from teen-to-adult lessons

Things I didn’t like:
- The main character. I found her so closed to life. And I realize that the point was that she was going from closed off to more open.. but I never felt that transition. I found her extremely frustrating because of her inability to allow change and accept transition. I absolutely would not have minded if she found making changes DIFFICULT.. but she never even tried! She never went out of her comfort zone!
- Anti-climactic moments: I felt that there was a lack of rise and falls in the story.. it felt a bit directionless and as though there were a few goals in the plot, I felt that they got dropped along the way for the romance.. what about the sister? The dad? The mom? Her classes? Her fanfic? Some of these technically got finished, but it just felt like they fell to the wayside of the romantic plot WHICH WAS LOVELY but still. But still.
- OVERALL: My largest problem was the main character. When I read a story I like to sympathize/empathize with the main character and I really had a hard time with Cather.. I really didn’t appreciate how closed off she was to new things!

I absolutely understand why this is so popular right now, and I actually recommend it if the story sounds like something you might like, and I definitely had a fun time reading it.. but I read it as a cute contemporary and it didn’t deliver too much more than that.

Nov 5th: It's 3:45 am. I have just finished marathoning this book for the past 6 hours. I'm tired, I'm hungry, and I have to go to class in the morning. WORTH IT.
Profile Image for Komal.
51 reviews326 followers
December 4, 2013
Edit: Downgrading the rating to 4. When I look back now, there are some minor issues, which I initially overlooked. So, yeah, maybe a 4.5 read but definitely not a 5.

Initial Reaction After Completion

You know how we all cry at tragedies. We cry with Rose in Titanic, with Liesel in The Book Thief, with Harry in Shell Cottage, with Maya in Forbidden. We are a sentimental specie and we cry a damn lot.
But how many of us cry at an especially beautiful ending. When wounds heal, when all loose ends are tied, when broken relationships are mended.

I don't.

I never cry at the happy stuff. Never. It's too mushy, wishy-washy for me.
I mean what is there to cry about in something good? Tears don't get to show up in good times too. We see enough of them in the sad ones.

But today was a first.

I got teary-eyed at a happy ending. It was nothing too incredible or stunning or anything mind-blowing really. It was simple. And in that simplicity, it encompassed so much more than any grandiose ending could ever have. Because isn't life ultimately about the simple stuff?

The Plot

Fangirl follows the life of Cather as she muddles through her freshman year at college, with her social anxieties and this almost religious circumventing of any social interaction. But I wouldn't say she is closed off. It's just that she is much more comfortable with her glasses on, laptop in front of her, writing fanfiction. She writes fanfiction on Simon Snow series which is equivalent to our Harry Potter phenomenon and has a massive fan following. We follow one year of her life, the year before the release of the last book in the Simon Snow series.

Now, I got into reading with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Yep, the third book and with no idea whatsoever about the previous two installments. I had this heavy, hardbound copy which my mom used to read me to bed every night. And that marked the beginning of my HP obsession. I was in 6th grade when HP7 was to be released and had managed to find friend who was just as HP crazy as me. We used to squabble over who would end up with whom, will Harry-Hermione ever be possible, Snape-bitching, what will happen to Harry and all sorta shit. When I completed Deathly Hallows, a month, a WHOLE GODDAMN MONTH AFTER ITS RELEASE, for this one moment, before I started babbling over how Harry triumphed over Voldy, I was shocked. It was over. When something you grow up with comes to an end, it is scary and.. new and you don't know if you'll ever feel so much invested in something ever again.

So, yes I'm rambling, reading through Cath's obsession and fangirl-ism was nostalgic and sad and delightful and relatable all at once.
Conclusion, I may or not be wholly ruled by my emotions here. Wholly.

Characterization and other good stuff

As much biased as I am here, these is still something so refreshing about this book. The characterisation was amazing. Everyone, and I mean everyone was so real. They had their own quirks, separate qualities, distinct shortcomings. No one was wholly perfect or irredeemably bad. I adored them.

The best part about the book is that it gives equal importance to all the relationships portrayed. Whether it was the father-daughter relationship between Art and Cath or the twins', Cath and Wren's development or Raegan's awkward and straight-forward friendship or the budding romance. Because it it so common in today's YA to erase all other people to make space for the luurrvvee interest. Rowell navigates this tricky area brilliantly.

