Fangirl

Fangirl

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park. A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love. 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 wh...

DownloadRead Online
Title:Fangirl
Author:Rainbow Rowell
Rating:
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:445 pages

Fangirl Reviews

  • Lauren
    Jan 10, 2013

    And just like that, I'm finished.

    Now what?

    Dammit Rainbow, I'm going to be lost for the next week now, with no fictional boyfriend to curl up with at night.

    I'm sure in your internet travels, you've all seen the comic that says "That moment when you finish a book, look around, and realise that everyone is just carrying on with their lives as though you didn't just experience emotional trauma at the hands of a paperback."

    That is me. Right now. At 1am.

    Lonely, and alone. With no Levi to cuddle up to.

    And just like that, I'm finished.

    Now what?

    Dammit Rainbow, I'm going to be lost for the next week now, with no fictional boyfriend to curl up with at night.

    I'm sure in your internet travels, you've all seen the comic that says "That moment when you finish a book, look around, and realise that everyone is just carrying on with their lives as though you didn't just experience emotional trauma at the hands of a paperback."

    That is me. Right now. At 1am.

    Lonely, and alone. With no Levi to cuddle up to.

    This is the third book to have this effect on me this year. First it was 'Anna and the French Kiss', and then it was 'Flat Out Love', and now 'Fangirl'. All of these books made me fall in love with their characters. Fangirl delivered all the awesome and addictive elements of a story that keep me coming back, that keep me up reading past midnight.

    I don't like to go into specific details when I review books, because I don't want to spoil things for those who haven't read it yet. Lets just say, that if you like reading YA novels, then this book should be at the top of your list. The characters will frustrate you with their flaws and their not always perfect relationships. They will make you proud of them as they stand up for what they want and believe in. Levi's unwavering patience and passion makes him completely desirable.

    I could keep babbling on for ages, but I really should not write book reviews at 1am.

    Read this book. Trust me. It's worth the time.

  • Steph Sinclair
    Apr 28, 2013

    It's time for Rainbow Rowell and I to break up.

    I didn't want to admit it, but after reading all of her books now, I can safely say her writing style just isn't for me. It's like

    , though, admittedly, over different reasons. But this time it hurts. It wounds me to realize that I can't join in with all my friends, ride the 

    bandwagon, roll around in a meadow of flowers that magically whispers witty Rainbow Rowell quotes and feast

    It's time for Rainbow Rowell and I to break up.

    I didn't want to admit it, but after reading all of her books now, I can safely say her writing style just isn't for me. It's like

    , though, admittedly, over different reasons. But this time it hurts. It wounds me to realize that I can't join in with all my friends, ride the 

    bandwagon, roll around in a meadow of flowers that magically whispers witty Rainbow Rowell quotes and feast at the

    banquet. I know it may seem foolish to be disappointed. I mean, what can a person physically do? No book can be universally loved and I did give it the good old college try.

    Here's the thing:

    The strange thing about my reading experience with 

    is that I actually deeply connected with all of the characters on a personal level. As a person who suffers from anxiety and has dealt with a father who was admitted to a mental hospital when I was a teen, I sympathized with Cath. I remembered those feelings of craving independence from my sibling as Wren did. I understand having an intense passion for a fandom and being at midnight parties, waiting for the next book in your favorite series. I even connected with Laura's inability to handle life as a mom. In a lot of ways, quite a few of the experiences these characters dealt with, I have dealt with. For that reason alone, I gave this book an extra star. Unfortunately, that was not enough for me.

    Rainbow Rowell lives and breathes characters. They are fluid, realistic (for the most part...

    excluded), memorable, flawed, and relatable. These aren't the type of characters that stay on the page. They shout, scream and jump out at you because Rowell is just that good. But it's also her flaw because that's all she writes, characters. In fact, many times it feels like her stories have neither a beginning or an ending, with the reader viewing a piece of a character's life through a small window of time. So I'm convinced that Rowell can't plot her way out of a brown paper bag.

    I know that might anger some of you, but hear me out.

    Rowell's created these characters, placed them in situations and forced them to react to said situations. She's great at that. But where does the book go from there? Which direction are the characters moving? What are they moving towards? What's the goal of the novel? These are some questions I've asked myself through every one of her books. And I often feel like I'm floundering around in her prose like someone who's gone swimming in the ocean drunk. Everything around these characters is static. Only they move from point A to point B to further the story along. Because of this, if you don't happen to fall in love with the characters early on, the story doesn't work. Rainbow Rowell's characters ARE her stories.

