What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

After reading Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor and Park (read that review here), I just fell in love with her writing. So I immediately began looking forward to her next release, Fangirl. Fangirl is another one-shot with a different aspect, but another interesting storyline.

Here is the summary from Goodreads: A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love. 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?

What I Liked: 1) Cath. I thought Cath was a beautifully written character. From a personal standpoint, I could definitely identify with some of Cath's personality traits. I sometimes spend time with my books instead of real people too. She was wonderfully flawed and spectacularly real. Her response to other people was almost comical in how familiar it was to me at times. I think a lot of people will find a part of Cath to identify with. 2) Regan and Levi. Starting off with Regan. How Cath survived a roommate as...brutal as Regan just astounds me. Not that Regan was mean to Cath at all, because she wasn't. But she was...all sharp angles. Kind of brutal honestly, never sugar coating anything, and not tolerant of anyone whining or feeling sorry for themselves. I think she turned out to be a great roommate for Cath because Cath learned how to be stronger, and not need someone to lean on from her. But at the same time, Regan looked out for her, especially when she thought Cath wasn't looking. And then there was Levi. As Regan's boyfriend, Levi is around a lot. Even when Regan isn't there. And Cath, who, despite having a boyfriend (that her sister calls an "end table") isn't very comfortable around guys (unless they are the one in her fanfics!) So she is pretty uncomfortable with Levi being around all the time, and it leads to some really funny moments. But Levi is an absolute doll who I just adored. He was charming and funny, and I completely fell for him. I actually didn't really see how he and Regan fit together. But it's all part of the story. 3) The realism in the story. I personally think that Rainbow had avid readers in mind when she wrote this book. (Not saying that the casual reader won't love Fangirl.) But it really touched me personally because I know how much time I spend in the fictional worlds that I love so much, and then how much of a slap in the face reality can be when coming down from a good book. And Miz Rowell captured that feeling perfectly. Several parts of Cath's reality, including her father, and her spiraling relationship with her sister. So it was easy to see why she chose to spend so much time with Simon and Baz (the characters in her fan fic).

What I Didn't Like: Her sister was a bit of an enigma to me, but I still think that her storyline was a necessary evil in the course of the story.

Overall Thoughts: Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl is a coming-of-age story that many readers will enjoy. Cath is a main character that many will relate to, and her friends are charming and well-developed all their own. The storyline is something that I understood, especially from the standpoint of occasionally wanting to escape reality. Once again, Miz Rowell's hit one out of the park!

My Rating: 5 shots

4 comments:

  1. Nice review, and totally agree. I thought the story was very realistic as well. Fangirl is the only book by her I've read but I was impressed. I think a lot of people can relate to Cath!

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  2. I really want to read this book it looks amazing! Great review(:

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  3. I'm excited to read this one ... my library needs to hurry up and get it! I noticed that you referenced E+P ... have you read Attachments? I actually liked that one better than E+P. It's adult fiction, but so so so good.

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  4. Great review! I really liked Fangirl, too. I think I'm reading Attachments by Rainbow Rowell next:) I'd like to have a companion novel with Wren as main character!

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