12 May 2014

Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell

Published: January 30, 2014 (first published September 10, 2013)
Pan Macmillan
459 pages
ISBN13 9781447263227
Stand Alone
YA, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction


Why I liked this book.

  • I liked the way it made me feel. It reminded me of university, and home and it was just nice reading a physical book. It made me feel warm, appropriately sad and worried for the characters, but mainly just the warm fuzzies.
  • Rowell didn't put a bandage on the relationship between Cather and her mum. That was a major selling point for me. Realism, folks.
  • The fanfiction!
  • I liked that it inspired me to write. It made me want to paint, to just express myself creatively, and that was an awesome feeling to have again.
  • It made me miss it when I was finished.
Why I didn't like this book.
  • I identified more with Reagan and Wren, rather than the wallflower that is Cather. 
  • Levi. He reminded me of someone that I used to go out with. That wasn't as nice and harmless as he seemed. Basically, I spent half of the book waiting for him to turn into some jealous, passive aggressive douche with a drug addiction. People aren't that nice in real life.

The Whole Story

As you can see, my pros for Fangirl way outnumber the cons. And the cons are just personal things, not related to Rainbow Rowell's writing. 

I enjoyed reading Fangirl. Full stop.
I thought it was a thoughtful, romantic story about a girl going to college and growing up and falling in love for the first time.
Not just that, but I thought a maybe realistic approach to a complicated life. Cather is people-phobic to the extreme. Mentioned above is my absolute appreciation for Rowell's decision not to put a plaster (band aid? Americanos) on the relationship between Cath and her mother. That was quite a bold move, as was not finishing the Simon Snow fanfic. 

I would love to know how that went down, but I am glad it isn't completely boxed off. In the end, that's what this book is trying to say about fanfiction - the story never really ends.

I think the way that I read the book influenced how I felt about it. I put my favourite candles on and read by candlelight quite a few times, wearing my comfiest pajamas and in bed. I don't do that often, so it felt quite special and appropriate for the book. It was a sweet book. That's the best way to describe it.
I loved the relationship between Cather and Wren, it reminded me of my relationship with my sister. Sometimes strained, but no one really understands you like family. 

However, I really don't think I want to read Fangirl again any time soon. I feel, personally, that if I read it again, I won't like it as much.. Like I will notice that the characters aren't as fleshed out as they felt the first time around. I'm still basking in the afterglow of the first time, and I just want to remember it as it is.

Like I said, I identified more with Reagan and Wren than I did with Cath. She was just too frail when all's said and done. (That's just me talking, I am anxious around new people but I at least have a 'game face' that Cath just didn't seem to possess.) I wanted her to become more assertive, which she did in her own way. 

I don't know, it was a lovely book but there was just something missing for me at points.

Maybe I should read books twice, just to give a fair representation. 

Do you feel like I missed something out?
What did you like about Fangirl?

1 comment:

  1. Now, I am completely biased because I adored this book, but I completely understand why you view it as a book you only read once. It was quite a fluffy book in places, it is very nice and things work out so nicely. Cath is a bit timid and afraid, but I completely relate to that, because that was me when I started uni, I read fanfiction, I was scared of social situations and preferred the internet to people, so I guess I connected and understood the book.

    I can't fault your view at all, I agree with a lot of what you're saying. I don't know, sometimes reading a book again can give you a new perspective on things, but when there are so many books in the world, why read a book if you didn't completely enjoy it? Sometimes you just don't end up loving the books everyone is raving about, probably because they've been raving a bit too much about them.