    One thing positive that came out of reading all of Rowell's books is that, I've learned that I am not the character-driven sort of reader. I'm more of a reader that needs a strong plot to see me to the end of the book. I can deal with unlikable characters or characters that have issues if the plot can save the day. I have the patience of a fruit fly and if I'm expected to sit around reading about a character who is waiting for something to happen to them, then forget it. You've lost me as a reader.

    The second issue I had with

    was Rowell, once again, tip-toeing around elephants in her stories. Her novels are so focused on her characters that she never addresses things that feel essential to the plot. With

    is was the slash fic and how it relates to fandom. With

    it was the magical phone. With

    it was race and Park's self acceptance. It's the same formula for each of her books over and over again.

    Step 1: Develop characters for half the book!

    Step 2: Introduce something heavy to center my quirky characters around something.

    Step 3: End the book without tying up loose ends because they served my purpose and Honey Rainbow don't care.

    It's the most frustrating thing about her books! It's like she dances around the heavy stuff on purpose! There is almost always something that feels deliberately left out, basically anything that could remotely make the story more interesting. Which leads me to my third point...

    While I could relate to Cath, she is the dullest person to read about ever. The only scenes that she showed life with was either with her dad or Levi when she suddenly had a personality and wanted to be witty. Those scenes were the best in the book and what kept me reading. But they were few and far between and I started to question why this book was over 400 pages. Not even the fan fiction or cute romance could save this book.

    And let's talk about this Simon and Baz fan fiction. Clearly it is a homage to

    , yet,

    happens to exist in the same universe as

    ? No, I don't buy that. That's a plotberg if I ever saw one. The fan fiction sections in the novel really didn't do much for me. This isn't because it wasn't good, but because it didn't have enough page time for me to attempt to connect with the Simon and Baz. I did feel like bashing my head in when Cath would read Levi the long sections of her fic, so I guess they did spawn some type of emotional reaction in me, albeit, not a positive one. Also, did Cath ever finish her fic? Rowell wrote so much about Simon and Baz and just completely left that open... AGAIN FRUSTRATING.

    Side note: I'm really curious to see how Rowell manages to write

    , Cath's fan fiction of

    without people directly comparing it to

    . I mean, essentially it's Draco/Harry fic. But since monetizing fan fiction is now a thing, *cough* Cassandra Clare, E.L. James *cough* who am I to stop her?

    To conclude,

    , but I'm not entirely disappointed that I read it. I learned something about myself as a reader and I did gain a few good laughs from the clever banter. I wouldn't call this a terrible book, and hey, it was better than

    . So there's always that.

    I'm such a goddamn hipster, I swear.

    More reviews and other fantastical things at

    .

  • Khanh (the Grinch)
    Jun 18, 2013

    Ok, why the fuck are you referencing Harry Potter after having based the entire book around a fictionalized version of Harry Potter known as Simon Snow? Why?!

    Don't get me wrong,

    This would have been so much better if it had

    Ok, why the fuck are you referencing Harry Potter after having based the entire book around a fictionalized version of Harry Potter known as Simon Snow? Why?!

    Don't get me wrong,

    This would have been so much better if it had been merely sold as a coming-of-age without the fandom aspect, but as a book that tries to sell fandom on me, it doesn't remotely work.

    I feel like this book represents online fandom in the way that

    represents math geeks and engineers. It caricaturizes and mocks fangirls/boys for the enjoyment of the reader, and not much more. It does nothing to dispel the myths of the laughable socially inept fanboy/fangirl, and that's just a damned shame.

    The summary brought in the tantalizing question "Will Cath be able to leave Simon Snow behind?" That's just it! By that point in the book, we had almost forgotten completely about Simon Snow and Cath's involvement within the fandom! The story was enjoyable, and I absolutely loved the dynamics of the relationships between the characters, but that's it. I felt like it wasn't an adequate representation of being a fangirl.