Now, I'll take a moment to talk about Cath and Wren's deal. I love love love love their relationship. It was so cute the way that they supported each other, wrote fanfiction together and were always there for each other. There were no unnecessary jealousies, petty rivalries or frivolous quibbles. As I said, refreshing.

The romance angle

We all are more than familiar with today’s love interests. Their muscled body, ripped abs, broad shoulders and what the fuck not. To say Levi’s descriptions were out of the norm would be an understatement. He has a receding hairline, soft muscled body and no towering 6 foot plus height. Levi had no scarred past or traumatic childhood; in fact he is one of the good guys, who have suddenly fallen out of the fad. You know the type, chivalrous, polite, a smile pasted on and being nice to strangers just because they can. They take a moment to read a bus driver’s name and thank them. Peeta Mellark kinda guy.
Because he is more than just the sexy love interest. First he is a nice person and then has more layers to him, which was so great to read about.

Levi is outgoing, popular, the social kind which contrasted sharply with Cath's introversion. And they complemented each other perfectly.
So, needless to say, what wasn't there to love about the guy?
So, inspite of all Levi’s swoon worthiness, if I talk about something that transcends even him, then you know, the book is good. More than good. Excellent.

And now, I can't resist; I have to talk about Cath.

Cather Avery

You know about your siblings. How they annoy you at times, trouble you but you still manage to have loads of fun with them. How it is alright for you to bitch about them but no one else can say a word against them. How protective you are of them.
That is exactly how I feel about Cath. She is hesitant to trust others, reluctant to make friends, but once you get to know her, you can't help but feel she is amazing. She is a geek. A nerd. A bookworm. And I loved that about her. I loved how strong she remains in crisis, how caring and supportive she is of her father, how protective she is of Wren.
Her interactions with Raegan are hilarious.
“What’s wrong with Levi?”
“Nothing,” Cath said. “He’s just … not like me.”
“You mean, smart?”
“Levi’s really smart,” Cath said defensively.
“I know,” Reagan said, just as defensively.
“He’s different,” Cath said. “He’s older. He smokes. And he drinks. And he’s probably had sex. I mean, he looks like he has.”
Reagan raised her eyebrows like Cath was talking crazy. And Cath thought—not for the first time, but for the first time since last night—that Levi had probably had sex with Reagan.
“And he likes to be outside,” Cath said, just to change the subject. “And he likes animals. We don’t have anything in common.”
“You’re making him sound like he’s some rowdy mountain man who, like, smokes cigars and has sex with prostitutes.”

So, wrapping up,
This is a do-not-miss-even-if-the-fucking-sky-is-falling. It is breezy and joyous coming of age novel which will undoubtedly tug at your heartstrings. Beneath all the fun and humor lie subtle hints to maturity and development. The honesty and innocence it emanates will lift your spirit and restore your faith in YA literature.

I am leaving you with this absolutely stunning vignette of wisdom:
“I find Ugg boots really comforting,” Cath said.
“Why? Because they’re warm?”
“No. Because they remind me that we live in a place where you can still get away with, even get excited about, Ugg boots. In fashionable places, you have to pretend that you’re over them, or that you’ve always hated them. But in Nebraska, you can still be happy about new Ugg boots. That’s nice. There’s no end of the innocence.”
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.6k followers
September 12, 2019
awww. you guys. i really liked this.

ive never read/written fanfiction but, wow, i relate with cath so much - i think anyone who has a major passion in their life can. i love how this story explores the idea of maintaing who you are when placed in a new environment. college is a time in many peoples lives where they go through changes, but i love how this story shows that its also okay to stay the same and not give up things that make you happy.

so if you are ever having a bad day, this is the book i would suggest you read. it is impossible to finish reading this and not have a smile on your face. its the ultimate pick-me-up and a must have for every bookworms personal library!

4 stars
Profile Image for  Teodora .
330 reviews1,771 followers
April 9, 2023
3.35/5 ⭐

Full review on my Blog: The Dacian She-Wolf 🐺

Okay, storytime: Once upon a time there was this introverted girl (aka me) who read about another introverted girl (aka Cath from Fangirl ) and found her so introverted that went like eek, am I like this too??

End of story, sad story but true story.

I really liked the general idea this book was based on – a girl so in love with a fictional world that she started writing her own fanfiction just to keep the magic alive. I can definitely relate, 101%. I too fantasise about many fictional worlds and sometimes, when my brain needs a bit of refreshing, I write down the stories I have in my head and so I create a sort of fanfiction too.

