Out of the many books I have read about fandoms, this novel called Fangirl has to be my favorite! One of my old friends from a couple of years ago recommended this book to me, but I did not get the chance to read it because I was already reading other books. Well, now I regret waiting to read this book until last year because I missed out on a lot. After reading it, I could not stop thinking about the wonderful characters, plot, and overall, the themes of the novel. Also, this novel is what inspired me to make my own blog and write more stories, so Fangirl really means a lot to me.
In the novel Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, Cath is a freshman at the University of Nebraska, along with her outgoing sister Wren, but Cath has a harder time adjusting to her new environment. First, Wren does not want to room with Cath, and second, Cath has a social anxiety disorder. The only things that comforts Cath are writing her Simon Snow fan-fictions for her thousands of followers online and writing in her fiction-writing class. As Wren confesses that she is done with being a fangirl, Cath starts having a harder time with making friends in college, her new love life blossoming, and most of all, getting an F for turning in a fan-fiction as an assignment.
The novel itself brings a unique turn to the realism of fangirls and how one will have a hard time letting go of the things they love, mostly fandoms, and being more social. Cath, the protagonist of the book, represents a good example of a girl who struggles with that situation. Rainbow Rowell, the author, develops Cath’s character profoundly and lets the readers see how she grows as a person though the use of vivid imagery, hilarious metaphors, comical similes, along with using the third person point of view to get into more details about the characters. A lot readers could probably relate to her, including me, and definitely remember her throughout the novel with her character growth. There are other characters who have their chances to shine, including one of the important side characters, Cath’s crush Levi, but Cath’s growth is one of the most memorable in the book—heck, maybe in any comical novels ever!
Since Fangirl does deal Cath’s love life, it is right to add some sweet romance in there, right? Well, Rowell does exactly that…except for the beginning. When I was reading this book, I did not feel any connection between the two characters at first because their friendship seemed bland and Levi would just act like a jerk in the beginning. As their friendship grows around halfway through the novel, Cath and Levi’s connection has so much chemistry that some of the readers will probably envy the two and rethink their friendship. Some of their moments together right around the middle of the novel are definitely swoon-worthy moments and just make the audience feel bubbly inside, even during the smallest scenes!
Another relationship I want to talk about is the twins’. When they are first introduced, I seemed to enjoy how Cath and Wren got along, but as Wren starts ignoring her sister, I almost strongly disliked her. Her fun and outgoing attitude changes to somewhat snobby and unbelievably rude around the time she ignores Cath. Yes, I understood Wren wanted to have her own life, but she can’t flat out ignore her, especially when Cath needs her most. Towards the end, my thoughts of Wren changed back after a certain thing she does and she becomes a memorable character in the story.
As I have mentioned in my review of Scarlett Epstein Hates it Here, Cath writes a fan-fiction contributed to the Simon Snow fandom. Compared to the fan-fiction Scarlett writes, Cath’s stands out when it comes to her imagery and especially her tone. The Simon Snow fan-fiction has a more adult tone than Scarlett’s and is far more enjoyable, which made me like the use of having parts of the fan-made story in the novel. Well, for those of you who do know about this information, there is a spin-off novel that has all of Cath’s fan-fiction chapters to create one story, Carry On. As soon as I have the chance to read it, I will definitely post my review on the novel.
There you have it: my review on the wonderful Fangirl. Rainbow Rowell writes some of the best romance novels ever, especially this one in particular, which brings me to rate the novel a five out of five stars. Rowell gives her readers the chance to think about how both boys and girls feel about their fandoms and how precious they are to them. (Trust me, I am in a ton of geeky fandoms and they are pretty special to me one way or another.) I would recommend this series to just about any teenager or adult who love reading and just want something unique and bubbly to read.
Themes of the novel:
Family always comes first.
Don’t let peer pressure get in the way of the things you love.
Love is a roller-coaster of emotions, whether it be full of happiness, sadness, or regret.
Warnings: Instances of underage drinking, profanity, some suggestive imagery and themes.