Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

3 Star

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love. 

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?

Sabrina-Kate - 3 Star

I didn't love Fangirl but I didn't hate it either. I know that it has gotten a lot of great reviews but from the first page it just never gripped me nor did it catch my interest. Perhaps it was because I have never understood the phenomenon of being a Fangirl so I guess I couldn't identify with the characters all that much.

I suppose that some people, and a lot seem to, would love this story but I couldn't as it is part of an emerging 'new adult' genre that I just can't identify much with. I never was that wishy washy starstuck kind of girl and was quite mature young so I just don't get a lot of the characters traits. Not to say that every book I read I want to have the character be like me; rather I need the author to make me identify with the character(s) whether or not we are alike.

I find that the character of Cath was that of a slightly annoying person. She was inconsistent, unlikable and not particularly interesting at times. But hey, who wasn't all of the above when they first left home, right? So yes, I could identify a bit at that point, but I still didn't identify enough to like her or the story. Part of the inconsistency was not just due to the characters but things that happened in the plot that weren't developed enough yet figured in the story. I figure, why mention it UNLESS you are going to fully make it a part of the story? Why not just leave it out?

I loved the fact that Simon Snow seems to be loosely based on Harry Potter - I mean what person doesn't love them some HP? However, it wasn't enough to overcome any of the other things I didn't like. The writing is good but could definitely be better. And I can't say I like stories that finish in a predictable, 'clean' sort of way. I like the unexpected.

Thank you to St. Martin's Press for our review copy. All opinions are our own. 

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