Today I bring you a book that took everyone’s heart last year and it’s still finding its ways through the one’s left! Today’s review is about Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell.
Find any edition for this book over at Book Depository
First of all, let’s talk about the colours of the cover of this book! If you’re around the internet a lot, you may know this cover because it’s super photogenic, with its mint and pink colours and illustrations. It’s so weird that my copy has an inverted colour scheme. I never seen this before so I was incredibly surprised when I got it. I still haven’t gotten an explanation about this but I’ll continue to search for it. But, I think it’s super gorgeous nevertheless. It has some incredible rubbery texture that feels incredible to touch.
I absolutely love the drawings by Noelle Stevenson. I’ve been getting more familiar with her work ever since getting this book. She captured the characters essence so perfectly in the little illustrations in the inside of the cover! Her web comic, Nimona is about to be released in paper as well as the trade paper back of Lumberjanes. I can’t express how much I want to read those two titles.
But, let’s talk about the author! Rainbow Rowell is an american young adult and adult fiction writer. She has several books out but most of her success comes from the popularity and love surrounding Eleanor & Park and now, Fangirl. Her characters tend to be very relatable with its target audience, which I’m sure contributes to all the care and almost protective feel that revolves around Rowell. This was my first contact with her writing.
Fangirl tells the story of two twins, Cather and Wren. As expected, they are used to do everything together. But everything is about to change since Wren doesn’t want to live with Cath anymore. They begin to fall apart: while Wren goes to parties to get drunk and meet boys, Cath stays in her room and writes fanfiction all night. It’s basically a story of coming of age, first love and dealing with being apart from everything you were used to.
I had really high hopes for this one even though I kept telling myself that it was ok for me not to like it. But that’s the thing about books that are loved by EVERYONE: you just want to like them too. Fortunately, I don’t think that influenced me a lot. From the very beginning, I started to become very attached to the characters, specially Cath. To be honest, I’ve never seen so much of myself in a fiction person. And this is one of the most recurring thing I hear about Fangirl, how it is relatable. It’s so true!! Rowell captured not only the young adult spirit but also the whole ambience of the beginning of responsibilities and all the crap that comes with becoming an adult. All the struggles and problems seemed so real. I’ve never read a book that showed what I’ve experienced/still am experiencing so truthfully. Rowell is incredibly talented.
As I said, both the characters and the plot lines are spot on. Cath was by far my favourite character but I loved most of all the other characters (I still don’t know what I feel about Reagan though). Levi is the first boy in a book that I would, totally and without any question, date. He’s by no means perfect. He has already a receding hairline and his body is way too long, which makes him move in a weird way. Most YA novels I’ve read so far (specially romances) are full of this picture-perfect boys. I feel no interest or attraction for them. They are empty, there’s nothing good in perfection. I loved this flawed boy. It feel good to finally see a more realist love interest of the main character. My favourite moment was, without a doubt, when Cath and Levi have an emergency Kanye West dance party. I don’t remember feeling that warm and fussy inside while reading something.
I liked the story but honestly, it had way too many things going on. This is the only really down point I have to give to this book. There were way to many plot lines. Specially, the parts where Cath reads from her fic are just so… urgh. I didn’t like them at all. I wanted the story to move on already. I understand how that is important to Levi and Cath’s relationship but I would be a lot happier without them. All the plot lines weren’t completely unnecessary but I think I would have liked the whole thing to be much simpler. It makes the book very thick, which is not completely usual in this genre.
Another very particular thing about this book is the small bits of Simon Snow (the fandom Cath’s obsessed about) or Carry On (the name of the fic written by Cath) chapters. They aren’t random at all: there’s something a little something that relates to the main story. But, I honestly couldn’t care less about that. I wouldn’t say they were horrible but I didn’t enjoy them either. Maybe it’s because I never was a big Harry Potter fan or wrote fanfiction intensively. That was a part I couldn’t definitely relate in the whole story.
To conclude, I have to say that I really loved this book. I could totally relate in most of the things. The ones I didn’t, I could understand either way. I feel like I didn’t like it quite as much as everyone else but I still pretty much loved it. I had a lot of feelings during it, mostly good. It was a ride but a very nice one. If you enjoyed this book, you might be glad to know that there’s a related book coming out later this year. It’s called Carry On and it’s the fanfaction that Cath so extensively has written over her life. Since I didn’t like the bits of fanfiction and Simon Snow, I’m not very excited for this one and I won’t probably even read it.
Anyway, if you’ve read this book, please let me know that you thought of it! I would love to hear all you guys opinions.
Here’s my favourite quote:
To really be a nerd, she’d decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one.
Thank you for reading and sticking by!