Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Source: Gifted to me
Buy it: Here
Cath and Wren are twins starting their freshman year at college. Cath loves Simon Snow; the wizard in a popular book series, and is a prolific fan-fiction writer within the fandom. Wren is desperate to make the break from "twin" at college, and embraces the social aspects of college whole-heartedly. As Cath struggles with all the new changes college life brings - not to mention the effect of the twins' departure on those left at home - she finds herself fighting to hold on to the things she loves, burying herself deep into the familiar world of Simon and Baz, and struggling to keep her head above water.
Fangirl is such a wonderfully real representation of school/college/university if you were ever the Cath of the class - the quiet, smart one; the sensible one with "geeky" tendencies, few friends and a worry for everything. Rainbow Rowell's talent at creating characters so real and relate-able once again shines brightest in this book.
And characters are 100% what makes Fangirl, and as a novel focused hugely of fan-fiction and its meaning I think that's entirely appropriate. I loved Cath, but equally I loved the "louder" characters of Fangirl. Reagan and Wren were the perfect counter to Cath, each bringing a slice of a different college experience to the narrative. We were allowed to know these characters fully, to wrap ourselves up in them and feel like they were friends: much like the twins relationship with Snow.
As much as I enjoyed Fangirl - and it was a great book - I couldn't give it 5 stars. I felt it was too long, lacked action in some parts, and some of the fan-fiction was a bit over-kill in length and style. It was like reading Harry Potter on too many e-numbers. I do, though, recognize how this is personal preference, and not a fault at all with the book!
I highly recommend Fangirl as a high-five to anyone who writes, anyone who kept their head down in school, anyone finding their place in the tumult of adolescence and anyone looking for a slice honest, cute romance. This book is for you.
Rainbow Rowell once again plants her all-too-real characters deep within our psyche. Relate-able situations, and the ability of the characters to voice the things we all feel but are too afraid to say make Fangirl a winner!