Written by Rainbow Rowell
Read by Maxwell Caulfield, Rebecca Lowman
Published by St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: September 10th 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Length: 12 hrs and 48 mins
Source: Audible, Purchased
Find on Goodreads
Challenges: 2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge, 2016 Review Challenge, 2016 Shelf Love Challenge
A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, 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 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?
Don’t want to read the whole review? Click to jump to the Skinny Review.
I didn’t have any expectations going into Fangirl. Sure, I had heard a lot of awesome things about Rainbow Rowell, but I honestly haven’t picked up her books. I DID have Fangirl and Carry On signed by Rainbow Rowel at Yallwest earlier this year, but I gave my Fangirl copy to my cousin who absolutely ADORES Rainbow!
Anyway, in preparation for reading Carry On (which I STILL HAVEN’T DONE!), I decided to read Fangirl first and I WAS AMAZED! I mean, if you are a total FANGIRL, you will understand this book so, so, so much!
In fact, I see myself as Cath! Well, my teenage self, anyway! *wink I remember starting my freshman year in college and not KNOWING anyone in my classes because all my BFFs decided to take different courses and, and it’s just totally SCARY! So I immediately bonded with Cath right there! Contrary to what I am now, I USED TO BE SUPER SHY! I still am, by the way, but I’ve had to come out of my shell.
As the title states, Cath is THE FANGIRL. The one who is totally obsessed with and writes fanfic for one of the biggest fandoms: Simon Snow. You will also appreciate the subtle references to Harry Potter here. TOTALLY! And if you are like me who practically grew up with Harry Potter, you would totally get it!
The Story within the story
The awesomest thing about Fangirl is Carry On because each chapter has snippets of the fanfic written by Cath!
But what is Fangirl really about?
It is about an awkward girl who isn’t ready to be a college freshman. Who clings hard to her twin sister, Ren who HAS moved on from fanfic writing and the Simon Snow fandom. It is about family and discovering love – basically sort of mirroring my freshman year in college! Ha ha!
What I like most of all is the concept of family. The amazing bond between father and daughter, and the bond between sisters. Really, Fangirl is an awesome book about family as well.
But I want more romance!
Unfortunately, what is lacking in Fangirl is the romance between Cath and Levi. Since I am a romance fan, I always, ALWAYS want more romance in my books. Sure, there was the meet cute, but I wanted more from their relationship.
The audiobook is awesome!
Because I listened to the audiobook, you get to hear two narrators, Rebecca Lowman for Fangirl, and Maxwell Caulfield for the Carry On excerpts! Awesome, right?
Since I don’t normally read YA contemporary, I don’t have a lot of recs I can give you. The closest one I can recommend is Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.
Do you think YA needs more romance?
What do you think about having a story within a story?