contemporary, Young Adult

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I used to have an old blog back when I was in med school. I used to update it regularly but then school got so heavy that it reached to the point when I just posted something ONCE A YEAR. The blog is still floating around, as I always go back to it, rereading some of my fondest and embarrassing experiences during med school. I guess it is unique to the human nature that we are able to see things retrospectively. The events that we have encountered in the past and the choices we used to make shape the being that we are now. But the past shouldn’t dictate the way we see ourselves right now, in this moment, in this second. Because we are who we are and all we can do is face that fact as of now, right?

Okay enough musing.

It’s review time!

Synopsis: Fangirl is a coming of age story of Cath, a freshman in college who writes fanfiction of a famous book called Simon Snow series (which becomes apparent in a few pages that it’s a story similar to the Harry Potter universe). She has always been close to her twin sister Wren, but all is about to change when her sister decides she doesn’t want to be roommates when they enter college. And so Cath is then pushed in the unknown, messy and chaotic world of university life where she meets some peculiar and engaging characters; her sarcastic and blunt roommate Reagan, Reagan’s chill and charming “boyfriend” Levi, and her handsome writing partner Nick.  This drastic change, together with the pressure of being the most famous fanfiction writer of the Simon Snow Series becomes all too much for Cath throughout the story. She then tries and struggles to deal with her insecurities and doubts to become the person that she always wanted to be: a person who writes stories that she can call her own.

What I think about it: I first encountered Rainbow Rowell when I read “Eleanor and Park” a year ago, which I think, is the novel she is most known for. I did love this story. It’s just that I loved “Eleanor and Park” more. Haha. I think it’s because I found that Cath is too much like Eleanor. They are both misfits, insecure, and snarky smart ladies who just want to be left alone. They are not likeable characters but then Rowell does an extraordinary job of developing them as charming and engaging people. I found myself rooting for Cath to become a better person and writer throughout the story. I cared for her hurts and hopes, I cared for her strengths and weaknesses, and I cared for her just as much as she cares for her twin sister Wren. Initially you’d think that this story is a light-hearted one, but there are some dark issues tackled in this book  that helps to flesh out Cath and Wren’s personalities. I can relate to Cath because personally I am also a fangirl. I know the feeling of escaping through the worlds you’ve always fantasize about. The Simon Snow fanfics that Cath writes about throughout this story becomes her solace at times when she doesn’t understand the world and the world doesn’t understand her. Which I think happens for everyone. We sometimes escape in our own magic worlds to feel safe and that’s okay, as long as we decide to face the real one the next day. My only gripe about it is that I really didn’t care as much for the romance in this book as much as I cared for the Cath’s family dynamic. I found myself powering through the romantic scenes so that I can read more on the interactions between Cath and her family and how they try to keep the family together despite the adversity that they face. Most emotional tugs comes from the family scenes in this book and it was so well written that it breaks your heart on specific scenes where there are fallouts. Overall, Fangirl is still one of the most solid and heart -warming story Rowell has put out there. I think the hype is quite justified in this case.

PS: the Simon Snow excerpts and fanfics that were written by Cath was quite entertaining. I will be reading Rowell’s fictional story of the fanfic written by Cath entitled Carry On.

It’s like fanfiception.

Get it?..

No?..

Okay.@( -_-)@

Enjoy the New Year! 😀

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