Fiction Books, YA Books

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – Book Review

I reread this recently and I just fell in love all over again! I hadn’t read it since I read it for the first time in 2016 so I thought it was time for a reread and it honestly one of the best contemporaries I’ve read!


Rating: 5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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 book is what convinced me to read contemporaries. Before reading Fangirl I always thought contemporaries weren’t for me and although it’s still not my favourite genre, I still try reading some depending on what the book is about and that is thanks to Fangirl.
One of the main reasons I fell in love with Fangirl was because of how absolutely relatable Cath was! She is a total fangirl, struggles with change and has social anxiety.

She reminded me of my teenage self when I was about to start university and how absolutely terrified I was. I loved how real her anxiety felt. It was really well represented. How she manages to get to class but can’t bring herself to go to the social events, because class is a necessity so it can be managed. Just how she felt in different situations was so relatable.

“Underneath this veneer of slightly crazy and mildly socially retarded, I’m a complete disaster”

Cath is the socially awkward fangirl that I could relate to in so many ways. Her love for Simon Snow was like my love for Harry Potter growing up and how I would go to the midnight launches to get my copy as soon as it released. I loved seeing her character develop throughout the story but I loved that she wasn’t suddenly “cured” of her anxiety by the end, just that she was learning to try new things and take more chances. But she didn’t leave her childhood love behind, the love of Simon Snow shaped who she was and it was a nice change to see that both Cath and Wren continued that love as they grew older. Because let’s face it, us adults in our twenties still love our childhood favourites, you know a certain golden trio, and it is still very much a part of who we are.

“To really be a nerd, she’d decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one”

I adored Levi, he is my favourite cinnamon roll character ever! He was so sweet and kind and funny and I fell in love. I loved how respectful he was of Cath and made sure she was okay with everything in every step as their relationship developed. And even though he made a mistake, he owned up to it and did his best to make up for it.

I really enjoyed seeing Cath and Levi’s relationship develop and they are so damn adorable my heart can’t take it. How Levi asks Cath to read to him and how they just hang out and that was so wonderful to see. Their romance is still my favourite because it was cute and sweet and they took it slow and it wasn’t a happily ever after, more of a new beginning and they would see where it would take them, yet they were still falling hard for each other. And I just want more cutesy, feel good (and sometimes awkward) romances like theirs in YA books.

“You’ve read the books?”
“I’ve seen the movies.”
Cath rolled her eyes so hard, it hurt. “So you haven’t read the books.”
“I’m not really a book person.”
“That might be the most idiotic thing you’ve ever said to me”

I loved Reagan and her friendship with Cath, I loved how they understood how each other’s personalities were and even though they were so different they got along so well. She was a wonderful friend to Cath, helping her get out of her shell and being there for her.

“I feel sorry for you, and I’m going to be your friend.”
“I don’t want to be your friend,” Cath said as sternly as she could. “I like that we’re not friends.”
“Me, too. I’m sorry you ruined it by being so pathetic.”

I think you can tell by now that I adore all the characters, Wren and their father were so great too. It was nice seeing how different Wren and Cath were yet how much they still looked out for each other and for their dad. The characters seemed so real and normal, like you could actually bump into them on the street. I loved how Cath and Wren knew each other so well, and even though their differences threatened to distance them, they still managed to come back stronger than ever. I loved how sarcastic they were with each other and their fandom references, it reminded me of me and my sisters.

The story itself is one that most teenagers could relate to. Going away to university and being an adult (or pretending to adult) and trying to figure out who you are and who you want to be, what you want to do in life. And still dealing with whatever baggage they went there with. I

I could gush about this book for ages. And how much of a feel good book it is, even though it deals with lots of serious topics, and how Levi is pure sunshine but I will stop there.

I also reread via audiobook and I highly recommend it. I really loved listening to it.
Have you read this book? Did you love it?