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Book Review: Fangirl

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

WARNING! MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR FANGIRL AND CARRY ON

“To really be a nerd, she'd decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one.”
― Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl

August 30, 2016

I AM CATH, CATH IS ME.

I feel as if I have been missing out on the worlds of Rainbow Rowell. I read "Eleanor and Park" a while ago and never really thought about picking up another one of her novels, but then I grabbed "Carry On" and everything changed. When I read "Carry On" I had no idea that it originally came from "Fangirl". In a way I am glad I read "Carry On" first because it made me love the little blurbs of Simon and Baz even more.



"Fangirl" for me is exactly how I picture myself if I was in college. The little nerdy girl who would prefer to write her fanfiction and read her books rather than go out and sleep with guys and drown my sorrows in tequila. I am not a party girl and I would absolutely hate it. Cather Avery is a character that is not only really relatable, but also just so real. The characters in this book are very unique, but
also very familiar. Does that make sense? Levi is unique, but we all know a Levi in our real life. Someone who is always positive and nothing really fazes them and they will do anything for the people they love. We all know a Reagan who challenges you and makes you feel that if you were more like her then you could do anything. I definitely know a Nick. The douchebag that gets under your skin and then screws you over. Wren reminds me a lot of my sister in a way. She isn't my twin, but she is the opposite of me.

I like that even though the story revolved around only a small handful of people, it didn't feel like a "bottle book". I've mentioned this term before and basically it just means an isolated situation with only a few people. This book expands and contracts on the emotional side and the literary side. There are highs and lows in the plot that just make the story flow phenomenally and then there are these small little moments that just make the characters feel like you're reading about actual, living, breathing, people.

There are so many great moments in this book and one of my favourites is when Levi and Cath have a fight and he storms out of her dorm and she's upset and then just moments later she goes outside and he's sitting there in the hall already wanting to apologize. It's a small thing, but it completely shows how strong their connection is. Not necessarily their romantic connection, but just their connection as people. You know how I am, I get way too invested in books and try to find the underlying meaning behind them. I truly think that Cath and Levi were meant to meet because there is this small understanding between them that I don't think many others would get.

Let us talk about Nick for a moment. Nick and Cath meet in her Fiction-Writing class and they become writing partners and it's all good and grand, but then he does something that makes me hate him. He wants to take credit for a story that he and Cath wrote together. I take pride in every single word I choose to write and I hate it when people don't get the credit they deserve, so screw you Nick. When it comes to Wren, I think she is a bit of a mess, but a good mess. She understands that she's screwing up and even though she wants to be her own person and do her own things, she is still there
for her sister at all times.

Levi, for me, was the bright light of the book. I think anyone would be lucky to have a boyfriend like Levi or hell even a friend. He is charming and sweet and supports Cath in anything she does. I like that he was never afraid to speak his mind around her even after she avoided him for a while. Sometimes when authors write love stories, I think they get a little bit repetitive. Boy meets girl, girl falls for guy, happily ever after, blah blah blah. Yet, I have never disliked a Rainbow Rowell love story. "Eleanor and Park" had the most interesting love story and I still haven't read anything like it. Cath and Levi's story is familiar, but it has these little pockets of individuality that just makes it that much better.

I like that Cath isn't always so sure of herself and that she isn't afraid to be herself. She tells Levi and Reagan and Wren when she isn't comfortable with things and will stand her ground. If she wants to stay in her room and write Simon Snow fanfiction then that is what she will do. If she wants to straddle Levi and kiss him till the sun comes up, she'll do that too. Cather isn't exactly a risk taker, but she isn't afraid to do what she wants once she has thought it through. If she wants to kiss that spot right under Levi's jaw, then by God she is going to do it. If she wants the Mage to betray Simon, then that is what she is going to do, it's all about choices.

Speaking of Simon Snow...I love that this book is revolved around her fanfiction. I personally have been writing fanfic for about three years and honestly it is just a really fun hobby for me, but to Cath, it's her life. She has been working on "Carry On" for two years and it has consumed her and I love how passionate about it she is. I fell in love with Simon and Baz when I read "Carry On" and when I found out that it is based off of Cather's fanfiction, I was surprised. I think it was a genius idea for Rainbow Rowell to write the book and I am so glad she did because I don't think I would have been satisfied with only the little snippets you get in "Fangirl". SNOWBAZ FOR LYFE!

Overall I give this book a 5/5. I have been doing that a lot lately, but it was just so good! I have now been inspired to write a short story...hmm. If you liked "Eleanor and Park" then you will love this book and if you like this book then "Carry On" will be your new favourite. You can read my reviews on "Eleanor and Park" and "Carry On" here: Carry On Review and here: Eleanor and Park Review

Read this book!

Happy Reading!

- Haley

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