Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell

Genre: Young Adult/Fiction
Synopsis: 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. Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. 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. 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?


Review: Okay, I'm gonna hold my hands up here and say it - this is a good book. For what it is. It's the first Young Adult novel I've read by Rainbow Rowell (after two adult ones), and she just does this so much better. Here (Cath) is a character I can relate to, directly mirrored by her twin (Wren) who is neurotypical and exaggerates Cath's oddities, immaturities and eccentricities by comparison. I see more of myself in Cath than I would like to admit, but in fairness, Cath is pretty awesome. Unfortunately, I can tell you for a fact that being a shut off socially awkward eccentric who Tumblr-obsessess over slash pairings will NOT land you the cutest guy going. It might land you a few dozen cats, but no cute guys.

A few things bothered me about the book - the explanation for the twins' names is ridiculous. As if a father as loving as theirs would have accepted that. Also, it does zero credit to fangirls. I say this as one - it is a neutral representation at absolute best, but it closer to suggesting fandom is something everyone outgrows. *cough*

That aside, there is a lot to like about this book. There are a few different layers which do a good job of reflecting the demanding life of a teenager stepping out into the world for the first time - social life, love life, family life, academic life, what-to-do-with-one's life. The whole story revolves around the desire to run and hide from it all, seek refuge in fantasy, and refuse to become your own person - which, no matter what kind of person you are, is something everyone has experienced - and if they haven't, they're lying.

I also loved Reagan. I'm basically Reagan, but also a fangirl. If I was still doing half-stars, this would get 3.5 but sure I'll give it a 4.

Rating: 4/5

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