Published by Pan Macmillan Australia on April 1, 2014
Genres: Young Adult
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Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more - she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she's experienced in real life.
Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. She's got a surly room-mate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
Now Cath has to decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she's realizing that there's more to learn about love than she ever thought possible . . .
You know that feeling when you really, really like something and your life practically revolves around it? Rainbow Rowell captures that feeling perfectly in this novel, from the elation that you feel when the next book in a series is released, to the alienation and loneliness you may feel to people in real life who can’t relate, to the process of writing a piece of fiction that means more to you than living life itself.
That’s why Fangirl has captured the hearts of many readers who can relate. Fanfiction writer Cath, enters college apart from her twin sister Wren, who wants to be her own person and have a go at college without her sister. After doing everything together their whole life, Cath can’t help but be hurt by Wren’s decision. But moving into a dorm room with a new solicitous roommate Reagan, sets in motion a series of events where she will discover herself and find someone who loves and respects her.
There’s so many reasons why I loved Fangirl, because it just captures so many relatable life experiences.
“It’s always so cool to meet somebody else who reads fanfiction in real life…”
Fangirl is about being out of your comfort zone and trying new things. Cath has always preferred sitting at home alone and writing to going out and meeting people. Being in college with a new roommate, forces her to try new things and experiences, like going to a party and meeting boys in real life. Cath is a sweetheart and an introvert, but she wears her Simon Snow fandom like something to be ashamed of. I could feel her insecurity and awkwardness with people, but her experience shows you that there’s nothing to be afraid of.
Fangirl is about a sister/best friend who wants to get away from you and be her own person, who you just have to let go to learn on their own. Wren was a difficult character to symphasise with, because she distances herself from Cath and their family. Instead of making sensible decisions, she thrusts herself into frat parties, drinking and college life. Even though there’s some angst there, I just couldn’t bring myself to blame Wren for the decisions that she made, because I know people like this. It’s realistic.
Fangirl is about acceptance and finding someone who doesn’t judge your passion, who encourages you to do better and to achieve your dreams through it. Oh, Levi was such a gentleman. His calming, jovial presence, his smiles and encouragement was so lovely. He doesn’t have all the smooth moves and he’s not built like a tank, but his chivalry, acceptance of Cath, and his way of looking out for her was totally swoon worthy. I just love Rainbow Rowell’s male love interests, they are so respectful and chivalrous.
It’s not like Levi was going to be impressed by her fanfiction; entertained wasn’t the same as impressed. He already thought she was a weirdo, and this was just going to make her seem that much weirder.
Fangirl is about so many experiences, that it’s difficult to pinpoint what exactly made it resonate with me, but that’s why it’s a wonderful piece of realistic fiction.
I loved the Simon Snow info dumps throughout the novel, because it is aptly compared to the Potterhead fandom. Baz and Simon are as real and dear to Cath as Harry and Draco are to us, and that is understandable. You can even see differences between Cath’s and the real author’s own writing styles. It just made this part of Cath’s life all the more real.
In summary, Fangirl is about growing out of a comfortable stage of your life, and into one where you will face new challenges and experiences – and ultimately, come out a changed person. After all, isn’t that what life is about?
I loved the bonus content in this paperback. More Simon Snow, an author’s interview, character illustrations and a comic strip – Yes please!
Thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 5 out of 5
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