    Of course, if I'm going to complain about the representation of fangirls in the book, I should show some street cred. You name it, I've probably squee'd over it. Harry Potter. Anime. J-pop. K-pop. Computer games. Tabletop games. I have RPG-ed, I have MMO-ed, I have LARP-ed. From computer games like World of Warcraft, which took over 6 hours of my day while enrolled in a full college courseload (you don't know the meaning of fun until you've teamed up with 39 other people to take down a virtual monster while drunk), to rolling dice while pretending that I was a 8-year old crazy vampire child wielding a doll (I AIN'T EVEN SORRY).

    Anime conventions. Gaming conventions. I've done them all.

    I know what it's like to be a fangirl. I am proud of it. Even of moments like these.

    I was in Anime Club, which is a rough club formed around people into gaming/anime/Asian cultures. Needless to say, we had plenty of weabos and otakus and strange people in general. There were a whole lot of socially awkward people there, including me. We were dorks, yeah, we weren't entirely comfortable in company outside our immediate circle, but we knew how to adapt (it's called looking around and doing what everyone else is doing, not exactly fucking rocket science).

    If you looked up

    under the Psychiatric DSM IV, you would find Cath's picture in the title page.

    This book does a disservice to fangirls in general by making Cath so incredibly, painfully socially incompetent. I would have liked this book better if it had remained a contemporary, instead,

    Cath is drawn to be the person who wouldn't last 5 seconds alone in the wilderness, let alone a college campus. She is terrified of social interactions.

    Her life revolves around her twin (Wren) and the Simon Snow series. Cath is not an appealing character. Her hyper-clumsiness aside, she just has no fucking common sense. In an upper-level Fiction Writing class, she tries to pass off fanfiction as her own work. She then tries to submit it for a grade.

    Fucking brilliant.

    . She goes off on a writing partner for writing a Mary Sue in his story, but if you think about it, Cath sort of is one herself. She's so brilliant that she gets into an upper-div writing class with a famous professor, and we never really see what kind of talent she has besides writing fanfiction. She is so good that an upperclassman wants to be her partner for it. Cath does nothing exemplary, and she's incredibly fucking weird, and regardless, a cute, a funny, a really awesome guy just wants her.

    She doesn't think of herself as beautiful, but

    is referred to as "hot." HMMMMMMMMM.

    From what we hear, Cath spent all her time writing Simon Snow fanfiction and going to premieres and chatting with her twin about Simon Snow...but that was in high school. No more of that.

    In fact,

    . Because that's pretty much where life interferes.

    This would have---and in fact, is, a completely solid book on dealing with family and friends and growing up. It's just NOT A BOOK ABOUT FANDOM BECAUSE THE FANDOM IS SOLIDLY RELEGATED TO THE BACKSEAT. YOU COULD GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT FANDOM ON WIKIPEDIA.

    Where are all the forum discussions?

    Where are all the interactions with fellow fans?

    Where's the Tumblr?

    Where's the talking to fellow friends online for hours and hours on end because you're both fangirling so much that words are spilling over and you are just so happy to find a fellow fan?

    Where is the daydreaming?

    Where is the magic?

    Where is the fucking COMMUNITY?

    The greatest part about any fandom is the community.

    This book doesn't represent that at all. It is solidly about Cath and her legions of fans. her 20,000 hits per fanfiction.net clone. Her full-of-it based on that fact. The fact that she, herself, has fans.

    This book is about a girl who is full of herself.

    :

    It works, at times, but some moments, and some sentences just made me wince.

    YOU DON'T SAY!

    What the fuck?!

    Seriously?!

    I'd understand "fatal" smile, but "fetal?"

    BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARF

    : I fucking loved the relationships between the characters in the book. Wren and Cath. Their father and the twins. Reagan and Cath. Levi and Cath. The relationships were wonderfully, beautifully written, honest and realistic. I love the love, anger, and resentment between Cath and Wren.

    I adored their awesome, manic father. He is the sweetest, cutest dad. This may sound gross, but I kind of have a dad-crush on him.

    Reagan and Cath's relationship was the most unexpected, and the sweetest. I love the rough-around-the-edges Reagan. I loved her strength, I love her take-no-prisoners approach when it comes to pulling Cath out of her hermitage, and I love Reagan's unexpected moments of vulnerability.

    This is not a book that accurately represents fandom.

  • Jesse (JesseTheReader)
    Aug 17, 2013

    IDK WHAT TO SAY OTHER THAN I LOVED IT. IT WAS SO GOOD. GO READ IT IF YOU HAVEN'T.