I liked the fact that the plotline is easy to follow and light to read, aspects that make the whole book a quick and enjoyable read, but I would’ve definitely loved for it to go a bit deeper and a little bit more twisted. Like this, it was just cute and light reading, without a certain substance. The book remains only floating at the surface of an exploratory literary ocean.

Okay now, here's a truth: I disliked them all with one exception. To me, they were either annoying or inconsistent, no in-between.


Cath stepped on my nerves multiple times with her stubbornly introverted nature, not taking change well at all, retreating inside of her shell at every single inconvenience, living solely in her head. And her twin sister, Wren, was just a horrible person for most of the book – too carefree, too selfish, too desperate to have a flash a certain appearance to the rest of the world that at one point she was way too embarrassed by her true self.

I felt like all of the characters had their own way of dealing with life that I simply didn’t vibe with. Some were too stubborn, some too selfish, some too unbothered, some plainly rude. How am I supposed to enjoy a book if its characters are so grumpy, weird and lack communication skills?

The only character who I think saved the day and kept a clean face for this book was Levi.
He is an actual smiley ray of fucking sunshine and even though he can be terribly exhausting at sometimes, the level of positivity he radiates is the best medicine of the book.

He is genuine like that. Sometimes, I simply couldn’t handle Levi’s pure and warm sweetness. As I kept reading, he kept getting better and better and I honestly think I fell in love with this adorable farmboy somewhere along the way.


Even though I don’t sound positive about this, I think Fangirl was enjoyable to read and also, thanks to Levi, there were sweet and candid moments that made my heart go ‘aww’.

Cath learns how to get out of that defensive shell she tends to retreat into when Levi warms his way to her and I think that’s something to take notice of.

We all need people around us to function properly because us humans are social creatures – even the most introverted ones. The advice of this book? Don’t reject the people who want to be your genuine friends because those are the ones that will want to stay by your side and help you grow. And the feeling would definitely be mutual.

Enjoy beautiful, true friendships and allow yourself some sunshine in your life. You deserve it!
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
547 reviews34.7k followers
April 6, 2018
“Accidental buddy read” with the amazing Maks! ;-)

When I began to read “Fangirl” I was looking for something fluffy and nice and after finishing the book I can say that I actually got everything I expected! *lol*

This book was indeed very fluffy and nice and it made me smile and caused me to chuckle and it was sometimes silly and strange but also serious and sad! XD So yeah I got the whole range of human emotions and I definitely didn’t regret to read this book! =))
(I’m truly sorry that Maks didn’t enjoy it as much as I did, but I guess it’s only natural that tastes differ! ;-))

Well anyway, what I’m trying to tell you is that everyone who’s ever been part of some Fandom is actually kind of bound to enjoy this book! XD “Fangirl” describes the feelings of the fans so good and I swear whenever Cath went into rhapsodies about Simon and Baz I was like: I feel you girl, I so do!!!! XD Her enthusiasm was just so relatable and I really enjoyed reading her fanfic. I loved the idea of Simon and Baz being in love and I’m sooo going to read “Carry On”. ;-P (I imagine this would be like Malfoy and Harry falling in love. LOL*)

Okay, so after getting rid of all my initial thoughts I’m finally able to write this review! XD

The Plot:

As Maks has already pointed out there was no brilliant or mind-blowing storyline you could have sunk your teeth into. In fact the entire book could have been described in one sentence: Cath and Wren are twins that just finished high school and started to go to university. It’s some sort of teenage romance though, so yeah what did you expect? *lol* Of course both of them are struggling with their lives and yes, they both fall in love! ;-P But hey if you actually bothered to read the summary on the back of the book you got exactly what you bargained for! XD

This said, we can move to the characters and this time around there actually is a lot to tell!

Brace yourself my fellow book readers, because we’re plunging right into the territory of spoilers! ;-P

The Characters:

Cath: I loved this girl so much! At the beginning of the book she was so shy and withdrawn but the longer I read the more I was able to understand her strange behaviour. For Cath to write her fan fiction was everything she needed to function properly and the harder her life became, the more she retreated into her own world. Sometimes I got angry because I hated that she didn’t put up more of a fight and sometimes I just wanted to hug her for being so incapable to speak up her mind. Her struggle was just so relatable and I really felt sorry for her. Especially because her sister was an immature moron and Cath really deserved better than that. It was so nice to see how she got independent though and in some way I even think I have to be grateful Wren was such a foolish dork!

