Fangirl (Review)

By Rainbow Rowell
445 pages | September 10th, 2013 | St. Martin's Press

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?

I don't even know how it took me so long to read this book or rather to think about reading this book. Maybe it was because although I'd seen it everywhere I didn't actually know what it was about.

To be honest, I didn't actually READ this one, I listened to it. I got my copy via AUDIBLE and can I just say that I forgot how much I loved listening to audio books. I haven't listened to an audiobook since that time I re-read Order of the Phoenix with my Walkman in 2005. (Yes, I still owned a Walkman in 2005, get over it).

Let me start out by saying that I hated Wren. I have two sisters that I'm really close with and if either of them behaved like Wren had behaved in this book, oh boy. I would have had it out with them.

I get that Cath is shy, and anxious and overall uncomfortable. I get it because I AM Cath in so many ways. My blog is even titled Fangirl. Still, if she and Wren really were as close as she claimed through the entire book, then she would have had no problem telling her what a downright awful bitch she was being. At first, I saw it from both of their sides. I got that Wren wanted the independent college experience and agreed that Cath should be forced to meet new people (because look what happened she met Levi and Regan!).

As the story continued, though, enough, Wren was just awful. Like that 'want to be independent' streak that had saved her in my eyes was quickly overshadowed by everything else. Even by the end, is it bad of me to say that I was ecstatic when she was shut down by Cath on the roommate offer? I know she had her own problems but I guess I wasn't as forgiving as Cath was.

There were a few times where I wanted to grab Cath by her hair and slam her head into the wall. Like when she's arguing with her Professor about Fanfiction. Like when she refuses to do her project. I get anxiety, trust me do I get it, but that whole situation was infuriating. Maybe this is because I caught H1N1 and then pneumonia in my freshman year before finally recovering only to roll my ankle and my professor still failed me in Dance. I would have killed to have Professor Piper rooting for me.

Levi, oh Levi. I knew that he was eventually going to become a thing. I knew the moment that they met and she panicked thinking that he was her roommate. I fell in love with him long before Cath did and when he was misguided, I was in pain. Eugh, I love this book.

Overall this was a great book. I was left wanting more. It felt, unresolved in some way. Maybe because the resolution was the final Simon Snow novel and given that, although we were read snippets of the novels, and fan fiction throughout, that wasn't really a resolution because I had never read the supposed Simon Snow series. I wanted more Cath and Levi, I wanted to know how they worked out over the summer, how the next year of school went. I guess I could take to writing my own fanfiction!

Rainbow Rowell writes books. Sometimes she writes about adults (ATTACHMENTS and LANDLINE). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (ELEANOR & PARK and FANGIRL). But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they're screwing up. And people who fall in love.

When she's not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don't really matter in the big scheme of things.

She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.


  1. I'm glad you liked this one! I have not read this one yet, but I really want to. great review!

    1. It was really good. I had some moments where I was physically getting angry and that's always a good response for me