  • Sep 09, 2013

    It’s like Rainbow Rowell writes in peanut butter and stolen moments and lazy eyelash wishes.

    It’s 433 pages of a guaranteed good day.

    I’m so jealous of you guys right now, it’s crazy!

    So when you finish it, and you’re just sitting there all thoughtful and wordless (grinning like an 8th grader with prom tickets)…

    This book’s about the good ol’ college experience.

    … The

    It’s like Rainbow Rowell writes in peanut butter and stolen moments and lazy eyelash wishes.

    It’s 433 pages of a guaranteed good day.

    I’m so jealous of you guys right now, it’s crazy!

    So when you finish it, and you’re just sitting there all thoughtful and wordless (grinning like an 8th grader with prom tickets)…

    This book’s about the good ol’ college experience.

    … The Realistic Kind.

    But more importantly, it’s about Cath Avery’s college experience and all the life lessons in between.

    is such a phenomenal character. Because she’s both tough and endearing. Plus, she has this super quick and snarky wit that’s freaking hilarious in every way possible! And she’s kind of this cool eccentric, totally

    girl. I mean, she writes fan fiction and she’s famous (but anonymous) for it, people make her nervous (which is where that snarky wit of hers comes in), and she has a twin sister who’s also her best friend and is Cath’s total opposite.

    But I think my

    thing about Cath is that she’s so

    ! She worries about the same things you and I do (like, “

    ). Just random, stupid things like that but that totally make a difference when you’re in the moment, know what I mean?

    And she’s always been so codependent on her fanfiction stories and on her

    independent twin sister… that she gets to college and finds out that she can’t be that way anymore. She has to learn to speak up for herself, and to be that awkward girl, and to be totally okay with it!

    So in a way, this book’s about first experiences (the good and the bad) and seeing it through the eyes of an awesome/awkward/

    girl who’s both the girl she was and the girl she’s going to be.

    You’re also going to meet these completely hilarious and awesome characters… who aren’t just characters, they’re people

    of character.

    *Like

    , Cath’s dorm roomie.

    *

    , her sister.

    *Cath’s single-parent

    .

    *And there’s ♥

    ♥.

    Levi’s definitely my runner-up for favorite character.

    He’s

    the hottest guy on campus and he’s

    all broody and oozing sex appeal. He’s the guy you want to come home to when there are puddles rivering through the sidewalks, and he’s the cute guy you want to call when you’ve just had the best two minutes of your life and you want to tell someone, and he’s the cute and amazing guy you want to walk you home late at night and who’s going to open your doors for you and make you laugh when your lower lip’s trembling from trying to hold a bad day in.

    Levi’s just

    who every girl is going to meet, has already met, and

    to meet. Does that make sense? He’s realistic, because he’s completely imperfect and

    perfect in the ways that

    .

    for Cath. They go from being acquaintances, to friends, and turn into something inseparable.

    And these two banter the entire way through that’s going to make you laugh and keep you laughing.

    The way these two characters intertwine with each other and evolve towards each other in the book is where the story really is. Because they go from bantering friends to two people who become solid in each other’s lives. Their relationship is sweet, funny, comfortable, and comforting. All in one. And there’s just this overall

    about them when they’re together on the page.

    So we’re barely in September… and I’m already thinking about going ahead and giving this book the

    award. And I think I’m going to. Because books like this don’t come around too often and I’d be lucky to read a book like this in the next

    years.

    .

  • Kristin (KC)
    Sep 11, 2013

    My favorite types of books are the ones that speak to you; directly to the reader. The ones that resonate so deeply within your psyche that you feel as though you're actually learning things about yourself in the process.

    That is

    what I experienced while reading

    . If you were to judge by the cover and blurb alone, you may think this story is nothing but a quirky, fun read about an interesting girl addicted to writing fanfic. But

    My favorite types of books are the ones that speak to you; directly to the reader. The ones that resonate so deeply within your psyche that you feel as though you're actually learning things about yourself in the process.

    That is

    what I experienced while reading

    . If you were to judge by the cover and blurb alone, you may think this story is nothing but a quirky, fun read about an interesting girl addicted to writing fanfic. But I persuade you to take a peek inside, because it's really so much more...

    There is nothing over-the-top about this plot; no heavy drama infiltrating these pages. This story thrives in its delicate simplicity—and offers power through its unique relatibility.

