Review: Fangirl

Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Series: No
Genre: Young-Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 445
My Rating: 3.5 Stars

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?

This was supposed to be a review of Carry On. But when I was about to start reading it, I found out that it was a spin-off to Fangirl. I'm one of those people who can't, no matter what, make themselves read a book that part of a series unless they've read all the previous book. Even if it is a stand-alone.

Now usually, I prefer to go into books without any preconceptions. But when the author is Rainbow Rowell and the book is as well known and well loved as this one, that's not exactly possible. Going into this book, I expected it to be about a reader, someone who loved books and obssessed over them. I expected the books to be sweet and, most importantly, relatable.

It wasn't like I thought it would be. And I'm not saying that in a good way or a bad way. I'm just saying it.

Fangirl didn't seem, to me, about fangirls at all. Yes, Cath was a fangirl. But she wasn't as enthusiastic about stories, about new releases and book quotes, like fangirls usually are. She didn't read and write just to read and write. It wasn't her love for books that drove her. Her reasons were much darker. Her life and her story, much more serious. Now let's talk about the characters individually:

Cath: Cath is a difficult character to understand. I stll don't think I undeerstand her. I still feel like I'm missing parts of her story. And the main reason for that is the same reason she loves Simon and Baz so much. She wants to disappear. She doesn't like having to think about her own life. She doesn't like having to deal with herself. So, she things about Simon and Baz instead. And because of that, even after an entire book that was basically from her point-of-view, all we really know about her is what we can pick up from the tid-bits that are given.

Levi: I like Levi. He is such a nice guy. He's like can't-possibly-be-real nice. Maybe that's why this books is fiction; because Levi can't be real. Anyway, throughout this book, I was, for some reason, keeping count of Levi's mess ups. There were three of them and he made up for and explained most of them. He didn't explain the "later". But even though I love him, a part of me feels like there's more to him. So much more that we don't know about him. I want to know his backstory. I want to know him better.

Wren: Wren was a mess. I could understand her wanting to do something different in college. But her approach on it was so wrong, she became a stereotype. And Wren is another character that I want to know more about. People don't just drown themselves in alcohol for no reason. Or maybe they do, there's not way to be sure.

Reagan: Reagen is probably my favourite character in this book. She isn't the main character and her only role seems to be frowning and kicking doors open and close, but she's way more important that that. She just doesn't hog the attenion. And she's such a cool character. Her presence is light and she's like a breath of fresh air after all the intense emotions of Cath. But again, what to know more! God! The amount of info. we have on everyone is making me realize how self-centered Cath is.

Simon and Baz: I had to mention these two. They're so important to Cath, how could I not? In the beginning, I didn't care about them. I kept wondering why I should care about them. I wanted the author to stop with them and move on with the story. But by the end, they grew on me. Now, I really wanna know what happens to the both of them. It makes me glad for Carry On.

Finally, the things I disliked:

  1. The ending feels incomplete. There's so much that was left hanging. I'd put the questions, that I wish were answered, in this review, but they'd be spoilers. So. I'm gonna say that I have questions and leave it at that.
  2. The story didn't move fast enough. There were times during the first half when I was a bit bored. I wanted somthing to happen. The story was walking, meaning it was moving forward but it was very mundane. I wanted a jump. Or hell, even a five second jog that said that we were actually getting somewhere.
  3. I loved the writing. Rainbow Rowell is a really good author. But I didn't see much of a difference between Cath's writing style and Gemma T. Leslie's. I'm not sure if it was intentional (it probably was) but I wish there'd been a more noticeable difference in the two writng styles and not just the content.
  4. As I've mentioned pleanty of times in this review already, I want to know more about the characters. I just want there to be more.
And that a wrap for the review. It was a good book but I didn't connect with it as much as I would've liked. No regrets, though.

3.5 Unsatisfied Stars

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