Summary and book reviews of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl

by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2013, 448 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2014, 300 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Norah Piehl

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About this Book

Book Summary

A coming-of-age novel that is smart, funny, and genuine.

In Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, 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?

ONE

There was a boy in her room.

Cath looked up at the number painted on the door, then down at the room assignment in her hand.

Pound Hall, 913.

This was definitely room 913, but maybe it wasn't Pound Hall—all these dormitories looked alike, like public housing towers for the elderly. Maybe Cath should try to catch her dad before he brought up the rest of her boxes.

"You must be Cather," the boy said, grinning and holding out his hand.

"Cath," she said, feeling a panicky jump in her stomach. She ignored his hand. (She was holding a box anyway, what did he expect from her?)

This was a mistake—this had to be a mistake. She knew that Pound was a co-ed dorm.… Is there such a thing as co-ed rooms?

The boy took the box out of her hands and set it on an empty bed. The bed on the other side of the room was already covered with clothes and boxes.

"Do you have more stuff downstairs?" he asked. "We just finished. I think we're going to get a burger now; do you want to get a ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Cath is a character many readers can empathize with. These include not just those who, like her, feel like their most authentic selves reside online, but also anyone who has felt like an outsider when thrust into a new situation.   (Reviewed by Norah Piehl).

Full Review Members Only (646 words).

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. A funny and tender coming-of-age story that's also the story of a writer finding her voice...touching and utterly real.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review. Absolutely captivating.

School Library Journal

Starred Review. The plot is multilayered and filled with complex subjects handled in a realistic manner, and the writing effortlessly and seamlessly weaves these threads together. Gr. 9 & up.

Reader Reviews

Sophie

Awesome!
This book is cute, funny, relate-able and will have you shipping two characters like crazy!

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Beyond the Book

The World of Fanfiction

In Fangirl, Cath's story is interspersed with snippets of her fan fiction (or "fanfic") starring characters who, in Cath's world, are as well known as Harry Potter is in ours. This hugely popular (primarily online) genre of amateur writing is inspired by existing fictional characters, settings, and themes.

Writers of fanfic are part of a fandom, a whole community built around mutual admiration—and often enthusiastic imitation—of a fictional world. The most popular topics for fanfic include the Harry Potter and Twilight series of novels, as well as the television shows Glee and Supernatural and several anime series. You can find fanfic on sites like Fanfiction.Net, which brings together thousands of fan-submitted stories in ...

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