    Whether you find yourself in the insecure girl who's afraid of life; the happy-go-lucky guy always ready with a smile; the self-centered sister; the deceitful friend; the emotionally disabled dad; the outspoken, honest roommate; the talented but uncertain writer; the intellectual or the one who falls short; the life of the party or the one hiding in the shadows—there are bits and pieces of everyone scattered throughout this story; representing all the highs and lows that make us exactly who we are.

    Cath is an introvert whose discomfort with social settings leaves her dwelling in the backdrop of real life. She has become at ease hiding within her fanfic stories: a world that holds her captive and lives on through her writings. Her insecurities equally broke and warmed my heart. I loved the way fan-fiction was explored and dissected; really presenting a good feel of its value.

    is the lovable guy who lights up a room with kind words and a perpetual smile. His character was genuine and honest, and won me over instantly. He is the first person Cath meets as she reluctantly moves into her dorm to begin her first year of college, and his charm became contagious.

    The relationship between Cath and Levi was gentle and slow building. Levi initially gave off subtle and sweet hints of his interest, and I liked that you didn't see this relationship forming from a mile away. It was more about their solid bond than a steamy connection, and was a refreshingly honest portrayal of a young relationship.

    The writing. It was genius. Clever and unique and so entirely captivating that heaps of drama weren't present OR needed. It was fluid and natural, allowing every situation to become relatable. The dialogue was witty and funny, with an effortless feel. There were pockets of insight that were never in your face, but hidden...waiting for the right moment to present itself, and I LOVED IT.

    Although this story seems like a fun read—and it certainly was—there was a distinct and subtle coating of sadness. Nothing major, or heartbreaking—just the raw honesty of life creeping up to sideswipe you. Broken families; feelings of not being good enough, smart enough, pretty enough--it all became so emotional and

    .

    definitely breaks the mold and doesn't display the standard rise and fall outline. It was steady...with random bumps in the road; like life. No dramatic peaks or disastrous downhill plummets for emphasis. It was easy. And that was the beauty of it. And then it just ended. No climactic finale or highly distinctive finish. There was a certain amount of closure, but the story felt like it was still moving even after the last page was swiped. As if it continues...just like Cath's fanfic.

    YA/NA Romance

    Mild/clean

    Slow burn. Friendship first. Drama-free.

    Relatable and distinctive.

    Centers on a college introvert who writes fanfic coming out of her shell.

    Witty, fluid, unique, gripping.

    3rd Person Perspective

    None/Standalone

    ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Emily May
    Sep 16, 2013

    I enjoyed

    . Though the way I feel about it is almost exactly how I feel about

    . They are both cute books with complex, well-developed characters, and yet I feel like something is missing that just holds both books back from being truly memorable.

    . I liked the antisocial, awkward and weird Cath. I thought her story - both as a popular fanfi

    I enjoyed

    . Though the way I feel about it is almost exactly how I feel about

    . They are both cute books with complex, well-developed characters, and yet I feel like something is missing that just holds both books back from being truly memorable.

    . I liked the antisocial, awkward and weird Cath. I thought her story - both as a popular fanfic writer and as a new college student - seemed very unique and it was, for the most part, enjoyable, funny and occasionally moving. I have my own history of social awkwardness so I related to a lot of the strange and hilarious things she did.

    Some readers didn't like Cath's desire to hole up in her room and eat protein bars because she wanted to avoid the awkwardness of the cafeteria, but this wasn't an issue for me. Unfortunately, I get these little things that plague us socially awkward people. I actually found it quite endearing.

    And, unlike some other readers, I enjoyed the fanfiction aspect. I've never been much of a fanfic reader/writer myself, but I have been the kind of person who has been completely obsessed with a fandom, and I have never read a book that has done anything quite like this one. Props for creativity.

    So... yes, I like the characters, and yes, I like the dialogue, but

    of the two Rowell books I've read. I guess they are introspective "coming-of-age" books that don't really have much of a story, and I tend to feel like not much has happened or been achieved by the novel's close.

    It's odd, though, because I often enjoy character-driven stories. For some reason, with Rowell, it never seems to be enough. I quite like her books while I'm reading them, but I get the impression that in a month's time, I won't be able to name a single character from this book.

    |

    |

    |

    |

    |

  • Cecile
    May 14, 2013

    ***WARNING***

    This review is long (even for me) and if you liked the book, you probably shouldn’t bother with it. (And yes, before you ask, the titles do refer to fangirling lore)

    1.

