Book Review: Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell

FangirlFangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: September 10, 2013
My rating: 4 .5of 5 stars

Publisher’s Description:

In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life–and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to. Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Cath and Wren are identical twins who have always been close. They are both huge Simon Snow (a Harry Potter-esque book series) fans and write popular Simon Snow fan fiction. However, when they start college Wren wants to branch out, try new things and meet new people. Thus, she doesn’t want to room with Cath in the dorms. This means Cath has to room with a Reagan, a stranger. Cath, already a socially awkward introvert, retreats even more into her comfort zone of Simon Snow forums and fan fiction.

Rainbow Rowell has done it again. Fan Girl is an authentic look at life for a college freshman. Just like Eleanor and Park took me back to high school, this book took me back to college. I could remember just what it was like to be scared, excited and anxious about going away to school. The characters were just so real. And Levi – wow. Rainbow creates the best boyfriends! He was so sweet and funny, I wanted to cuddle him and muss his hair. I loved his girlfriend and Cath’s roommate, Reagan. She had great dry, sarcastic sense of humor and she and Cath played off of each other fantastically. Reagan’s one-liners were the best.

Excerpts of both “real” Simon Snow books and Cath’s fan fiction are interspersed throughout the book. Honestly, I thought they were unnecessary and I skimmed most of them. I think they were supposed to have some symbolism related to what was going on in Cath’s life but whatever it was wasn’t clear to me. However, Rainbow now has a book out called Carry On, which is a REAL Simon Snow book. I’ll read that eventually, although I’m not as excited for it as I was when Fan Girl came out.

Fan Girl is another fabulous book from Rainbow Rowell.

Check out my reviews of some of Rainbow Rowell’s other books:
Eleanor & Park

  • bermudaonion(Kathy)

    I listened to this one and loved it too!