“The whole point of fanfiction is that you get to play inside somebody else’s universe. Rewrite the rules. Or bend them.”
Hello friends! Today I’m going to be reviewing a Rainbow Rowell novel!!! Very exciting, right?
Fangirl is a coming-of-age story about a young woman named Cath who is a big-time fan of the popular book series, Simon Snow. Her and her twin sister, Wren, have spent years together nestled within the Simon Snow fandom, but all of that changes when they go to university and their world is split into two. As Cath deals with her new environment and the changes that come with the transition to university, she must also face changes in her creative life, too.
I have NO IDEA why I didn’t read this sooner!! Before this, I’d read - and loved - two books by Rainbow Rowell: Attachments and Eleanor and Park. But Fangirl never really stood out to me. The only reason I ended up picking it up was because I had heard so many good things about it as I became more involved with the book blogger community and I finally gave into the hype. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.
I really resonated with Cath and I think that’s what got me hooked so early on. Like me, she’s in university and also is an English major. She suffers from anxiety which makes her pretty reclusive, something I totally understand from my own experiences. A lot of people criticize Rainbow Rowell’s decision to give Cath anxiety in their reviews on Goodreads, because apparently her ‘awkwardness’ around people reinforces the ‘socially inept fangirl’ stereotype. But I actually found Cath to be more relatable because of it. I hate when people use words like ‘socially inept’ to describe people with anxiety. It’s so ignorant. Grr…
I loved Cath, even when she made mistakes (which we all do sometimes) and I thought her story was really interesting. She’s someone who’s come from a difficult past that she has to find the strength to conquer every day. That’s pretty bad ass, if you ask me. And, of course, the romantic storyline in this book was lovely and adorable and it hit me right square in the feels.
I’ve also got to give Rainbow Rowell major kudos for being able to include excerpts from the Simon Snow novel. I mean, Simon Snow is not a real series. It exists only in her head. She basically had to write two stories for the price of one, didn’t she? That’s insane and she deserves a lot of respect for that. I definitely wouldn’t be able to do that. I thought the little excerpts were a lovely addition and that they added a lot of depth to the storyline.
Overall, this was a warm and fuzzy sort of book, the kind I’d want to reread when I’m having a bad day. For me, those are the best kinds of books. In my opinion, this is the perfect young adults novel.
Goodreads Challenge: 20 out of 50