Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – Review

I picked up ‘Fangirl’ by Rainbow Rowell, unsure of what to expect but buoyed on by all the raving reviews I’ve heard about it. I am about to add to those reviews. I absolutely loved this book.

Fangirl is about Cath, a fandom loving girl who writes fanfiction. She and her twin sister, Wren, share a room and a love for the Simon Snow novels (a fantastic parody of Harry Potter). They head off to college, Wren excited for the new adventure and Cath wishing for nothing more than to be at home. The novel is about Cath’s journey as she tries to deal with the different world of college and her own fears and doubts. It deals with themes of family, social anxiety, friends, loneliness, fear and fanfiction.

Cath is an incredibly relatable character. Of all the books I have read this year, I have found more of myself in Cath than in any other. Her experience of starting college bears many similarities to my own and her actions are completely understandable. While Cath is someone I can relate to, her sister’s experiences are very similar to those of people I know. I am fairly sure that whoever may read this book, they will find at least one person to relate to in this novel. It is such a fantastic representation of the variety of people you meet in life, despite not have a massively large cast.

I was quite surprised by how big the novel was. When I first heard of it, I was expecting something short. But ‘Fangirl’ is surprisingly long (not too long though). The story within the pages is very much character-driven, with the main plot being Cath’s own personal development and her gradually fitting in with university life. There were a few climactic moments, most notably involving Art, Cath’s father. Some characters did get slightly forgotten, only to suddenly crop up near the end, but I can forgive Rowell for that, given that being the very nature of college and university.

I really enjoyed ‘Fangirl’ and, not only has it made me want to read more of Rainbow Rowell’s books, it has also made me want to persevere with my own writing which has gone through a bit of slump. So I say thank you to Rowell for giving me the boost I need and a fantastic book to go with it.

Rating: 4.5/5


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