Review:: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

In 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?” (via Goodreads)


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is another book that is seriously harmed by its summary. I actually put off reading this one for a few years because of it’s summary. I’m honestly sorry I waited so long to read Fangirl, because this book was witty, simple and straight up enjoyable to read.

As the summary states, Cather Avery is a Simon Snow fan and a college freshman. She also has a twin sister named Wren. Where Cather, known as Cath, is shy and a little bit afraid of everything, Wren is outgoing and goes into college looking for something a little bit different than her high school experience, starting with not rooming with her sister.

Cath has to get used to being in an entirely new space, tons of new people, taking a fiction writing class that is meant for juniors and seniors, and not really knowing who she is, like most people in their freshman year of college. I think she was also a little bit bi-polar, like her father.

Cath resonated with me as someone I easily could have known – she actually reminded me of my freshman college roommate in a good way. Most of the other characters felt like people I would have met at school, as well. The problems she dealt with were things I saw regularly, and for that reason, I really enjoyed this book.

I loved Reagan and Levi as characters and as friends. Reagan particularly stuck out to me. I’m not sure I’m sold on Levi and Cath as a romantic couple. Their getting to know each other was adorable, and I love their friendship, but it just didn’t read as romantic to me. It felt like it could be, but Cath really wasn’t emotionally ready, in my opinion, to be in a romantic relationship.

All of the characters felt incredibly real to me, but I couldn’t believe some of the choices Cath was making, especially in regards to her fan fiction – turning it in in class and choosing it over her class, but also with the Nick situation. I don’t think I ever would have made the choices that Cath made in those situations, but it made sense for her character to make them, if that makes sense.

I also thought that the cover art was completely appropriate and adorable! If you enjoy authors such as Sarah Dessen, I think you’ll also enjoy Fangirl. I also reviewed Rowell’s Eleanor & Park this summer.

I do wish we’d gotten more resolution on her relationship with Laura and her dad. That being said, I really enjoyed this novel. I think it will be one that I pass on to other people and that I re-read on occasion. I rated this novel 4 stars.

four stars and one empty one meant to signify a four star review

This review was originally published on my Tumblr last July, though I did make a few changes.

7 thoughts on “Review:: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

  1. I just listened to the audiobook of this one and I loooooved it! Cath was someone I really related to (though, you’re definitely right about some of the decisions she made–I would never do those things, but it makes sense for her character). I have to disagree about Levi and Cath’s relationship, though. I absolutely adored them as a couple. Great review!!

    – Lefty @ The Left-Handed Book Lover

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the book and the review! I really enjoyed Fangirl as well. I think they got along really well, I just wish that Cath had had a chance to grow up a little bit on her own. But, that’s not how life works most of the time, so why should fiction, right?

  2. I read this one a while back and I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty much the black sheep with it. While I did enjoy it (3.5 stars I think), I did not enjoy it as much as others. I don’t feel the need to collect every edition (PS, WHY ARE THERE SO MANY EDITIONS?!) or even read Carry On. However, I understand the appreciation, as many of those from the reading community are both YA and writers :).

    Jess @ POB!

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