My Rating: 4 hearts
Thoughts on the Novel: After seeing so many positive reviews for Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park and then Fangirl, I figured I should probably give one of her books a try. Since Fangirl is Rowell’s latest novel, I thought I’d start with that.
As someone who has never even been remotely interested in fanfiction, I wondered if I’d be able to relate to Cath. Fortunately, I found that I could. While I’ve never been so socially anxious that I’d resort to hiding in my room and surviving on granola bars for over a month to avoid going to the cafeteria alone, I can understand why Cath would do that because I, myself, tend to feel uncomfortable at large gatherings. Also, though I’ve never written fanfiction, I know what it’s like to be part of an online community and the friendships and drama that can come as a result of that.
It wasn’t just Cath who was a realistic character; all the secondary characters were as well. Of those, I think Levi deserves a special mention. As the love interest, Rowell could have easily made him a physically handsome guy, but she doesn’t. Instead, Levi is described as too tall and skinny with a receding hairline. I thought that was awesome because YA novels tend to delude you into thinking that you can find guys who look like models on every corner.
Another strength of Fangirl was its focus on different relationships. The book gives equal page time to familial relationships, friendships and school relationships. My favourite of these would probably be Cath’s relationships with her father and her roommate Reagan whereas my least favourite was that of her relationship with her twin Wren, who I disliked.
Besides not liking Wren, I also didn’t enjoy the random excerpts from the Simon Snow series and Cath’s fanfiction at the beginning of each chapter. I thought they were kind of all over the place and not really necessary to the plot.
Fangirl was released in September 2013 by St. Martin’s Press.
Comments About the Cover: I like its simplicity. It does a great job of showing off the characters of Cath and Levi.