Fangirl - Review

I feel like I was meant to do a top ten tuesday this week, but I am on vacation time so I forget what day it is. Instead I have read Fangirl in about two days, so I'll just do a review of that instead. Here goes. A review of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

The book
It’s about two girls, Wren and Cath, who are twins and 18 years old. They are about to start college, and for the first time in their life Wren has decided she wants another roommate than Cath. Cath only picked her college because of Wren, and wants to room with Wren. Instead she rooms with Reagan, a junior who clearly finds Cath weird. Cath is introverted, anxious and loves Simon Snow more than anything. She is an extremely prolific and popular fanfiction writer. She is trying to finish a fanfiction she’s been writing for two years, hoping she’ll be able to finish it before the last real book comes out. She got into a junior class: fiction-writing, and her professor hates fanfic, and Cath feels lost. Also her dad is struggling with being without his daughters.

A note on Simon Snow: Simon Snow is a book series about a young man named Simon Snow who is a magician who goes to a school for young magician. It’s pretty much the most popular thing on the planet. It’s sort of Harry Potter-y, but a bit sillier and weirder, clearly. Cath is really into it and writes Simon/Baz slash fiction. Baz is Simon’s roommate and nemesis, and vampire. There are sections from the Simon Snow books and snippets from Cath’s fanfiction through the book.

What I thought
I loved it. So much. I loved it more than I can put into words, but I will try. I loved how much this book made me laugh. The dialogue and the writing is just really amazing, Rainbow is a sensational writer in that sense. It feels very genuine and real. I like that some of the other characters, particularly Levi and Reagan, are a bit caricatured. And it doesn’t matter at all. It’s fantastic.

I loved Levi. Levi is the ex-boyfriend (assumed boyfriend) of Cath’s roommate. He is always happy, always smiling, always flirty, and he is good at sort of handling Cath’s anxiety. Not handling it, letting her work through it. He is very comfortable and he doesn’t pressure her too much to just move through it, which I liked. I also liked Reagan, who is Cath’s roommate. She finds Cath annoying and weird, and pathetic, so she takes pity on her and makes Cath her friend so that Cath won’t stay in her room forever and disappear.

I loved the Simon Snow stuff. I liked the fanfiction more than I liked the actual Simon Snow stuff. I really liked it because I obviously wrote lots of fanfiction, because you know, it’s my generation. I’m weird. I loved that I recognized so much of it, so much of existing in a fandom, it feels a lot like the Harry Potter fandom. The fans are sort of rabid and overly excited, and they love the fanfiction.

I loved how amazing the characters were, and how believable they were. It’s pretty much a coming-of-age novel. Wren and Cath grew up with their dad because when they were eight their mother left them. They had to take a certain amount of control because their father has some sort of psychological issue. It seems like he might be bipolar because he seems to have the manic episodes, and then go into slumps, he forgets to eat and clean. Cath and Wren cooked and cleaned while growing up, and then they leave home and their father is sort of dropped into nothing. Cath is very similar to their dad, she has the anxiety and she’s worried she’s becoming him. Wren is a lot more like their mother and they obviously need their mom and have issues because of their mom. It was interesting to see sort of the after effects of her leaving too, because obviously it’s been 10 years, but they still haven’t gotten through it and they start fighting and then they don’t even have each other and have to figure out their issues on their own in their own ways.

I liked that Cath’s writing is used as a metaphor for her growing up. She loves writing fanfiction because she’s writing something safe and something she knows. Just like being home with her dad and sister is something safe and known. Then her fiction-writing teacher basically tells her she can’t write fanfiction, because she sees it as plagiarism. And suddenly she has to write real fiction, and I realize I’m ruining everything by stating the obvious, but I thought it was an interesting metaphor and I like writing so I found that interesting.

In the end

It made me laugh, and cry, and it had a lot of substance and interesting writing and I really liked it. And I am really excited to read more of Rainbow Rowell’s writing. I’m really glad I bought Eleanor and Park and have it waiting for me at home. It’s so familiar, and so beautiful, and I updated my Goodreads, which is linked to my Facebook and a girl I went to Uni with got really excited about it, because she also loved it for all the same reasons, which made me happy.