In Rainbow Rowell’s 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.
It’s 2 am, I’m sleeping downstairs with my dog and the Food Network is giving me background noise to do this review.
For starters, before I even talk about the book, I am not one for realistic-fiction. When it doesn’t involve witches/ghosts/some kind of supernatural creature it usually doesn’t capture my attention. Hell it doesn’t even need that, just something different, something off about the world. Anything else…it’s just not my cup of tea, so for YEARS I haven’t read this book because of that. It’s sad to say but it’s also late and I’m a bit delirious.
Alright, Fangirl. Wasn’t expecting to like it this much. It’s not perfect, some things got on my nerves, but for the most part, not a bad read.
Our main character Cath is off to college with her twin sister Wren. The two are polar opposites when it comes to their social life: Wren is outgoing, Cath is me during my two semesters of college (a loner.)
It’s not that common I find a character I can relate to so well but I can relate to Cath (for the most part.) She has social issues and even goes as far as to avoiding the dining hall because she doesn’t know where it is/doesn’t want to deal with people (okay that’s reaching it even for me, I at least left my room.) She also has a roommate, Reagan who seems a bit closed off except for her friend Levi, who is always around and trying to invite Cath to parties.
Cath is also a fanfiction writer. In this world, Simon Snow exists, which is basically our Harry Potter…but Harry Potter also exists so I don’t know how this series can be such a phenomenon if HP was there beforehand. Hell, any story with three main characters learning how to be wizards can get shit on for being too similar to Harry Potter. But moving on from that…
“Magicath” is a popular writer on the fanfiction net. Cath is currently working on Carry On, or her interpretation of the series. She also happens to be in a fiction-writing class with a teacher who doesn’t like the idea of fan fiction.
With Cath being put into uncomfortable situations, losing her sister to the social life, and dealing with her online community, can she ever handle everything?
At times Cath could get on my nerves. She used some of her fanfiction as an assignment for her writing class, which no one should think about doing because it’s just asking for trouble. The teacher even gave her a second chance on an assignment and she still put it off because she didn’t want to do it. Holy crap Cath just write a freaking 10,000 word short story!
The story does shift when Cath gets a love interest and she does open up a bit more. She starts to go out (not as much as she did before) and thankfully, her love interest isn’t annoying. I liked him.
Just to say a few things spoilery. As soon as Wren started the party life-style and Cath had that incident with her at the bar I KNEW something was going to happen to her later. I knew she was either going to get abused or too drunk because something had to bring Cath and Wren back together after their fallout.
Then there was some of the dialogue, like when Cath and Levi were making out and she was making comments about kissing him in places…I felt a bit awkward. Sometimes she described him in ways that had you doing a double take because it’s just not how you describe people in life. She also described him so many times I think I could see him standing right in front of me with every detail on his face.
Aside from that Levi was like, the perfect boyfriend.
Any way, there’s not much of a plot and the story is definitely character driven. The characters are great. They’re fleshed out and the relationships are so real. As for what the story is about: I guess it’s Cath going to college and figuring stuff out. I didn’t think I’d be so invested in a story that is basically a day-to-day description of someone’s life at college but it was entertaining enough.
The author, Rainbow Rowell, has actually published Cath’s, Carry On, and I’m looking forward to reading it. I’m sure there will be similarities to Harry Potter, but it would be nice to see the world that apparently over 35,000 people read on Cath’s fanfiction site.