Top positive review
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 2 October 2019
Cath and Wren are identical twins. Now in college, Wren wants to live the college life, by herself. Which means Cath, who has social anxiety, now has to fend for herself. She has to put up with a new roommate, and all that the roommate brings with her…
The story of Fangirl starts in the Fall Semester 2011, and it's a totally different beginning from all kinds of fiction I have read till now. It begins with an online encyclopaedia entry of the fictional The Simon Snow Series. A series of which Cather is a die-hard fan – fangirling all the way by writing fan-fictions with the same characters as that of the series but in an alternate universe, her universe.
"To really be a nerd, she'd decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one."
Never have I ever read a book with a title so apt! Well, I may have, but this is hands down, by far, the BEST! I can't explain exactly how Fangirl has this old-school charm about it. I loved the story within a story concept. I loved how this book was all about books, reading, and romance, and friendship.
The entire story was set in and around the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Omaha, Cath-Wren's home, going back and forth between them. This is such a sweet coming of age story. Coming to the characters, I am now calling them the fab four. Cath, Levi, Wren, and Reagan. The art on the endpaper is so to the point that I could imagine the characters just like them. When I get myself a hardcover I will post a picture because the library copy I read this from ruined some of it.
Cath and Reagan are roommates, unlike any other roommates you have heard of before. They barely tolerate each other, initially, existing in their own worlds. I liked Reagan's candour, her straight up, take no nonsense attitude. And also her awkward friendship with Cath.
For what Cath and Wren went through, I liked how the author wrote a story with not only laughs but also all the grinds of daily life and the flaws. The way their father, Art Avery's character was shaped up is indeed something new for me, something different. Professor Piper, Cath's fiction writing teacher, has a small role in the story, but she shines in it. I wonder, how annoying yet comforting it must be to have a twin!
I laughed out loud at Cath's take on other students, her use of 'just', and her way of playing with words when talking or thinking. Being someone who reads fiction and writes, I could relate to it so much. It was sheer joy reading such a character because I will never longer feel odd or even made to feel odd if I drop a book's line out of the blue in the middle of a conversation with my friends. (Believe me, the weird glances just compelled me to shut up. Though it's fun because no one knows what line/joke I just dropped.) I also laughed at Levi's pick-up line which was both hilarious and charming (ergo, where's my Levi?):
"Hello, smart girl, would you like to talk to me about Great Expectations?"
I suspect that is the main reason it took me so long to finish this book! I was giggling throughout the book like a teenager experiencing her first love. I laughed so hard at times that it hurt my tummy.
"Levi's chest was a living thing."
Such a sweet, sweet story. Be it Cath's insecurities, Levi's grins, Wren giving the cold shoulder, or Reagan's strong character. It winds up with the winding up of the Spring Semester 2012. And my God, so much happens in that one year.
"Cath was there at the register, and the clerk was handing her a book that was at least three inches thick."
Hmm… I'm sold, I am gonna read Rainbow Rowell's each and every book. Well, I just measured the paperback copy that I have and it is approx. 3 inches thick! Fangirl has something for both readers as well as writers, and that is what made the book so endearing for me.
P.S. After the recent buzz around Wayward Son, Rowell's latest book set in the fictional world of Simon Snow, I'm really enjoying reading the 'excerpts' from the fanfic shared after every chapter of Fangirl. What a brilliant concept! Though I am in favour of Cath's version rather than GTL's. And now I'm looking forward to reading both Carry On and Wayward Son. My inner Cath is dancing, she too has dark purple eyeglasses.
Originally posted on:
My Blog @ Shaina's Musings