Friday, October 25, 2013

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Cath is starting college, but she's going to the same school as her twin sister, so this should be no big deal right?  Wrong.  Wren has been trying to break free of their little bubble and has decided not to room with Cath.  Or even stay in the same dorm.  Cath has always been the more awkward, less social twin, and without Wren she's completely lost.  The only thing that keeps her going at college is her amazingly successful fan fiction that she writes based on Simon Snow (a Harry Potter-like series).  Her roommate, Regan, and Regan's boyfriend, Levi, confuse Cath... her relationship with her twin becomes more strained as Wren's need for independence and partying gets more out of control... she starts meeting with a guy from class to write, but can't figure out what it means... and her Manic-Depressive father worries her to no end.  To say this is a rough freshman year is an understatement!

Oh man this book.  Do not start this book unless you have time to devote because you won't want to stop.  I can't believe someone wrote a book about COLLEGE and it's not all about sex, drugs, and forbidden/abusive love.  I want more books like this!!  Please authors, more books like this!!  I want to read about other college experiences beyond just meeting a bad boy.  When most kids go off to college, they are not instantly mature and adult-like.  They are still completely finding out who they are and figuring out how to take care of themselves.  I want to read about figuring out where to go from there and NOT about sex with a tattooed rocker bad boy who is "addicted" to the nice good girl.

So now my feelings about Fangirl:  Even though I was a bit of a party-er in college I found myself completely relating to Cath's experiences.  When I first went to college, I was scared as hell.  I didn't know my roommate and she wasn't very nice to me at first.  I used to call my mom begging her to let me quit and come home for the first month at least.  It was a lonely time where I always felt like a tag-along instead of a friend.  So while reading the first third of this book I couldn't help but feel really emotional about everything Cath was going through.  And I just kept thinking how she had a twin!!  Her transition to college should have been a breeze.  She has a built-in best friend.  But Wren was not having that.  All Wren wanted to do was party with her roommate Courtney.  Thank goodness for Reagan and Levi!!  They were a Godsend to Cath even though she didn't know it at first.

For only leaving her room when absolutely necessary, Cath experienced SO much.  She has people take advantage of her, scary family situations to deal with, first love, being terrified of first love, and friendship.  Through it all she is super witty and kind of hilarious.  My copy of this book is full of highlights from things that made me smile and laugh.  And things that broke my heart and made me cry.

I really loved the overall growth that everyone goes through throughout the book.  Cath starts out so incredibly overwhelmed and she adapts in the best ways she can.  I went through most of the book so pissed at Wren for abandoning Cath, but knew in my heart that they would work it out.  I mean they are twins.  It's kind of mandatory that you be cool with your twin.  Then there's Levi.  Levi is truly perfectly imperfect.  I don't think Cath could've found a better guy to get her through everything she had going on.  The roommate Regan goes from hard and rough exterior to caring without losing that edge to her.  Seriously all the characters are just awesome.

There are so many things I want to say about this book and so many things that could be said that I could seriously write about it for way longer than you would ever want to read.  What I am going to say is READ THIS BOOK.  It is amazing and might be my favorite book of the year.  Rainbow Rowell is my new John Green!

I'm pretty sure this review makes almost no sense because I loved the book so hard... so I'm sorry about that, I tried!!!

OVERALL: Holy-Shit WOW!!!  This book was such a breath of fresh air.  I loved reading about a college experience that felt real.  I wish there were 100 more books about college like this one.  It's a story of an awkward, fan fiction writing, college freshman who is trying to navigate a new experience without her twin.  And it is AMAZING!

This Book Contains:

  • Numerous excerpts from The Simon Snow books
  • Numerous excerpts from Cath's fan fiction novel
  • Dorms
  • The dreaded college caf!
  • Family issues
  • TWINS!
  • A disappointing mother
  • A writing class
  • Nebraska

My Rating:


How I got this book: Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for allowing me to read and honestly review this.
Date Published: 9/10/2013


  1. Awesome review! So many times I feel strange when I hang out with my roommate outside of the room or class because I feel the same unsure feeling that she is my friend. Its so nice to have Fangirl in our lives, a sweet, fun story. Levi is the best!

  2. The first paragraph of your review sold me to check this book out! I'm a freshman in college and well where's my bad boy every author says I'll get?? LOL
    I just finished reading Eleanor & Park, so I know the writing will be awesome :)

  3. I am definitely going to read this one as soon as I possibly can. I keep walking into the bookstore, picking it up and then realizing I should probably wait until my library gets it in. Everything about it just sounds so good and I have total faith in Rainbow Rowell after reading Eleanor & Park.

  4. I'm about halfway through this book and I'm loving it so much already!

  5. I loved this book, I definitely agree with you that it was nice to read a book about college that isn't the usual type of read. Rainbow has become one of my favorite authors. I loved Eleanor and Park as well, if you haven't read that one I really liked it as well.

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

  6. I totally want to read this book because I have heard so many great things about it! Thanks for posting this review, it is totally amping up my excitement!

  7. Well, I must say I stopped reading in the middle of this book. But maybe because I read the ARC and I badly wanted to read the printed one. You're soooo right about wanting to read book COLLEGE and it's not all about sex, drugs, and forbidden/abusive love. I'm with you!

  8. I keep hearing how wonderful this book is and hope to read it soon! Thanks for your thoughts! I'm glad to hear you loved it too!

  9. Oh my gosh your first paragraph, yes, yes, yes. College is such a unique, important time in most people's lives and I can't believe that one, books mostly ignored it for so long, and two, that now that it's often in books it's the good girl/bad boy scenario you described.

    I think Fangirl is my favorite book of 2013 and I'm so glad you loved it too!

  10. This book was pretty fantastic! I was totally surprised with how much I liked it because I was not a huge fan of Eleanor and Park. But this one made me happy. I totally agree that about a novel set in college that didn't involve the bad boy dealing with stuff being completely and utterly obsessed with the untouched virgin like girl. That gets old fast and Fan girl was a refreshing look into what life in college can actually be like.

    Great review!