Book Review: Fangirl (and the start of Fangirl Frenzy Week)

Title: fangirlFangirl

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Genre: YA contemporary (although it has NA characters. But it’s definitely YA)

Length: 445 pages

Published by: St Martin’s Press (a division of Macmillan)

Source: I bought it!


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 is the start of Fangirl Frenzy Week, where I talk all things fangirling. About lots of things. And I thought it was fitting to review Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell on the first day on this week.

What can I say that hasn’t already been said? I mean seriously. Everyone loves this book. Right? (actually I’d love to hear from you if you don’t love it! Black sheep opinions are my favourite opinions! Except if they’re racist or sexist or, you know…not good).

Let’s start with…characters. Okay.

Cath: I related with her so much. She doesn’t like people, she loves writing, she’s a fangirl and she’s not very confident. I mean, I don’t write fan-fiction but I can understand why that’s so important to her. I think I’ve told you guys before that I was an admin for a Harry Potter page, and I thought (still think, really) that that is really cool.

Levi: Ahhhhhh, Levi. Cutie McCute-Face. Rainbow Rowell didn’t even have a last name for him until people pointed out he didn’t have one! He’s adorable, and he’s nice to everyone, and he doesn’t like reading, and he’s such a well-rounded character and RAINBOW ROWELL IS JUST AMAZING OKAY??

Reagan: Another fantastic character. She was also really well-developed. I loved how mean yet simultaneously really nice she could be.

Wren: Cather and Wren. Yeahhhh….anyway, Cath’s twin is cool, too. She makes some silly decisions and I wish I could have seen more of how she and Cath used to interact.


I admit to being a bit confused as to what Simon Snow was based off. At the beginning I thought Harry Potter – it seemed obvious. But then they reference Harry Potter in the middle of the book, so I got confused!!! There are a lot of parallels between the two, but in the end I think Rainbow Rowell’s created an interesting story all of her own, and I’d love to read the actual versions. Sometimes, excerpts of books within books get boring, but I really enjoyed all of it.


You know, some of this is actually quite sad. I didn’t expect that. But it’s not all fluffy, and the family stuff really is quite realistic. Wren and Cath drifting apart was awful to see, and Levi was great comic relief for that. Their Dad was a nice addition, and I liked the way Rainbow Rowell dealt with the mum.

Writing was brilliant and I loved the Simon Snow parts and I just YES PLEASE I WOULD LIKE MORE BOOKS FROM YOU, RAINBOW ROWELL.


(this is a new section of my reviews in which I talk about what I wish could have happened in the book)

– More on the fandom stuff. That’s about it. This didn’t cover much except fan-fiction, and even that process didn’t go in-depth.

But yeah. Awesome.

Rating: 5/5 Wonderkitties



21 thoughts on “Book Review: Fangirl (and the start of Fangirl Frenzy Week)

  1. I just bought this book, but I haven’t read it yet! (Actually, I read the first page, if that counts for anything.) I can’t wait until I finish the whole thing. It sounds amazing. It looks amazing. It smells amazing. So yeah. Awesome review!

  2. I ABSOLUTELY ADORED THIS BOOK TOO. OMG COULD IT HIT THE FEELS ANY HARDER?!! I absolutely related to Cath…and while Wren ticked me off most of the book, at the end I really felt she was a cool sister who was just going about stretching her wings in a weird/not-nice way. Levi was adorable. 😉 I was worried it’d be a love-triangle, but it totally wasn’t. I LOVE how Rainbow Rowell writes her romances. Ermahgerd can she be any more of a brilliant writer?? Buuuut, okay, I admit! I didn’t read the fanfic bits. They bored me kind of and I wasn’t there for Simon Snow. I was there for CATH. And I also felt it was weird how it seemed SO based of Harry Potter…yet it wasn’t. I kind of felt it was fanfic OFF HP at times and that was weird. *shrugs* Still, it’s an absolute 5-star for me too. 😉 Mime’s reviewing it this week and she’s grumpy so she gave it 4. XD

    • FEELS. I KNOW. WRITER FEELS. Wren kind of annoyed me too. Oh! And I should clarify, I liked the SHORT bits of fanfic at the beginning of each chapter (or the end of the last chapter??), but not so much the longer ones. Those could have been better, I think. But yes, we are in agreement that Rainbow Rowell is amazing. I actually liked Eleanor and Park better, but this was still amaaazzzzing. The Simon Snow/Harry Potter thing confused me heaps – probably more than I said in my review. But hey, it can’t be perfect, right? 🙂

  3. I’m still reading the book. It didn’t hit me like “Eleanor and Park” did, at least not yet anyway. But so far it’s been a pretty good read. I am also a new Rainbow Rowell fan. 🙂 Great review!

  4. Yay! I’m so glad you loved this one and that it gave you so much feels c: I quite adored it also. Cath was probably one of the most realistic and easy to relate to characters I’ve read in YA before. I found myself easily invested in her story and sympathized with her throughout the course of the novel. I could also easily support the relationship between Cath and Levi, it was one of my favorite that I’ve read in a long time (: Haha I actually never realized that we never learn Levi’s last name! Lol interesting.

    Wonderful review <33 Reminded me of how much I enjoyed this book!

    • Rainbow Rowell definitely has character spot on. Even though her characters may not be likeable in real life, I felt a real sense of empathy towards all of them.

      I love when a review makes me remember how much I enjoyed a book, so that’s a huge compliment, thank you ❤

  5. Great review. I didn’t love it as much as others have done, but I think it’s still enjoyable. Eleanor & Park had more of an impact on me!

  6. NAWWW the kitties! Damnit, I still haven’t picked up this book yet! So many people love it, and I really want to know what all the hype is but I’m worried that I won’t like it at the same time. Wonderful review Emily, the characters all sounds so well developed!

    Joy @ Thoughts By J

  7. I adored this book! Read it in one sitting….
    And I think it is New Adult – it’s dealing with Cath’s transition from being a teenager to growing into adulthood. She’s dealing with some quite series issues like her dad and sister’s issues and she’s learning to stand on her own. It might not be as sexual as most NA but I definitely consider Fangirl to be a NA novel (and I might be wrong. I’m often wrong when it comes to classifying books) Just wanted to share my two cents worth 🙂
    Great review, Emily!

    • Woah! It’s a pretty big book so great effort 🙂

      I think it’s New Adult too, although publishers still seem reluctant to group it in that. It’s still a relatively new genre and pigeonholing it as YA probably makes more sense than an up-and-coming category. Still, if enough people clamour for NA it will become more and more of a thing, so fingers crossed!

  8. At the end of the book I was like…

    *jumping on my bed screaming I LOVE THIS BOOOOOOOOOOK then I started hugging it then I stopping hugging it because I didn’t want to ruin a special library book*

    It all started when I the book caught my eye in the library and I immediately got it out. Then I read the book and well did the above. Just read it please read it…..please

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