Book Review: Fangirl

by Rainbow Rowell
Kindle Edition, 433 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by St. Martin's Press
Source: Purchased

Book Description:

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?


This fictional novel features a fictional character writing fanfictions about fictional fictional characters. That's fic-ception for you.

Haha sorry, I needed to get that out of my system. Okay moving on, so, you guys! This book. Ohmygush! There are no words that can describe my happiness for finding this book. Think of baby panda bears, fluffy clouds and rainbow-puking ponies. I. Love. This. Book. To. Bits. And. Pieces.

I have never read a book by Rowell before and I only discovered this book a week after its release but the first time I read the synopsis, I fell in love with it right away. Then there came the stunning reviews and just seeing it on other blogs made me hurt physically. I just wanted this book so very badly and then now, oh *faints (slightly)* I might just go Anne Shirley on you and speak nonstop about how this is like what I imagined it to be and more but I'm afraid I'd take things too far and make an accidental fanfiction of that which you probably don't want to read anyway.

Fangirl follows the story of the socially awkward Cather who's a hardcore fan of Simon Snow - which sounds suspiciously like Harry Potter, by the way. She and her twin, Wren, have always been together and both have been huge fans since they were a lot younger but as they entered college, Wren has grown up from her obsession of Simon Snow which left Cath in the fandom as well as college life alone.

Cath is such a relatable character. I connected to her in more ways than one. Actually, I think every fangirl out there will relate to her even if they're not into fanfictions. I've never written a fanfiction myself but I read them - oh, how I love fanfictions! They are my go-to whenever a book has left me giddy for more. I read Bloodlines and Lunar Chronicles and so many anime fanfictions and everytime, I'm grateful for all the Cathers out there who make every hungry fangirl's fantasies come true. Cath is also a loving sister and a very caring daughter to her father. I enjoyed her and her dad's phone conversations. There's an underlying melancholy in almost all their phone conversations but how it always ends up is just hilarious.

The only thing that made Cath's life more exciting than mine is that she has this all-too likable guy for a boyfriend. Believe me when I tell you that he'll make you S-W-O-O-N. He's not as hot as your Will Herondale or Adrian Ivashkov but nonetheless, he'll fill your stomach with butterflies and will make your heart pound everytime he flashes you with his thousand megawatt smile. He's also very patient, caring and so very understanding too. I loved that their romance stemmed from friendship and that it wasn't any sort of insta-love. Even though they essentially have no similarities, they understand each other and they make one hell of a make-out session!

Although I'm not a fan of slash fics, I admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the excerpts of Magicath's fanfictions and to be honest, I started rooting for Simon and Baz toward the middle of the book. I even liked it more than the actual excerpts of the Simon Snow series.

Apart from the fanfictions though, Fangirl also tackles some other elements like plagiarism and alcoholism but with an emphasis on family and though I appreciate this addition, it's also my least favorite part of the book. The conflict with Cath's mother which is supposed to be a major part of the book was a loose end that was left hanging. The ending of the book also left an impression of suddenness which confused me for a moment as I read this in ebook format and didn't realize that I have reached the final page.

But as I'm in for the happiness in this book, I'm willing to forgive Rowell for those shortcomings because happy and giddy is exactly what she delivered. Fangirl is an amazing read. It's superb and it's unputdownable. This maybe my first book by Rowell but it's not definitely going to be the last. I mean, have you heard what people are saying about Eleanor & Park? I am so excite!

Rating: 4.5/5 stars


  1. I wasn't a fan of Eleanor and Park, but I really loved both this novel and Attachments!(: Fangirl especially hit all the right notes in terms of New Adult for me and I loved the realistic portrayal of college life. Great review! :)

    1. This is so different from all the New Adults I've read but I love it! Oh? You're the first person I know to admit that. Kinda makes me nervous, really. I should read more reviews about it.

  2. YEAH CHEL! This was my first Rainbow Rowell book as well but it will definitely not be my last. I loved it so much! I agree with you completely on Cath, she was incredibly relatable even if you have no experience in the world of fanfiction, and like you, I actually preferred her Simon Snow and Baz to the "real" ones! Fantastic review:):)

    1. Yay, Jenny! Simon x Baz! Love it when Simon kissed Baz on his widow's peak, haha. I think I'll go with Attachments first. It sounds exciting even though it's Adult.

  3. I just finished this last week - Rainbow Rowell actually came to Toronto so my copy is signed :) - and it was really good. I've never delved into fanfiction but I could still relate to Cath. I also loved the romance.

    1. So lucky, Z! If she comes here in the Philippines, I'd totally buy a physical copy of her BOOKS. I know! The romance here is the most awesome. <3

  4. I loved Fangirl! I'm really glad you liked it! I'm currently reading Attachments and really like it as well. I plan on reading Eleanor and Park before the end of the year. Can't get enough!

    1. Jess! So glad you 'really liked' Attachments. I hope Eleanor and Park goes great for you. I'll wait for your review. :D

  5. Keep hearing about this book. Definitely want to read it.

    1. Kim, yes, you definitely WANT to read it. It's awesomesauce and I want YOU to read it.

  6. I have to start Fangirl soon. Everyone is saying it's so awesome and I can't wait to find out for myself. I have it but just haven't had the time to read it yet :(

    Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books

    1. Aww, that sucks. I hope you get to read it soon, Aly!

  7. Oh man I've heard SO many great things about this book, but my TBR pile is way too huge. :( Your review really doesn't help my case! :P I will need to get myself a copy soon, wonderful and insightful review!


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