“They probably think you like them.”
“I do like them.”
“If it wasn’t exploitive, you’d harass smart boys, too – “
“I do, in a pinch. Do you feel exploited, Cather?” He was still grinning at her over his coffee cup.
“No she said, “I know that you don’t like me.”
“You don’t know anything.”

”I can’t thank you enough for bringing me here. But I couldn’t mean this more: I’d like it if you left now. I don’t just kiss people. Kisses aren’t … just with me. That’s why I’ve been avoiding you. That’s why I’d like to avoid you now. Okay?”

”I’m probably going to be crazy for the rest of my life, thanks to her. I’m going to keep fucked-up decisions and doing weird things that I don’t even realise are weird. People are going to feel sorry for me, and I won’t ever have any normal relationships – and it’s always going to be because I didn’t have a mother. Always. That’s the ultimate kind of broken. The kind of damage you never recover from. I hope she feels terrible. I hope she never forgives herself.”

Wren: I didn’t like her and I think I still don’t. I mean, yes it was nice that they somehow made up in the end but seriously some of the things Wren did were just stupid an unforgivable! Alone the moment when she said that she wasn’t going to visit their father in hospital because they had finals! I was like OMG, you can’t be serious!!!! If my father would have been in hospital I would have been there in a heartbeat and wouldn’t even have given a damn about stupid finals! Gah!!! Wren’s inconsiderate behaviour just made me angry and I had an almost overwhelming urge to shake her back to her senses. XD

Levi: I liked Levi and his candidness right from the beginning and I was so rooting for him and Cath. When they made out in her bed after she read to him I was like: YESSHHH!!! Finally!!! And then, and then he did something completely stupid and I couldn’t understand the world anymore! I was like WTH!!??? I can understand why he kissed that other girl and I know Cath and him were not even dating, but still the entire encounter with the other girl kind of threw me. I mean Levi was so nice and sweet and caring and then he takes the next best girl that bats her eyelashes at him? Well, I guess Mrs. Rowell had to give him some flaws; otherwise he just would have been too perfect, right? *lol* Anyway, I just loved Levi’s chivalry and I adored him for being so sympathetic and kind! XD

”You’re not the ugly one.” Levi grinned. “You’re just the Clark Kent.”
Cath started checking her e-mail.
“Hey, Cath,” Levi said, kicking her chair. She could hear the teasing in his voice. “Will you warn me when you take off your glasses?”

”Read me some of your secret, dirty fanfiction.”

”He’s a vampire!” Levi shouted at her laptop. “And he’s hunting you! He stays up all night , watching you sleep, trying to decide whether to eat you whole or one chunk at a time.”

Reagan: The best roommate ever!!!! Haha she reminded me so much of my own bestie and whenever I tried to picture her she had the face of my best friend. *LOL* Seriously it was almost like Rainbow Rowell knew her! *lol*

”Just go, Cath,” Reagan said. “It’ll take five minutes, and if you get raped now, it’ll be our fault. I haven’t got time for the pain.”

Cath looked at Reagan. Even without her makeup and hair, the girl was terrifying. There was just no fear in her. No hesitation. Talking to Reagan was like standing in front of an oncoming train.”

Cath’s and Wren’s father: I don’t know why but I really liked their father! Some of his statements were just so epic and even though it was kind of obvious that he struggled, he still tried everything possible to help his girls. I think for being a single father that had some sort of mental illness he actually did more than just well and there were moments I just wanted to tell him that he’s awesome and that everything would turn out to be alright. =)

”Not that her dad would actually do that, the mashed potato thing. That wasn’t his style at all.
A fireman’s pole to the attic. Spur-of-the-moment road trips. Staying up for three nights because he discovered Battlestar Galactica on Netflix… That was the MO to his madness.”

“She and Wren had gotten good at watching him. At noticing when a little manic slid into a lot. When charismatic gave way to crazed. When the twinkle in his eyes turned into a burnt-out flash.”

”Cath, if you’re really worried about me, I’m begging you, go back to school. Because if you drop out because of me, if you lose your scholarship, if you set yourself back – because of me – I won’t be able to live with myself.”

The ending:

”What if I promise to let you touch me first?”
“Are you kidding? I’m the untrustworthy person in this relationship. I’m all hands.”
“I’ve seen no evidence of that, Cather.”
“In my head, I’m all hands.”
“I want to live in your head.”