    I was quite excited to read Fangirl, at first. Trusted GR friends have loved this book, and I thought it would actually be -a bit- about the fangirling life (which I have been living fully for a year and a half, so I was like “Oooh, my ELEMENT, yay!”)

    Dear Got in Himmel, was I wrong.

    Anyway. Let the

    ***WARNING***

    This review is long (even for me) and if you liked the book, you probably shouldn’t bother with it. (And yes, before you ask, the titles do refer to fangirling lore)

    1.

    I was quite excited to read Fangirl, at first. Trusted GR friends have loved this book, and I thought it would actually be -a bit- about the fangirling life (which I have been living fully for a year and a half, so I was like “Oooh, my ELEMENT, yay!”)

    Dear Got in Himmel, was I wrong.

    Anyway. Let the

    Reviewing begin.

    2.

    You see, what’s her name (God, when I dislike the book I just can’t remember main characters. Cath was it?) supposedly fangirls over are a fictionalized version of Harry Potter. It consists of 8 books revolving around a boy wizard chosen to defeat...something. Ring any bells? This immediately annoyed me because

    who’s hasn't lived in a cave for the past 20 years knows about Harry Potter. So to recreate an obvious copy of that for book purposes is weird to say the least. Writing bits of said, um, copy is even more unnerving because who cares about teeny tiny excerpts of a non-existing book which copies another one? Adding other,

    excerpts based upon this non-existing copy of a book is just ridiculous.

    And I was willing to let go of the obvious HP plagiarism if for copyright reasons the author couldn’t include excerpts (which were pointless but let’s go with it) or names or whatever. But then the author confirmed what I was already thinking and I swear I wanted to throw my reader against the wall.

    THIS.

    Well then. Anyone who’s read Harry Potter semi-carefully knows that line. EVERYONE.

    And then (in case people were still wondering) this:

    "

    Immediate reaction: DUDE. YOU DID NOT JUST GO THERE. I WAS WILLING TO GIVE YOU THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT, THINKING YOU DIDN’T DARE MENTION HP AND HERE WE GO. OMFG YOU SUCK, YOU SUCK SO MUCH I CAN’T EVEN DEAL RIGHT NOW

    (This, by the way, is the opposite of fangirling. Well it’s fangirling, but negatively. You know, in defense of something you love)

    Seriously. Whoever let this be a part of the book and let it be so atrociously done does not deserve to give anyone advice.

    3.

    Say what?

    Um, again, what?!

    OMG WHAT IS THIS, THIS CALLS FOR THE OTTER

    I know, technically this exists, but it hurts my eyes. IT’S EXPLOI

    TIVE

    *lies down in order to recuperate*

    *cause of death: cringing*

    *suddenly resuscitates (because maybe I died in the Murder House from AHS and now I’m haunting it with the rest of the ghosts. Like Tate. Oh Tate…) and dies AGAIN*

    It is NOT OK to write in that manner in something you consider a “book”, this isn’t Twitter! (Also, woodfoul?!)

    What? How? OMG.

    Also, for your pleasure, a bit of a recap of all the times eyes/hair are mentioned in either SS or FF SS.

    Thingy #1 (I can’t be bothered to research the storyception names, sorry)‘s hair/eyes

    - cold, grey eyes

    - pearl grey eyes

    - slick, black hair

    - dark-haired boy

    - his smoky grey eyes

    - his long face as grey as his eyes in the gloaming.

    - He flicked his black hair

    - his grey eyes glinting

    Thingy #2’s hair/eyes

    - Simon’s caramel brown hair.

    - his eyes as wide and blue as the Eighth Sea

    - it did nothing to dim his blue eyes or blunt his glare.

    - the thick fall of bronze hair partially trapped in his goggles

    And other people’s hair/eyes:

    - girl with the red hair

    - She had pigtails and old-fashioned pointy spectacles

    Basically…

    I don’t know, maybe I’m doing the whole life thing wrong. Should I have started my review with “Hi, I’m Cecile with dark-blonde-but-sometimes-not-so-blonde-but-the-tips-are-lighter-hair with blue-with-hazel-specks-but-sit-depends-on-the-lighting eyes and I’ll be

    reviewing this book.” No?

