12 March 2015

Review #165: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“It's so hard for anyone to show us how we look, and so hard for us to show anyone how we feel” 

----John Green

Rainbow Rowell, an American author, penned an incredibly heart-touching, funny and charming story in her book, Fangirl that revolves around a young girl who is obsessed with a boy wizard series and writes fan fiction.


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?

Cather Avery and Wren Avery are the twins who grew up loving and reading the Simon Snow series which is a story about a boy wizard, (yes, you can call it Harry Potter!!) Cather and Wren are both ready to hit the uncertain yet wonderful world of college. But there is only one tiny problem: What? Cather never grew old out of Simon Snow series (No, do not compare yourself with Cather!! We are nothing like Cather! Or maybe we are!!) whereas, Wren has grown all mature and sensible and headstrong to get a life outside this boy wizard series. And Cather's obsession took better off her- she writes fan fiction (honestly, I never read anything close to fan fiction, but have heard about it! So thanks to RR for introducing me with the world of fan fiction with her book!) But the only person she needed the most on her first day and the days after during college period, has now distanced herself from Cather- Wren! She made it clear that she has nothing to do anything with the Simon Snow series and would not interfere with Cather's life. (Now! that's a bummer, twin sis, flipping out when you need her the most!) Cath is nervous and sad since she has always been the socially-awkward one among the two sisters and Wren had always been there to make her feel okay, and now that she's not there anymore, life is going to get pretty difficult for Cath!

I never read any Rainbow Rowell book before this, so I'm new to Rowell's literary world! And I must say, I had a pretty good time with Cath's weirdness, obsession and her no-fuss romance. Rowell spins it with enough realism drawn from our every day lives, thus making this story something so striking to read! Oh, and not to mention about those feelings, I know you must have all felt the same, "how could she write about something that I've gone through in my life?" Yeah, Rowell delivers with such grace, that it makes us easy to step into Cath's shoes. Although, what I really felt is that it took time for Cath to evolve and fill our lives with her weird-ish spell!

To be honest, only, J.K.Rowling can pull off a simple story about a boy wizard with such grandeur- no one can replace her, not even Rowell! Well, Simon Snow is a boring story, especially how can we connect with the fan fiction, when we have not even read the Simon Snow series? (No Simon Snow doesn't exist in real world! So let's not stress about it's fan fiction part!) And most part of the book was all about the fan fiction writing Simon and Baz doing this and that! I was like waiting that something will happen in Cate's life, that will change the course, but no, it went on and on!

The female characters including Wren, Cath and her roommate, Reagan are all weird in their own ways. Reagan is strong and determined and can do anything for Cath and will always there when you need her, someone who you can definitely lean onto. The male characters, Mr. Avery is someone who will always make you feel sorry for his difficult situations and his loneliness, and his demeanor is so sweet that it will make you wanna reach out and give him a warm bearly hug. Levi is the kind of guy who is imperfect but perfect in every possible way, like someone who doesn't make your heart beat faster, but someone with whom you can talk comfortably- a patient listener! Because of him, Cath found the meaning to her dreams and got a hold of her insecurities. So, in short, I can easily put it in this way that the characters are exceptionally believable and their striking demeanor captivates our minds.

While reading about Cath and Levi's relationship, it filled up my heart with warmth or rather say soother and comforted me. They were definitely not the power couple of their college, but when they were together, it brightened up the whole gloominess lurking in the air.

Since, this is a coming-of-age novel, the narrative style is light and engaging. The prose is brilliant, Rowell enlightens the whole plot with her eloquent words. I always like plot which evolves in their own way, yet not making us feel bored while we waited for them to evolve. The plot is layered with humor, wit and some deep and painful emotions and with such vividity, Rowell crafted out the emotional content of this book, that it will make us feel those emotions from the very core of our hearts. The way the author described each and every moment in the book, that it keeps us glued into it's rhythm. it seems like the author hardly gave into effort into her storyline, like it bloomed just like a flower, slowly yet contently.

P.S: This review is rather long, since this is not exactly a typical review instead, it's called "fangirling over Fangirl"!

Verdict: Do I even have to? A must-read definitely! 

Author Info:
Rainbow Rowell writes books. Sometimes she writes about adults (ATTACHMENTS and LANDLINE). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (ELEANOR & PARK and FANGIRL). But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they're screwing up. And people who fall in love.

When she's not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don't really matter in the big scheme of things.

She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.

Visit her here 

Book Purchase Links:


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