book review

So I just read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and…

And I loved this book so much. It spoke to me on such an emotional level and I connected so much with our main character. But even though I love this book I’m still willing to admit to faults and I want to go over this with you.. So first! What’s this book about?

Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they’re off to university and Wren’s decided she doesn’t want to be one half of a pair any more – she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It’s not so easy for Cath. She’s horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she’s experienced in real life.

Now Cath has to decide whether she’s ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she’s realising that there’s more to learn about love than she ever thought possible . . .

First I want to go over some things I don’t really like. 

So one of the main things I don’t like about this book is the storylines that don’t really go anywhere. The main one that annoyed me was with Laura, their mother. She was talked about throughout the book and it’s very obvious the twins don’t get on with her after she walked out on them when they were younger. The whole way through I really hated the woman and I was looking forward to a confrontation, a chance for Cath to have a big blow out with her mother, but that never happened. There was some sort of confrontation but it wasn’t as big as I expected, it was really disappointing. 

Another thing I really didn’t like was some of the writing choices. I kind of felt like the story was written like a FanFic, by design or accident, and that is not my issue. Things become complicated when things are in brackets. When you right a book you’re allowed to have the main character have thoughts and you’re allowed to write about them thoughts, they don’t need to be in brackets! 

Now something I wasn’t so sure about. Between each chapter there was a small extract from some other media, sometimes being an ‘official’ Simon Snow extract, sometimes an extract from the fanfic mentioned throughout the book. I’m really not sure if I like this or not, even now. It pulls you out of the book. 

Now the main reason I loved this book. I have never connected with a character as much as I connected with Cath. I really struggle with my own anxiety and depression and have been in situations where I haven’t wanted to do things because I was scared of not knowing what to do and how to react. But on top of that I have a relationship with my mother and brother that reminds me so much of what Cath is going through with her dad and sister. My dad died when I was very young and my mother didn’t deal with things very well, turning to drink to deal with her emotions. My brother used to deal with this situation till he moved out and I was left sorting things myself. This was one of the reasons I stayed at home while studying at uni, I was scared to leave her alone and see how she would deal with the loss. 

And much like Cath I turned to fandom and fanfiction to help, as soon as I feel myself slip into a fandom I instantly go to AO3 to look for a fanfic to read. 

I love this book so much, I like the writing style and the characters. I think everyone should read this book and you’ll always find a connection with the characters.

If you’re interested in hearing me talk about fanfics more you can check out this post here.


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