Monday, June 29, 2015

Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell @rainbowrowell

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell book cover and review
Finally a contemporary book that I can sink my teeth into. I've been DNFing or not even starting many contemporaries lately, but I should have known that Rowell's characters would win my heart. I thoroughly enjoyed Fangirl.

Cath and her twin sister Wren are leaving for college and they are going to live in separate dorms. They will be apart for the first time. Cath is nervous, especially when her roommate shows almost no interest in getting to know Cath, and Cath is to frightened of everything to put herself out there.

All Cath wants to do is write her fanfic, which has a huge following on the internet. About the only thing she's excited about is her fiction writing class that she managed to get in as a freshman.

I think what makes Rowell's characters so easy to love is that they have multiple aspects to their lives. They are well rounded. I don't want to say too much but there are issues besides surviving their freshman year at college. Their father has some mental health issues, and Cath is worried about leaving him alone....since their mother left them when they were eight years old. Mom has suddenly decided she wants to be a part of their lives, much to Cath's dismay. Wren takes a different path through her freshman year, partying too much and paying the consequences. And, of course, there's a romance. A really sweet romance that melted my heart.

Cath has problems getting her priorities straight, as is common for freshmen in college, and following her through this process is both frustrating and satisfying.

I'm not sure I have anything negative to say. It did take me a while to immerse myself in Fangirl. But I think that's more of a personal thing -- only reading in short spurts. I do better if I can get a huge chunk of reading time all at once. That's not always possible, of course.

I was starting to think I shouldn't try any more contemporaries (maybe I'm too old for teen situations?) but Fangirl has renewed my faith. I'm going to have to start pushing this one to my teens. It's been nominated for our Abraham Lincoln High School Book Award, so that will help.

Published by St. Martin's Griffin, 2013
Copy obtained from the library
435 pages

Rating: 5/5

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  1. Awesome review. I love Fangirl. It’s one of the best books I’ve read so far this year.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  2. Rainbow Rowell can definitely make a person love contemporaries. If you like this, I highly recommend reading her other YA novel, Eleanor & Park!

  3. I decided the thing I like about Rainbow Rowell's YA novels is her nice male characters. Dare I call them heroes? So often with YA we are given very stereotypical male characters or rotten ones. Glad you liked Fangirl as much as I do. I hope you have more luck getting your students to read it. I don't have trouble getting them to read Elanor and Park but few will move over and read Fangirl.

  4. I think this one is more of a NA than a YA, which made it more appealing to me (even though I'm too old to fit into either of those categories)! I also liked that, as you mentioned, there's more depth to this novel than it would at first appear. I loved that it was funny and quirky, but also thoughtful and moving. Glad you enjoyed this one!

  5. I'm so thrilled you loved Fangirl! I recently bought it myself and I'm even more excited to read it! Happy reading! :)


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