    I still don’t know if the quality of the FF writing in

    is on purpose to show how bad fanfiction can be but considering the theme of the book I’m betting the irony wouldn’t go that far. (Unfortunately)

    Which brings me to the next part.

    4.

    Naming this book “Fangirl” was ridiculous. If you haven’t ever fangirled over anything you’re bound to find it stupid because you probably find

    annoying or don’t even know what it refers too. Or you just assume they’re rabid 12 year-old fans who obsess over boy-band members/actors, etc. Which happens, but that's really not what fangirling is about.

    If you

    in a fandom however, you will likely be insulted by this book and its misrepresentation of the whole process. Which, you’ll have guessed, is what happened to me.

    I. Am. A. Fangirl.

    I didn’t think I’d ever be, but then I read The Trilogy. Oh wait, should I call it by some incredibly subtle code-name? Such as

    ?

    ?

    Anyway. I’m a fangirl and I love it, being in the fandom has brought me a lot of wonderful moments and enabled me to meet amazing people who have become friends. There’s nothing quite like having a simultaneous meltdown with thousands of others because a trailer has just come out for the movie based upon one of your favorite books.

    Especially when you’ve stayed up most of the night to see it.

    And you end up sobbing with everyone else because of all the perfection.

    This book, however, clearly has no idea of what it is to actually

    in a fandom. It is not, as it tries to make us believe “writing fanfiction”. Some of the fans do that, true, but being a fangirl certainly CANNOT be defined by writing fanfiction. Although I do read some, I tend to be very picky about it because no one ever comes close to writing as well as the author or staying perfectly canon and in character. So I prefer Alternate Universe fics because it allows more disgressions from the initial story and I'm more forgiving about it.

    That being said, for an author to write a book heavily featuring fanfiction and establishing that that’s basically all the fangirls do… nope.

    Especially considering how

    is written. The “book” parts (as opposed to the “FF" parts) are still terrible. They read like fanfiction. And it’s awful.

    5.

    Moving on. Another huge problem in this book was the main character. Cath. Or Cather (seriously, how do you even pronounce that?)

    Never mind her being as naïve as…as… well, being super naïve (the ridiculous metaphor Inspiration Gods are on vaycay apparently), I just couldn’t stand her point of view on fanfiction. I know it’s the point of the book but regardless, after the whole

    debacle and fanfiction readers generally being all “Yeah, this feels SO canon, it’s like the author wrote it, OMG you’re so talented” I tend to balk whenever it comes up.

    Anyway. This just about killed me:

    [Cath, getting called out for submitting fanfiction as an assignment]

    It

    plagirism, you idiot. It's fine if you do it for your pleasure, but if you start submitting it for school assignments it can lead to other, despicable stuff, pretty fast. (I suggest you read about the Cassandra Clare debacle in case this isn't clear)

    6.

    Now I'm rating this 1* because it annoyed me a lot but it's more of a 1.5* (how generous of me, right?)

    The second half of the book wasn’t as bad. In fact, if the first part had been dropped along with any mention of Simon Snow, fanfiction and Nowhere-to-be-found-Nick, and only the second half had remained, I might have gone up to 2.5*. The romance part was really quite cute.

    It got ruined, however, by the numerous descriptions of *scratches head, tries to remember the name* Levi, and his “long face”, “feathery (I know, I know, bear with me) blonde hair” and the general impression that he was so far from someone that would ever make me

    swoon, physically that I just couldn’t ever add him to my Best Book Boyfriends list. But it was still cute and fluffy. And it explains why I finally decided to give

    a shot and I really liked that one. So. Not all is lost (except my brain cells and inner voice, who’s been screaming in all caps ever since the first Simon Snow sentence) I guess.

    Anyway. I’m off to fangirl some more (in the true sense of the word) about Catching Fire, ‘Kthxbye!

  • Zoë
    Nov 29, 2013

    Reread October 2015: AHHHHH I felt all the love for this book that I felt the first time plus more! I love everything about this book and I want to reread it again immediately ;D

    Original review from December 2013: Fangirl was so cute and relatable! I loved every single character and their relationships with each other. Rainbow Rowell's writing style is wonderful and I can't wait to read more books from her!

  • Natalie
    Jul 09, 2016

    My annual reread of

    has been completed (2 years and going), and it just gets better and better.

