Oct 042014
Review: FangirlFangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Narrated by: Maxwell Caulfield, Rebecca Lowman
Published by St. Martin's Press on Sept 10, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Format: Audiobook from Library
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

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?

This is a book with a lot of hype. I’ve heard so many great things about it that I was expecting to love it. Unfortunately, while I found it an okay read, I was pretty bored throughout the story. In a twist for me, I found that I liked it much better once the romance started up.

This book is about Cath and her adjustment to college. She’s very introverted and her whole world revolves around her twin sister Wren, and writing fan fiction for her favourite books series, which is a complete play on Harry Potter. As they start college, Wren starts to make her own life, and Cath is left to struggle on her own.

This is a very character driven story, and in that respect, it’s well done. All of the characters are completely believable with fully formed personalities. Watching Cath grow and break out of her shell a bit was rewarding and heartwarming. She didn’t change so much as to be unrealistic, but instead started to mature in a way that shows how important college and independent living can be.

Where the story fell down for me was the choppy feeling. Each chapter starts with an excerpt from either Cath’s writing, or the book series she’s obsessed with. I didn’t care for these parts since they interrupted the flow of the actual story, and I didn’t really see the point of including them.

I listened to the audiobook version, and quite enjoyed it. The writing excerpts had a separate narrator from the rest of the story, so it was easy to differentiate. Both voices were fluid and smooth and very melodic. They added a nice element to the story.

Overall, while I liked the story, I didn’t love it like I wanted to. This is a fun character story with a few flaws. It does feature some lovely character growth and a very sweet romance.

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