Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

by Rainbow Rowell
September 10th 2013
St. Martin’s Press
Kindle Edition
445 pages
Young Adult / Contemporary / Romance

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…
But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?
Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Rating: B- – Liked

Finally! I can now tell everyone that I’ve read Fangirl. Someone print me a certificate of achievement for finishing this novel. It took me a couple of years until I decided that 2017 is the right time to read this neglected novel. Almost four years late but it’s still worth a read, right?

What I Liked

The quality. This book is quality – the real deal. By that it means, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to anyone. The writing is impeccable and this is not really up for discussion.

The premise of fanfiction. I’m not into fanfictions. I’ve read some but not enough to make it my thing. I’d rather accept the ugly truth or deal with the misery that the author has bestowed upon my book – no matter how much I hate it. I’m more likely to grab a new book rather than re-live the story one more time anyways. But then, Fangirl seems to convince me that I just haven’t found the right fanfiction for me yet.

The book cover. I’m in love with the color palette and the art style used by the designer. Everything about it screams girly and cute. If I was a nonreader and I was to pick a book for myself, this would probably be the first book that I would pick. It’s really that eye-catching.

What I Didn’t Like

Somewhat unrelatable. Fangirl failed to tap the inner fangirl in me. It made me ask myself ‘Is this really what a fangirl is?’. Because again, by the standard set in this book, apparently, I’m not a fangirl.

Not discreet enough. We all know that Simon Snow is already a knock-off of Harry Potter but couldn’t the author be more discreet? Did she really have to mention Harry Potter in this novel? It’s just weird knowing that in this book’s world, the Harry Potter series also exists along with that of Simon Snow.

The main character. I hate how it felt like Cath was limiting fiction to fantasy and science fiction. I don’t know how she became such a brilliant amateur writer with that kind of thinking. Also, there’s something really wrong and weird in Cath. I’m not saying it because she’s into the whole fandom but because she’s really just downright crazy. She made me feel uncomfortable. In my opinion, she needs to see a counselor.

Boring. The short excerpts from Carry On and Simon Snow books are way more interesting. Like I had thoughts of just moving on with Carry On. I need to be honest. The whole plot is just meh because it felt like nothing really was happening. In the end, particularly in the latter parts, it was really able to set things right and redeem itself. Cheers to that!

To be honest, Fangirl is both a delightful and a boring read. Coming from that, it’s really something that I’m giving Fangirl a B-.



  1. I really loved this book and I’m glad you enjoyed it, even though it was a bit boring. Have you read Carry On? It’s the fanfiction Cath was writing in Fangirl that Rainbow Rowell has published as an actual book! It’s incredible and I enjoyed it far more than Fangirl! 😀 Great review !


      1. Hahaha omg I did the same! I stupidly bought Carry On and my friend told me about Fangirl and I had to read that first. Luckily I enjoyed it. Hope you like Carry On – it’s one of my favourite reads 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah I still need to read this! I think a lot of what you’re saying about it being unrelatable, being boring and the main character are all reasons why I’ve been so slow to get to it- but I loved Carry On so much that I definitely still want to give it a go. Great review!


    1. This was a slow read for me too lol. Pretty much the only reason I want to be done with this is so that I can move on with Carry On. How did that work for you btw? You read Carry On first? I mean I know they’re both stand-alones but still most people advised me to start with Fangirl.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah understandable. Oh I loved Carry On- I’d heard about Fangirl, but to be honest the blurb for Carry On pulled me in and Fangirl’s didn’t, so I just for it. I probably messed up the order though 😉 ah well, c’est la vie


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