All told I really enjoyed this book and if you’re looking for a teen romance that is all fluffy and nice and will make you smile, then this definitely should be your choice of book!!! ;-P
Profile Image for Natalie.
567 reviews3,196 followers
August 26, 2018
Why I Fangirl over Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl (Spoilers: Levi)

If you've been following my reviews for a while now, you probably know by now that Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl is an all-time favorite of mine; I make sure to reread it every single year.

This time around, I decided to revisit the book through a different medium by checking out the audiobook for the first time, as I mention in the Parks and Rec book tag (where I feature Reagan for Ron Swanson's question, yet somehow still wound up including my perfect sunflower and the pride of Arnold, otherwise known as Levi Stewart).

description description
Source: Levi & Reagan

As I mention in the tag, I feel like even the audio-narrator is enjoying herself with Reagan’s character because I can always hear a hint of a smile upon reading her comically outrageous lines. They're profound contributions to this world.

“There was just no fear in her. No hesitation. Talking to Reagan was like standing in front of an oncoming train.”

However, since I already uploaded an extensive review full of ravishing ravings for Fangirl in 2016 that you can check out here, I decided to twist things around for this reread and feature the list of everything important I noted during my reading experience (which I can visually represent with this very accurate gif below):

• Starting with the most beloved cast of characters that always bring out the best feelings out of me, I made sure to take my sweet time with this audiobook, listening to a little at a time every other week or so. More specifically, Levi has me wrapped around his finger; he leaves me grinning from ear to ear so easily. And I have to elaborate by making a whole new point about this...

• I felt like Jim Halpert, smiling into the camera, because every time Levi shows, I'd inevitably look into a nonexistent camera like I'm on The Office, while trying to hold off the wisp of a megawatt smile showing on my face. Like, get you a guy like Levi who goes out of his way in making sure you're comfortable and showing signs that he genuinely likes you.

Just to give you a feel of what I'm talking about, here's a couple of instances that made me smile uncontrollably in his presence:

• Walking with Cather late at night from the library to make sure she gets back safe and sound to her dorm.

“Just Cather, huh?”
“Just Cath.”
“Did you get lost in the library?”
“I always get lost in the library,” he said, “no matter how many times I go. In fact, I think I get lost there more, the more that I go. Like it’s getting to know me and revealing new passages.”
“You spend a lot of time in the library?”
“I do, actually.”
“How is that possible when you’re always in my room?”
“Where do you think I sleep?” he asked. And when she looked at him, he was grinning.”

This loving, loyal sunflower has the biggest smile and an even bigger heart.

Which is why I was beyond elated when I read Rainbow's comparing him to a golden retriever (“For the constant good-natured game of him.”). Mainly because of a Youtube comment I shared in my Parks and Rec tag that used exactly that phrase to describe the relationship unfolding between Andy Dwyer and April Ludgate: It’s like watching a grumpy cat and golden retriever get married. And it represented a lot of what Cath and Levi's interaction held for me.

• Plus, having them slowly bond over Cath's “secret, dirty fanfiction” is something that will never grow old on me. I'm utterly amazed at how effortlessly Rainbow captures that intimate moment of growth from being acquaintances to friends to something more.

“It’s not dirty.”
“Read me some anyway.”
She let go of the pillow; he’d probably already filthed it beyond redemption.
“Because I’m curious,” he said. “And I like stories.”
“You just want to make fun of me.”
“I won’t,” he said. “I promise.”
“That’s what you and Reagan do when I’m not here, right? Make fun of me. Play with my commemorative busts. Do you have a stupid nickname for me?”
His eyes sparkled. “Cather.”
“I don’t exist to amuse you, you know.”
“One, are you sure? Because you do. And, two, we don’t make fun of you. Very much. Anymore. And, three…”
He was counting on his fingers, and his cheeks were twitching, and it was making Cath laugh.
“Three,” he said, “I won’t make fun of you, to anyone but you, from now on, if you’ll just once, right now, read me some of your fanfiction.”

I’m blinking hearts.

Pretty sure that with that Levi has ruined all other guys for me. I mean, having someone's defining feature be kindness above all is cathartic. It's like I always make sure to ask myself if the guy in front of me lives up to Levi’s standards, and if he doesn't, well...

