Contemporary Conversations Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

contemporary conversations

fangirl Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Published: September 10, 2013
445 pages
Source/Edition: Present from Veronica @ Talking Bookworm, Hardcover
Summary Provided by Goodreads:

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?

My Review:


Veronica has been trying to get me to read this book but I never got to it and then she bought the book for me. Now she’s hosting Contemporary Conversations, so I had to get to it. It feels like it’s been a while since I read a contemporary novel and let me tell you, it was like a breath of fresh air. Fangirl was hilarious, sweet, and relatable (at least for me). You know you’re used to reading sci-fi when you start expecting some crazy alien/tyrant/half-blood to ruin your ship in a contemporary book! I was waiting for it, too. Then, I realized that this isn’t Lux or Throne of Glass hah!

I loved the writing by Rowell and I loved the characters. Cath was very relatable for me. I felt like I was really connected to her. I didn’t like change either and I would avoid the dining hall at all costs during my first year of college .. and sometimes even in my senior year. Going into college, my mantra was No New Friends and Cath was the same. She characterized herself and myself when she said that she doesn’t do boy-girl interactions and then extended it to people-people interactions. It’s something that I had issues with when I started college and sometimes I still do four years later. While I don’t think I was as socially incompetent as Cath, she was very witty and her comments made me laugh so much!

I am also very in love with Levi! He was such a great character. He’s made his mistakes and he owned up to them and I think the fact that he did made him more likable. He’s just a total sweetheart and I love how he was so polite .. to everyone! It’s not something you see — or read– nowadays. I really liked Regean, too. She grew on me and even though she doesn’t see eye to  eye with Cath, she’s got her back! I didn’t like Wren as first. She was too “party girl” for me and was too eager to let her sister go and get drunk — not my type of character. I really thought she was annoying, selfish, and reckless. I liked her growth in the novel but I wish we got to know why she acted out so much!

While I did love this book, I couldn’t give it the perfect 5 star rating because there were things that I didn’t like. Unfortunately, I hated all the Simon Snow excerpts! I thought they interrupted my train of thought and the overall flow of the book. I tried reading through them at first and after seeing that it didn’t really have an impact on the plot, I skipped them.  I also didn’t care for Cath reading her fanfiction to Levi. I liked that he wanted her to read them to her and that he enjoyed it. I liked that entire act and scenes of fanfiction reading but the actual fanfiction, I didn’t like. That’s really all I disliked from the book. I heard that Rowell will be writing more on these characters. I can’t wait until then!



About Anjie @ Love thy Shelf

Hello there -- call me Anjie! I made this book blog where I can put down all my bookish ramblings and talk to those who have the same interests!
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11 Responses to Contemporary Conversations Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

  1. Great review, and wonder if you ever got to reading Carry On? I loved this book (especially Cath), and love Rainbow Rowell. Did you know she makes playlists for her books on Spotify? So yes, the Emergency Kanye Dance Playlist is on Spotify, and I had to save it, even though I’m not a big fan of his music. Love your blog!


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  4. Nara says:

    Cath was definitely quite relatable in some respects, but I felt like she was an even more extreme version of me- I mean, I’m an introvert, but she really took things to the next level in terms of things like hiding out in her room because she didn’t want to eat in the cafeteria.

    Aww you hated the Simon Snow excerpts?! They were among my favourite sections of the book actually haha. And I’m pretty excited that Rowell is going to be publishing the entire Simon Snow fanfic that Cath wrote (Carry On). So meta 😛


    • Yeah, I’d have to agree with you. She was definitely on the extreme side but it was great seeing her start to break down that wall towards the end of the book. Hahaha, yeah I don’t know why I didn’t like them. I know a lot of people did enjoy them. Thanks for stopping by 🙂


  5. The fan fiction wasn’t HORRIBLE, but I don’t know if I’ll be reading Carry On this fall…. We shall see 😛 I WAS Cath when I was about 17, which was probably why I adored it so much the first time. The second read was interesting, since I was more like Cath at the end of the book, and it was really nice to see that change in her and myself.

    I love what you said about Levi – you’re right about the politeness! I couldn’t stop swooning ❤


  6. My friend chase actually said the opposite… She loved the Simon snow excerpts more than the actual story. LOL


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