So, I finished Fangirl (by Rainbow Rowell) today. I decided that I had to write a review of this amazing book. But then I came to the realisation that:
- I don’t really have a good track record with reviews (my TFIOS book review resulted in 1643 words all about Hazel Grace Lancaster and not many words at all on the actual plot line. Similarly my Harry Potter review lacked the qualities of a typical review and I instead wrote about why the books hold such a special place in my heart.)
- If will probably never be as awesome as the review my best friend friend wrote (that you should totally check out)
- I don’t actually know how to write a proper book review. In all of my life, I have spent one hour learning about reviews at school, which hardly qualifies me for this kind of thing
But then I just thought I’d give it a go, and review Fangirl in my own strange way.
This is the end of the non-spoilery part of the review. If you haven’t been acquainted with this beautiful book, I strongly urge that you read it as soon as you can and then come back here and fangirl with me :)
This book has so many interesting characters, so I’ve decided to begin by talking about some of the characters featured in this beautiful artwork.
I connect with Cath in some ways, but I mainly see her in my (FABULOUS) best friend Sofia which is why I rather weirdly imagined her as being Cath (but in glasses and a cardigan) throughout the book. I relate to Cath because of the way she writes. In primary school, I was an extremely enthusiastic budding new writer. When we were set assignments I eagerly get started right away and always came up with a final product I was happy with. My problem was when we were given free rein. When I had to choose the topic, I always came out with weird and really horrific plot lines that I never felt inspired to write about. (One time I wrote about a cleaning race between Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty featuring many interesting and unusual side characters such as Tess the Giantess and Dumbledore.) So I kind of gave up on that dream. Whilst I may not be a fic writer (apart from the alternate story lines I create in my head), we do have quite similar writing styles.
One thing I loved about the book was when Cath went to buy the final instalment in the Simon Snow series, the Eighth Dance. I absolutely love the Harry Potter series, but I wasn’t really part of the fandom when the books and films were released (well until the Order of the Phoenix film.) I wasn’t even born when The Philosopher’s Stone was released and I was only one when the film came out. I missed out on a lot of things because of this. One of my main regrets is that I was never able to go and get one of the books at midnight, but experiencing it through Cath felt truly amazing.
I’m not very similar to Cath at all, but I was still able to connect with her and completely understand her. That is what makes an amazing protagonist!
Wren annoyed me A LOT originally. I’m not a party girl (I’d much rather snuggle up in a blanket and read) and I just found Wren annoying because of all of the partying and the way she treated Cath. I don’t have any siblings, let alone an identical twin, but I still related to the relationship between Cath and Wren. I know what it’s like to have someone you are really close to, and I know how that dynamic changes when someone else comes along. Sometimes it ends in a beautiful friendship, but when it doesn’t, I’m normally the one who is left out (like Cath.)
But over the course of the book I began to see a softer side to Wren and I decided that she is much more than the annoying party girl I saw at the beginning of the book.
What can I say? Levi is just……. amazing. I use that word (along with awesome and beautiful) far too often, but I can’t think of a substitute strong enough to explain his awesomeness.
“You’ve read the books?”
“I’ve seen the movies.”
Cath rolled her eyes so hard, it hurt. (Actually.) (Maybe because she was still on the edge of tears. On the edge, period.) “So you haven’t read the books.”
“I’m not really a book person.”
“That might be the most idiotic thing you’ve ever said to me”
This quote made me laugh out loud, and that’s a very unique thing for me because I don’t do it a lot. I can’t remember doing so since I read the Elite back in September 2013. You can tell Levi is a wonderful character, because even after he openly admitted to not being a book person, I still love him.
- I love his courteous manner and how much of a gentleman he is (because the world could do with a lot more of those)
- I love how much he cares about Cath and the way he would drop everything he was doing to go and see if she was okay (like when he went to visit Wren at the hospital)
- I love how he lets Cath take her time with the relationship and move at her own pace, and I love that they have a relationship that isn’t reliant on a physical aspect.
- I love how he gets Cath to read to him and how he supports her with her fanfics.
- I love every part of Levi!
But I’m going to back off, because my friend Sofia might try to murder me if I attempt to steal her man!
I really didn’t connect with Reagan originally but she really grew on me over the course of the book. She ends up being a super-supportive room-mate and friend to Cath (as well as being funny)
“Reagan was sitting up at Cath’s desk when Cath woke up.
“Are you awake?”
“Have you been watching me sleep?”
“Yes, Bella. Are you awake?”
It was interesting to see the way that Reagan originally views Cath because it gave me an outsider view to what fangirls look like to everyone else, we look pretty… different!
“As far as Reagan was concerned, Cath was already problematically weird. “It’s bad enough that you have homemade Simon Snow posters,” Reagan had said last night while she was getting ready for bed. “Do you have to have gay homemade Simon Snow posters?”
Cath had looked up at the drawing over her desk of Simon and Baz holding hands. “Leave them alone,” she said. “They’re in love.”
Oh Nick, you horrible, horrible person.
After watching Frozen, I learnt not to always trust the seemingly charming and perfect male. So with Fangirl being the first book I picked up after seeing the film,
I was immediately suspicious of Nick. And it turns out I was right. I really hate Nick at the moment, and I’m sure I’ll eventually cool down and stop being angry with him.
Plus, how can you trust anyone with eyebrows like those?
Another thing I LOVE about this book is all the fandom references, whether it’s The Suite Life of Zac and Cody or Lord of the Rings. It’s just super cool to see a reference to one of your favourite things.
I loved almost all aspects of the book. My main problem was the ending.
I NEED CLOSURE
I NEED TO KNOW:
- More about what she wrote for her assignment
- More about her relationship with Levi
- Whether she decided to stay or not
- Whether she continued with fanfiction
- What happened to a lot of the other characters, like Reagan or Jandro, who we never really got to learn about
I generally long for answers.
But one of the most beautiful things about books is that there is always room for you to use your imagination and to create fanfics just like Cath. So maybe sometime in the future, I’ll write my first fic and decide for myself what really happened to all the characters.
Well that’s all I have time for today, I’ll try to add more in the future! (I’ll try to add some in the future!)
Overall, I’d give this book:
4.5 stars for the cover. It’s very simple, but still effective and I love the colour scheme, BUT I prefer the American cover.
4.25 Stars for the book. I did adore this book, but the ending let me down. I also generally struggle to get into contemporary novels which makes them automatically rank lower than books that I find gripping.
3.5 Stars for the protagonist. I love Cath and think she is an amazing character, but there are other fictional characters that I prefer.