Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

29 May 2019




Hello Readers & Friends,

Another Rainbow Rowell review. Whilst I did really enjoyed Eleanor and Park, for me it didn't quite live up to the hype. But Fangirl hit the mark for me, and I gave it a happy 4* on Goodreads.

I read it in less than two days, it was an easy, quick and fun story and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was a classic coming-of-age love story in a way, but our heroine was incredibly relatable, struggling with social anxiety and hiding in her world of fan fiction. It was about finding herself without her twin sister, about finding her talent away from fan fiction and finding love when she's so desperately afraid of it.

I obviously loved Cath, and I also really rated Levi as her love interest. He was intelligent and authentic and just a great character, I could really see how they worked together. His interest in her hobbies was super endearing and he was a realistic (dumb boy) character right from the get-go. You couldn't help but love him.

Reagan, Cath's roomate was fun and ballsy. She was the strong, sassy friend that Cath needed and everything about her was very empowering.
 I hated Wren, and Nick as well. But I feel like for the most part, they were written to be disliked, so that was all played out well. I found Wren so selfish, even though it's clear she was just struggling through the same things Cath was in a different way. Their dads illness was perhaps a layer that the story didn't need, but it didn't feel overbearing or tiring in any way.

 
 
One thing I didn't like so much (which is entirely a personal preference) were the frequent excerpts from her fanfiction. I just don't like a story within a story, I find they slow the pace of the main storyline and I can't invest in the substory. A couple of pieces to see her writing style would have sufficed, we didn't need it threaded throughout the story. Perhaps I missed something metaphorical within the story, but if I'm being honest, I only skimmed through those parts. Also, the parts I did read felt like a similie for Harry Potter, which made me dislike it even more. Like, Cath was definitely writing Harry/Draco fic.

I really liked Cath's character arc, it wasn't crazy leaps and bounds but realistic and appropriate developments. She did find herself, and she was happier and stronger in herself by the end of the book after several things happening. She always stayed true to herself, especially when it came to her mother, which I also really liked.

Also, I do feel like the fanfic community is marginal and niche, and I love that there's a whole book dedicated to it. Without being a fanfic reader or writer myself, I still enjoyed it thoroughly.

Overall, I would really recommend this book to anyone. The parts I didn't like were completely down to my own reading style and nothing to do with the writing or the storyline. It lived up to the hype and was the first YA contemporary I've really enjoyed since Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett. It tackled everyday problems really well and gave us some really loveable characters.

Love,
C x



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