Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover, 433 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review
Description from Goodreads:
From the author the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park
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?
Goodness gracious, Rainbow Rowell. Is it your goal to write such awesomeness that it consumes the reader into forgetting about...well, everything? Because I seriously slacked on a bunch of stuff while reading this book. BECAUSE IT IS AMAZEBALLS.
Now that I think about it, that probably was Rainbow's goal. It's an author thing.
But anyway! This book. Take every positive word ever (seriously, every. Single. One.) and I want to say it about this book. Amazing, fantastic, wonderful, excellent, spectacular, and my personal favorite when talking about this book--phenomenal. But I should probably explain WHY I'm saying these things, right? That's always the hard part, putting words to the beauty that is a phenomenal story.
Okay, so, first off, we have Rainbow's writing. Which had me. It had me from the very first page. And I don't even mean the first page of the first chapter, I mean that search page with all the Simon Snow info on it. Because that was so cool! But then the first sentence of the first chapter pretty much kept me in for the long run. "There was a boy in her room." Boys in rooms may or may not be a weakness of mine...
From the first page on, I was SO INTO this book. I kid you not, I fell in love with Fangirl around page 20. Which is usually silly because not much ever happens in the first 20 pages. (Well, usually.) But I couldn't help it. I was honestly worried that my love would fade as the book went on, but it didn't. This is one of those books that I purposely spent too long reading because it was so fabulous I didn't want it to end.
And then there are the characters. (That was a smooth shift, eh?) Cath is our leading lady and she rocked. A huge part of my love for her stems from how easily I could relate to Cath. She keeps to herself, and spends a lot of her time on the internet. I'm not saying I don't have a life, but honestly--I spend more than my fair share of time doing...well...THIS. ;) In some ways, Cath was a wee bit annoying, because she WAS so relatable, whenever she did something that I personally would NOT have done, I got somewhat frustrated, but I got over it quickly. I just can't stay mad at Cath. Plus, there is Levi hanging around...
I love book boys. We all know this. But there are a few that I have specific things for. Andrew Parrish is perfection. Guy Chambers is My Guy. Dean Holder is Giggle-Swoon. Aidan MacRae is the guy the word "swoon" was invented for. Well, Levi? He's my person. Wholly and completely, he is my person. I have a list of reasons why, but I realized it at one part where he was arguing with Cath, and then after when they were patching things up, he apologized for yelling at her. Cath was like "You didn't yell," and then Levi was like "Well, I raised my voice." People who know me SUPER well probably understand where I'm going with this, but most of you only know me via text on a screen, so I'll explain: I don't like yelling. Or loud voices. I like calmness. Which is super funny, because I get loud sometimes, when I'm excited. Maybe when I'm mad, too, but I've never given it much thought, so I'm not sure. But then Levi was equating raising his voice with yelling and I was all like OMG THAT IS SO ME. I DO THAT! And then I started a nice list of all the reasons he's my person. It's pretty hefty.
Wow, I got rambly there...but Levi is honestly fantastic. I was already getting into (good natured) Twitter arguments about him before I was even halfway through the book. He is so worth it. He's not a cliché at all, which made me incredibly happy. He's not a bad boy, but he's not a goody-goody, either. He's uber nice, though. I wish he were real.
But there ARE other characters other than Levi...look at him, dominating this review... Reagan! I kind of wanted to not like Reagan a little. I'm a jealous person like that. I ended up loving her just as much as I loved Cath, however. I wish I had a real-life Reagan, too, to be friends with. I need ALL OF THE PEOPLE in this book to come to life and be my besties. Please? But wait. There are more characters. A couple I'm not even going to comment on, because I don't care about them. They were great in the story and while I was reading, but meh. Courtney and Nick are just meh to me. Wren, however, I'm going to talk about. Because I don't like her. She was selfish and mean to Cath for no good reason. She got better over time, but that only lessened my dislike for her fractionally.
**Oh, and this is me breaking in to say that I LOVE the names in this book. Cather and Wren was something that made me laugh. I found it cute. Levi has always been a name I loved, and Reagan is so pretty! Okay, back to the actual review now....**
Now, for my happy-dance aspect of most books: ROMANCE! Even when there wasn't anything actually romantic going on, I was swooning for Levi. He was sweet and Cath was so innocent, it just WORKED. They are one of my favorite book couples ever. I kid you not--they're in the top ten, easy. Oh, and I posted a little swoon-worthy moment from Fangirl over on YA Bound for Swoon Thursday. So you should, you know, check that out if you missed it.
A big thing about this book is that it's about a girl in her first year of college. I mean, there's more to it than that. WAAAY more. But my point is that it's a New Adult book, really. I know there are a bunch of people who thought the idea of New Adult was cool, but can't find anything they really like in that category right now. Well, THIS BOOK. YOU NEED IT. It does the New Adult thing so, so, SO well. I think it's my favorite NA book, to be honest. I think it's technically categorized as YA, though. Still, if you're going by age group, this is NA. And it is one of the best out there.
Rainbow Rowell has without a doubt written one of my favorite books of 2013. Fangirl is funny, well-written, and positively phenomenal. I was both sad and happy when I made it to the last page, because the book was over but it was so completely amazing I couldn't keep the smile away. This was somehow the first book I read by Rainbow Rowell, but it will most definitely not be my last. I am officially a Rainbow Rowell fangirl! ;)