Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell


Cath and Wren are identical twins and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they’re off to university and Wren’s decided she doesn’t want to be one half of a pair anymore – she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It’s not easy for Cath. She would rather bury herself in the fanfiction she writes where there’s romance far more intense than anything she’s experienced in real life.

Now Cath has to decide whether she’s ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she’s realizing there’s more to learn about love than she ever thought possible…

I’m pretty sure every man and his cute little dog has heard of Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park and a huge majority of those people would have read it and fell in love. People rave about it continuously which is why I haven’t actually read it. I feel like it can never live up to the expectations I have in my head. Hence: Fangirl.

One of the best things about this book were the secondary characters. Wren, Levi and Reagan are the colourful, detailed characters I absolutely luuurrrve. Wren starts off as a typical party-girl, Levi is all cuddly and sweet (AND he works at Starbucks – free coffees – HELLO?!), and Reagan has the brand of sass I relate to so well in the real world. Plus Cath and Wren’s dad is a pretty convincing manic. Because of these guys, I’m kind of confused why I wasn’t completely on Team Cath.

Cath writes fanfiction. She prefers the characters in her head to those in her life. She doesn’t party, and there’s a real point made that this girl ONLY WEARS PONYTAILS – OKAY? She’s super concerned about her family (props to her) but even though she wasn’t a strictly passive character, I couldn’t shake that feeling so when she took control it just felt all kinds of awkward and forced. Any of the other characters would have been a much stronger narrator but then it would have been a completely different story, so…

Other than the secondary characters, there is a whole fanfiction plot that is like a story within a story and becomes as real as any of the characters. Simon Snow is a fictional book series that Cath idolises and I’m just going to say it – it’s Harry Potter all over. Because of this, I kept having flash-backs to when I grew up with the Harry Potter series. I read all the fanfiction (go James and Lily!) while I waited for the next in the series, and I was right up there in the line for the midnight releases. Maybe that’s why, despite my annoyances with Cath, I actually loved this book.

There’s not a whole lot of highs and lows but if you’re after the book equivalent of a warm hug, here it is.

AOaR_4star (3)


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