Actual Rating: 4.5-5
What is every fangirl's, or fanboy's, dream come true? Yes, it's a book about them. And it's not a book that just undermines the loyalty of any fandom, but it's one that totally gets them. Rowell's Fangirl
is not only a true rendition of an actual fangirl in real life, it is a book we finally get that so many of us relate to (and it's actually good!).
Cath is your typical fangirl; She hides out in her room – which is totally decked out in Simon Snow fandom merch – on the internet, writing fanfiction, or talking to her "internet friends". The way she describes the fandom, as well as her passion, immediately tips you off that Rainbow Rowell knows what she's talking about. Simon Snow is basically the Harry Potter of Cath's world (even though harry potter still exists in her world). So when college starts, Cath's world starts to shift as her twin sister, Wren, seems to detach herself from the "fandom" life, unlike Cath who is still crazy dedicated to Simon Snow and her fanfiction for the series, Carry On
. So without Wren, who she did everything with together up until this point, Cath feels stranded in unfamiliar territory with, what seems to be, a mean roommate, Reagan, and her smiley boyfriend, Levi. And on top of that, Cath has social anxiety and is a bit insecure with herself. Her hesitation to explore campus, let alone fine the dining hall, further adds to her anxiety of the unknown. Rather than go out and party like most of the other students, she ends up in her room doing the usual: writing Carry On
. Cath goes through events throughout her freshmen year that includes her family, friends, school, and of course Simon Snow, that may or may not end up in a total disaster.
Rowell's writing made you feel like you were living as Cath despite it being told in the third person, however at times it felt like someone was also telling you the story, which isn't too far off with how I felt reading Rowell's other book, Eleanor and Park
. She also includes excerpts from the Simon Snow novels and even Cath's fanfiction in-between chapters, so that you know enough of the series that you're never really lost if it comes up in Cath's conversations. Rainbow Rowell literally created a whole new universe within the one she is narrating, that has just the same amount of depth and personality as everyone in Cath's world that you end up being a fangirl of Simon Snow yourself, wishing it was an actual series.
So what fangril wouldn't like a book about a fangirl? Well Cath is just one type of fangirl. The fanfiction reading, slash fanfiction writing, marathon watching, room covered with fandom merch, and has her own fanbase based on a fandom kind of a fangirl. So unless you're no where close to that kind of a fangirl then maybe you wont feel as connected to Cath, however that wouldn't be enough not to read the book. Cath's journey through her college freshman year not only is relatable regardless of what kind of fangirl you are but also a story everyone should read for its authenticity.