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 fanfiction, 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 that 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 fanfiction 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? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
This review is based on a reread of the book.
Fangirl is a book that I’ve wanted to reread for a very long time, because I enjoyed it so much the first time I read it. And it was just as good the second time around. This book is so relatable and I think all readers will be able to find something to connect with, whether it’s being part of a fandom, starting college for the first time or having a slightly dysfunctional family.
I really enjoyed the plot of this book and thought it had a really good balance of romance, family and fandom goodness. Both times I’ve read this book, I was completely immersed in Cath’s story and everything that was happening. There’s something that’s just really addictive about this book. Because I saw so many similarities between Cath and myself, I was really rooting for her and wanted to see what was going to happen next. It was definitely a hard book to put down. I read Fangirl in one sitting the first time, and two sittings the second time. I also really liked the pacing of the book. It progressed at the perfect speed for me – nothing felt rushed but the story didn’t drag either.
The book also included extracts of Simon Snow, as well as Cath’s Simon Snow fanfic, Carry On. The first time I read this book, I skimmed over and pretty much skipped all of the Simon Snow extracts because I was just so keen to see what would happen to Cath next. But having now read and loved Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On, I read through all of the extracts and little snippets more carefully this time and really enjoyed them. I still would have preferred if there were fewer of these extracts because they sometimes broke up the main storyline, but I liked that they were included and I liked the role that they played in the book (and Cath and Levi’s relationship).
I enjoyed Cath’s character so, so much in this novel. I saw so much of myself in Cath and it was just impossible not to love and care for her. Her worries and insecurities were so relatable and I definitely felt like I was on her journey of self-discovery with her. I also loved Levi in this book. He’s not really my usual type of book boyfriend but he was so caring and adorable and just all the good things. He complemented Cath really well and I loved him to bits. I also enjoyed Reagan a lot and thought she was the perfect friend for Cath. She was tough but also kind at the same time, which was exactly what Cath needed to come out of her shell. And finally there’s Wren, Cath’s twin sister. I hated her the first time I read this book, and nothing has changed since then. I wrote in my notes “Wren is still a cow”. She came across as very self-centred and annoying, and I hated how she treated Cath for most of the book. She did redeem herself at the end by being the sister she should’ve been but I’m pretty sure that I’ll still hate her the next time I reread this novel.
If you’re looking for a book with characters you can really relate to, I highly recommend Fangirl. It was sweet but serious, and explored so many themes that I love to read about in YA.