Reread Review: Fangirl

Posted July 11, 2015 by Carlisa in Book Reviews / 4 Comments

Reread Review: FangirlFangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Published by St. Martin's Press on Sep. 10, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, YA
Pages: 445
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

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 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?

Fangirl is lovely, easily one of my favorite contemporaries at the moment. I love its easy style and its lovable characters. And it’s just funny. And relatable. And just wonderful.

I really relate to Cath. I first read Fangirl during my first year of college so I had just experienced everything that Cath had experienced. Stressful roommates, hard college classes and tough professors, *ahem* boys, moving away from home. It was all very new to me so I loved that I could read these experiences from Cath’s point of view. She’s shy like I am and is a total book nerd like I am…I just feel like we would be best friends in real life and I love when I can connect with a character like that.

Also, Levi. I love me some Levi.

I’ve heard people say that they are wary of reading it because it just seems “fluffy,” and I totally get that. A lot of YA contemporaries are totally fluffy…but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. And I don’t think Fangirl necessarily falls into that category. Sure it’s about an 18-year-old girl and, yes, she has run-in’s with attractive boys…but she’s also dealing with really hard family matters and even some depression. It’s a very realistic book, one with feelings and anxieties that most people would be able to relate with on some level. At least that’s what I think.

And reading it a second time, over a year later, I still just love it. I’m still in college so I still have those worries that Cather does, though hopefully to a much lesser degree. Anyway, I really enjoy this book. I think people of any age who like reading, who like contemporaries…will like this book.


  • I absolutely love how everyone says this book is so relatable! I’ll be a high school senior this year, so I feel like I should re-read it next year during my first year of college. Also, I second what you said about fluffiness. There is nothing wrong with a book that aims to be fun and enjoyable – in fact, I’d argue that taking time for stories that are “fluffy” – whether in the form of books, movies, TV shows, or whatever else – is just as important as educating yourself with “serious” books about pressing issues.

    • So this is totally creepy, but I saw you when Sarah Dessen came to Indiana. She pointed you out as a book blogger who just interviewed her. And here you are on my blog! Super awesome.

      Anyways, a re-read during your first year of college would probably be good. Hopefully your first semester isn’t as tough on you as it was on her though!

  • I’m glad to see that you enjoyed this one a second time around. I think this is my favorite Rowell book, definitely! I’d love to see it made into a movie one day.

    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

    • It’s definitely my favorite too! I just love Cath and relate to her a lot. ALL of her books are enjoyable and beautifully written though. I’d love to meet Rainbow Rowell some day!