Finally, I have read this. Now the only Rowell book I have to read is Landline, and I know I’ll love it as much as I loved Attachments, Eleanor & Park and (though love to a lesser degree I’m afraid) Fangirl. And yes, I will be reading Carry On (the fanfic Cath spends most of this novel writing and thus is a Fangirl spinoff) when it comes out!
Fangirl was a satisfying and fun read. It was adorable and true to the life of a girl/person stuck in the fandom world. It reminded me quite a lot of the times when I used to write fanfiction myself, and would spend hours in the world of Harry Potter. I never became anywhere near as well known in the fanfic world as Cath (actually a Glee fic I once wrote got the most attention) does with her Simon Snow fics. In that sense it was very relatable.
I found I could relate to Cath in a lot of other ways, too. In that she struggles with meeting new people and is anxious about social situations and prefers to stay in writing her fanfic. I could also relate to her problems coming to terms with fiction writing – her preference of writing fanfic is sort of about her inability to imagine herself being capable of creating her own original story and world herself. Quite often I feel that way. Writing is very daunting and sometimes it is easier to “borrow” from other authors and create stories from something that already exists. Like Cath, I’m insecure about my writing abilities. I don’t write fan fiction anymore, and I’ve tried very hard to write fiction, but it’s a difficult thing. I do believe, unlike Cath, that I (someday) will be able to create something. A whole magical world the likes of Harry Potter and Simon Snow…well, I don’t know about that. But it could be something amazing.
Enough about me and back onto the book. It has some really great characters. I liked Cath a lot, as you’ve probably guessed, and I also liked her twin Wren, even though I didn’t relate to her at all. I found their relationship interesting, though I do wish there’d been a bit more of it. Their Dad is great, and so is Cath’s roommate Reagan. Of course my favourite character has to be Levi. It’s very hard not to like him, which Cath soon realises. I mean, he’s so happy and sweet and it’s really quite obvious to anyone with eyes that he’s the sweetest guy in the book, and that that certainly isn’t Nick. (Sorry SPOILER. Though it’s really quite obvious to anyone with a brain, so…)
I thought the book has a good balance between difficult/depressing themes and hilarious/fun stuff. Which is always good when reading a book. The romance part of the book was adorkable. The family stuff is interesting, surprising and real. Cath’s personal struggles were dealt with really well…
My favourite scene (easily) in the book is when Cath ends up reading The Outsiders to Levi, because he doesn’t read and he has test on it the next day. It was the best. You’ll love it, especially if you also love The Outsiders like I do. There was also many references to rabbits in this novel, which I loved (I’m mad about rabbits).
Basically, the books perfect except for the fact that I felt it ended without really resolving some of the issues. I won’t say exactly what they were, but they were specifically to do with the mum Laura, Cath’s original fiction story and Cath’s virginity (haha). I don’t know. I found that in the first half of the story there were a lot of plot lines developing that didn’t really get anywhere by the end of the novel, or just dwindled off. The stuff with Nick could have been less anticlimactic, for example. I get that life is like that, and somethings just happen and you don’t really get a chance to figure them out or address them, but I just felt that I wanted the novel to go on a little longer. That’s really it’s only fault…That it just wasn’t long enough!! A small flaw, really.
Though I didn’t like Fangirl as much as Eleanor & Park, it’s still one of my favourite books I’ve read this year. I practically inhaled it and I think you’ll do the same if you read it. It was difficult to put down and really made me happy for the couple days I was reading it. I promise you’ll feel the same, especially if you have also delved into the Fandom worlds in your time and obsessed over non-cannon couples and if you enjoy reading a incredibly cute romance story or some good family drama. This is a novel that won’t disappoint (and if it does, it will only be a tiny bit).