• The peak, of course, hits with getting to experience my all-time favorite scene on audio, featuring Cath reading The Outsiders to Levi through the night. Any book that has the characters bond by reading a book out loud to one another is the way to my heart, all thanks to Fangirl being the primary instigator. I have to say, though, that listening to this part was so worth the wait, since my eyes couldn't skip ahead out of anticipation as usual. I could actually savor each line and unpack the hidden meaning within the words. I even listened to the ending with closed eyes, and it was so perfect because Cath was tired and her eyes were tired, and I felt it all.

“Cath exhaled. Then inhaled. Her chest was so tight, it hurt both ways. Levi shouldn’t get to make her feel this way—he shouldn’t even have access to her chest.”

They had me going to bed with a smile on my face. Madness...

I'm pretty sure I can quote the whole book on Levi's sunny disposition if you'll let me, so this is as good a stopping point as any on that... I'll just end by mentioning that THEIR DOMESTIC SCENES TOGETHER ARE MY NICHE. 

• The level of detail we're given about the characters hits the exact right spot for my nosy-self. Like, knowing that Reagan’s voice sounds similar to Kathleen Turner's rasp is *kisses fingers like a satisfied chef* perfect. Oh, and the random fact that the seatbelt in Levi's truck is a hassle to pull through is bliss to know. It's these little things that make the characters seem that more real in the big picture.

• Which leads me to discuss how much of a blast I had actually giving a listen to the Spotify playlists created by Rowell for both Cath and Levi. Now, I can actually know what songs she had in mind during the most iconic of scenes, such as the infamous Emergency Dance Party.

• It’s frankly terrifying how much I get Cath. Every time I reread Fangirl, I either discover something new about myself or connect together pieces about myself through her. We have so many overlapping thoughts and actions, so I thought this was an incredibly well-done part of the story. I felt it most strongly the morning after the shared half-asleep kiss with Levi, when Cath tried to convince herself all the reasons they would never fit together.

“He’s different,” Cath said. “He’s older. He smokes. And he drinks. And he’s probably had sex. I mean, he looks like he has.”
Reagan raised her eyebrows like Cath was talking crazy. And Cath thought—not for the first time, but for the first time since last night—that Levi had probably had sex with Reagan.
“And he likes to be outside,” Cath said, just to change the subject. “And he likes animals. We don’t have anything in common.”
“You’re making him sound like he’s some rowdy mountain man who, like, smokes cigars and has sex with prostitutes.”
Cath laughed, despite herself. “Like a dangerous French fur trapper.”
“He’s just a guy,” Reagan said. “Of course he’s different from you. You’re never going to find a guy who’s exactly like you—first of all, because that guy never leaves his dorm room.…”

The last line is THE STRONGEST THING I'VE FELT IN MY LIFE. I'm beyond thankful that Cath has someone like Reagan to set her straight. Their blossoming friendship was one of the most unexpected to appear with their juxtaposing personalities, and yet it grew to be one of my favorite friendships to read. I was thunderstruck time and again by their casual daily interactions that brought about some of the most memorable lines of the book.

• Speaking of, the amount of times I had to pause the audiobook to release my pent-up laughter just goes to show how utterly brilliant Rowell is at creating incomparable comical moments at the most unexpected times. I'll be still laughing minutes after I read a certain phrase because it's on a loop in my head. Like, I never get over this particular line Levi throws at Cath the first time they hang out in his room/attic:

“Read something else,” he whispered, kissing the skin below her ear.
Cath took a deep breath. “What?”
“Anything. More fanfiction, the soybean report … You’re like a tiger who loves Brahms—as long as you’re reading, you let me touch you.”

The “the soybean report” got me good. I'm so keen on knowing HOW Rainbow comes up with this stuff... What follows afterward between Cath and Levi is, of course, one of the best scenes for them as a couple, but I won't bombard you with more, since I'm obviously a complete fool when it comes to these two together. (And it's impossible to choose just one moment to capture.)

Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 09.46.55
With having read all of Rowell's books (some even multiple times) I just have to say that she excels at making us EXPERIENCE a story instead of merely reading words. Fangirl explores the subtle real-life moments of young adulthood that are often forgotten about, and it makes her writing endlessly readable.

See you in my next reread of this book!


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This review and more can be found on my blog.
Profile Image for Josu Diamond.
Author 8 books33.2k followers
June 3, 2021
It's cute.

