Fangirl (hardcover)

by Rainbow Rowell

AR Level 3.9, 15 points

Fangirl is the story of Cather and her freshman year of college.  She and her twin, Wren, are opposites in many ways.  Wren loses herself in alcohol and maintains an ongoing fight throughout much of the story, while Cath finds solace in her writing, primarily in writing her fanfic of a popular series about Simon Snow (think Harry Potter).  Cath has thousands of hits on Carry On, and while she is an English major and a talented writer, she has a hard time writing anything but her fanfic novel.  Along the way, she becomes good friends her her scary roommate and a boy named Levi.  Her manic father has a breakdown, her estranged mother comes back into her life, and her writing partner takes credit for the writing she contributed to.  In the end, all is right with the world.  It has a happy ending, not completely unexpected, but with a few surprises here and there.

What I liked about this book was the character description.  Rowell puts so much emphasis on her characters’ clothing and hairstyles, it’s like you can see them before you.  Before I (like a true fangirl) google imaged the characters, I had a clear picture of what they looked like and who would play them in the movie version (if there was one).  It reminded me of when I was younger and wrote my own stories (loosely based on the characters of The Babysitters’ Club).  I let my mom read a story once, and she told me she there was more description of the character’s appearance than the rest of the story.  Luckily, Rowell isn’t that obsessive, and she wrote well-developed characters, beyond their appearances.

What I didn’t like about this book was that it wasn’t Eleanor & Park.  This story took me nearly a month, whereas E&P took me a day.  Yes, it was longer (twice as long, maybe), but it just didn’t hold my attention.  In some places, the Carry On and the Simon Snow novel paralleled Cath’s life, but I didn’t always catch on to that.  There were sections with several pages of 8 point font where Cath was reading her own fanfic.  I liked Harry Potter, but that’s not typically my genre.  I enjoyed the story while I was reading it, but I was also happy when it was over.  It dragged on, and I’m ready for a couple fast reads to catch up on my challenge!

Book 30 of 52


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