July 25, 2013

Book Review: Fangirl


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Grade: D
This book was an ARC provided by my local indie bookseller in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: 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?

This is not going to be a normal review.  I will not be dividing this post into The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly because, unfortunately, there was a lot of bad and ugly.

I enjoyed the premise of the book.  As a member of multiple fandoms, I know what it's like to wait for each new book, wait every week for a new episode, and be the biggest fan.  So I got very excited when I first heard about Fangirl. But then on almost every page, there was an instance of foul language, which was immediately off-putting.  I was not comfortable with most of the romance or the fan fiction that Cath writes.  I did enjoy how Cath's relationship with her twin sister and dad were explored (minus the language).  But altogether, this book was a let-down.  It felt like page after page of Cath just writing her fan fiction and not growing as a person.  Would I recommend it?  Honestly, no.  I suppose I should've learned from when I checked Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor and Park out of the library and did not get past the third page when I saw the f-bomb used for the eighth time.  Ah, well.  Live and learn.


  1. I soon as I saw the author I added it to my to read list. I personally loved Eleanor and Park. This review has provided me with a little caution. Your reviews almost always match my feelings with the book, so thanks for the precaution.


  2. Oh,man! And it sounded interesting until they had to ruin it with the foul language.

  3. I just ignore foul language in books when I read them. If you look past that, a lot of books can be great.

    1. With some books, that is doable. But when it's on every single page? It's kind of hard to ignore.

  4. I wanted to read this book so badly, and was about to buy it at Barnes a few days ago. Then I remembered this review and I knew I wasn't going to like it. I can't stand foul language in books. Although I could ignore it in TFIOS.


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