    Sometimes, on a gray day, I flip through this book to cheer myself up or to remind myself that everything will be okay. And it does its job every single time, which I’m more than grateful for. It’s like a consolation, an old friend, a favorite old, comfy sweater.

    is everything.

    And because of

    My annual reread of

    has been completed (2 years and going), and it just gets better and better.

    Sometimes, on a gray day, I flip through this book to cheer myself up or to remind myself that everything will be okay. And it does its job every single time, which I’m more than grateful for. It’s like a consolation, an old friend, a favorite old, comfy sweater.

    is everything.

    And because of its importance to me, it’s my most reread novel and I love it through and through.

    This follows Cath through her freshman year at the University of Nebraska, along with her much more outgoing identical twin sister Wren. But Cath is having a hard time adjusting to college.

    This review contains

    .

    But thanks to her writing fanfiction to a dedicated book series - following the adventures of Simon and Baz - she manages 'to disappear.' To get free of herself, to make people laugh, to stop being anything or anywhere at all.

    As I mentioned at the start of my review,

    is very near and dear to my heart. I reread it at least once a year, and could probably quote passages of it by heart (which I'm pretty proud of). It introduced me to a new world that I consider to be like a second family.

    Rainbow Rowell came up with such fantastic characters and the dynamics between all of them blows me away every time.

    Like, it physically hurts trying to stop smiling when Cath and Levi or Cath and Reagan have a scene together.

    And I, of course, have to feature one of my favorite interactions between Cath and Reagan:

    I can totally see why Cath and Reagan hit it off.

    Oh, and since I happened to mention Levi (so casually), I will just say that he is one the sweetest character I’ve ever had the pleasure to read about. I mean, I actually felt homesick the first time I finished reading

    because I couldn't believe I was done. I missed Levi for weeks (and rereading it only made it that more painful).

    The first time Cath read to Levi has and always will be ingrated into my heart:

    And then to top it off, Levi used one of my favorite expressions— “To be continued.”

    And Levi being

    , he kept his promise to Cath and gave me one of the most memorable book scenes of all time:

    It hurts so good. They are my sun and stars.

    I've read this scene so many times, and it still gives me chills. I honestly needed a minute to slow down my heart. And my stomach—too many damn butterflies.

    I'm literally sweating because of them.

    Help, is it physically possible to love a fictional relationship this much??

    And I could go on and on about him, but I think it's best (for my heart) if I quietly move on to my next couple of favorites moments and people.

    The first being: Magicath and Wrenegade.

    I just wanted to mention how truly great the close bond they had with one another was:

    I love the last sentence so much because it perfectly describes how they have each other's back.

    This really hit home for me. Everything Cath said and did is something I've said or done before. And it scares me to no end.

    So I really appreciated when Cath had Wren to talk to. The way Wren had her made my heart soar.

    Also, I want to briefly mention the girl in the library because she was a literal angel. I think about her at least once a day:

    I’m smiling so much, it hurts.

    I just love that girl so much because she perfectly describes how I feel.

    And, funnily enough, the first time I read this book I wasn't expecting it to be so hilarious. Fangirl, while still handling really important issues, has such an impeccable sense of humor. There’s this one instance in particular that I love because I can’t help but crack up every time I read it:

    Like, is this not me??

    And on a completely unrelated note, I know I said I was done talking about Levi, but I have to mention this scene from their first date because reasons:

    He is so damn smooth. I mean, his game is on.

    Rainbow Rowell wrote their relationship so well that even I felt nervous whenever Levi touched her hand.

    I totally smiled a Levi smile at this part. My stomach was wringing itself out every time Cath and Levi had a scene together.

    I also loved that Reagan gave Cath and Levi ground rules because same:

    I’m honestly 100% Reagan in this situation. And I aspire to reach her level of coolness. Reagan wasn’t anybody’s fool.

    I just love everyone in this world so damn much. I was rooting for everyone, and it makes me feel incredibly sad whenever I reach the end of

    . I was in such a haze while reading it, it’s like everything surrounding me disappeared into oblivion. This book has my heart and soul.

    And I mean, I don’t know Rainbow Rowell but I trust her. She somehow makes me love

    in a new way every time I reread it, and I'm so grateful.

    I also kept looking for the perfect way to describe how deeply personal this book feels, and I finally found it:

    —Laurie Halse Anderson

    ,