Fangirl siempre ha sido uno de mis libros juveniles eternos pendientes, siempre devolviéndome la mirada desde la estantería, desde que me lo regalaron allá cuando se publicó hace unos ocho años. Ahora, siendo fan como soy de las novelas de Simon Snow y que Carry On es sin duda uno de mis libros favoritos, tenía que ponerle fin a esta espera eterna leyendo la obra que dio inicio a todo.

Rainbow Rowell es conocida -y lo sabemos- por sus historias de amor. Normalmente juega con cosillas como amigos que se van haciendo más que amigos, enemigos que se van acercando... En fin, bebe mucho de esos clichés o tropos típicos donde el amor va surgiendo y todo es bonito, de color de rosa y te hace llenarte de esperanza. Fangirl, como podréis imaginar, está cortada por el mismo patrón.


La protagonista, Cath, no me ha caído bien. Cuanto antes lo diga mejor. Tiene algunas salidas interesantes, pero solo cuando se enfrenta de alguna manera u otra a su compañera de habitación o a su hermana Wren. Todo el tema de ser autora de un fanfic y fan de Simon Snow me ha parecido una excusa para que tuviera algo que aportar a la historia aparte de hablar de los tacos que cena con su padre o la relación tipo montaña rusa que tiene con su hermana gemela. Es básica, sí, muy básica. Y eso no es bueno.

Pese a que la protagonista no me gustara, creo que el ambiente en el que se desarrolla la novela juega a su favor, porque también es bastante sencillo. Con tantas cosas básicas sobre la mesa, la cosa solo podía mejorar, y ahí tenemos a Levi y el romance que va surgiendo con nuestra pequeña inocente Cath. Creo que las chispas que saltan entre ellos, el cómo se toman la relación de amigos que va evolucionando, los dramas de borracheras..., le terminan dando a la novela lo que le faltaba, un poco de bizigarri, como decimos en mi tierra. (O sea, sangre, ¿sabes?)

La prosa de Rainbow es como siempre en su punto. Tiene un don para los diálogos y para jugar con ellos, presentarte a sus personajes a través de sus intervenciones y no ser demasiado cansina con sus movidas mentales. Todo está en su justa medida y te cuenta lo necesario para crear un muy buen ambiente con una estructura clara. Sin embargo, no creo que Fangirl sea su mejor libro para esto. Vamos, que ha hecho cosas mejores.


Aun y todo, este libro me ha pillado desprevenido. Me ha enganchado pese a no soportar a la protagonista, me ha hecho interesarme mucho sobre los personajes secundarios (que me parecen la bomba) y me ha hecho sonreír y gritar cuando pasaban ciertas cosas entre Levi y Cath. No sé, llamadm tonto, pero al final la historia de amor es lo que ha terminado prevaleciendo sobre lo demás. Era lo que más me interesaba, en plan: ¿hoy le dirá que salgan a tomar un café? Y eso era lo que me enganchaba, ver cómo se iba construyendo algo bonito y con dedicación.

Las relaciones entre los personajes del campus universitario están genial, pero la trama con el padre creo que merece unas líneas. No sé si era una crítica al machismo estructural en el que vivimos, pero es un personaje hecho por y para el desastre. La subtrama de Laura, la madre, me ha sabido a poco, y creo que no solo con este personaje, sino con muchos otros, deberíamos de tener un poquito más de conocimiento posterior para comprender dónde se posiciona finalmente Cath con esos conflictos.


Cuando he terminado Fangirl no he podido evitar sentir varias cosas. Una de ellas ha sido confort, calor en el corazón, con una sonrisa de tonto. La otra cosa ha sido rabia, porque ¿ese final? Me parece un despropósito, lo siento. Es la cosa más sosa y sin más del mundo, por no mencionar que aunque Rainbow intente que el tema de Simon Snow cale dentro del lector introduciendo esos pasajes cada tres páginas, he sido incapaz de hacer puente entre esas historias y la de Cath. ¿Me he perdido algo o simplemente era un añadido? No sé, pero quiero una segunda parte para quitarme la espinita de las cosas que no me han convencido.

En fin, es un libro que atrapa por ver frente a tus ojos el nacer de un amor precioso, pero no tiene los elementos que una novela de este estilo debería tener para estar completa. Es entretenida a ratos, con referencias frikis, y te echas unas buenas risas de vez en cuando. Como digo al principio de mi reseña: es un libro mono. Ahora, sé que Rowell tiene mejores. A seguir leyéndola, ¿no?
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