Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release: 10th September 2013
Genre: Contemporary, Coming of Age, Romance, YA, NA
"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?"
Fangirl is a book that I loved so hard that I feel like my review can never do it justice but I want you guys to read it so much that I’m going to try and put into words all of the feelings I had for this book. From the first few chapters it had already surpassed my expectations and they were already sky high to begin with. Whilst reading every so often I’d stop and say out loud “why is this book so good!?” I cried at the end for no particular reason other than the book had ended and I wanted more like a little kid on the way home from a day at Disneyland - I didn’t want the magic to end! Needless to say this is a new all-time favourite book of mine.
Fangirl is everything that I want the New Adult genre to be. It’s about navigating your first year at college when you’re socially awkward and meeting new people and sharing a room with a stranger fills you with social anxiety. It’s about longing for the ease of childhood and that nostalgia for the things you loved back then and finding it hard to give that part of your life up when everyone else has moved on. It’s about breaking out of your comfort zone. I loved the message that it’s okay to prefer fictional worlds to the real one and to love them worlds and be all nerdy about it. But I also loved how this book shows that your life, that your story is the most important one that there is.
Every character in Fangirl is so well developed. They are funny and charming and adorable and they each have their quirks that make them individual. Cath is one of the most relatable heroines I’ve ever come across. I understood her addiction to the Simon Snow series (which is this books fictional equivalent to Harry Potter) and I feel like if you grew up as part of the Harry Potter generation you’ll find yourself in Cath like I did. Cath has always seen herself as the unattractive, awkward twin compared to her confident sister Wren and when Wren decides that she wants to live out their college years as separate people leading different lives it really forces Cath to step out of her twins shadow and into the big wide world.
The secondary characters were also fantastic. I loved Reagan Cath’s cool as a cucumber roommate and the twins’ lovely Dad who’s fragile at the best of times and is going through empty nest syndrome. And then there is Levi. Oh Levi, Levi, Levi where do I even start with you? Levi is the nicest guy. He treats everybody he meets like they are the most important person he’ll meet all day. He greets everybody with a smile, even strangers. He’s funny and he genuinely loves life and people. Levi and Cath couldn’t be more different, they have nothing in common but I knew I wanted them together from the moment they are introduced. I absolutely fell in love with Levi and had the biggest smile on my face reading about him and Cath. I could not handle the adorable radiating off this book!
Charming, happy, nostalgic, adorable and geeky are only a few words I’d use to describe Fangirl. It made me laugh and cry and is without doubt not only one of my favourite books of this year but one of my favourite books ever. I enjoyed Eleanor and Park by this author but my love for Fangirl was on a whole other level. Stephanie Perkins, John Green, Sarah Dessen make room on your pedestal for Rainbow Rowell - one of the brightest rising stars in Young Adult Contemporary Fiction.