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Tea & Book Chat: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

If anyone ever understood how deep my love of Harry Potter runs it’s the main character Cath in Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl.  Cath and her twin sister Wren are both huge fans of the Simon Snow series (side note: Rainbow is actually coming out with a book based on those characters in October of this year!)  and Cath has actually garnered quite an online following with her Simon and Baz (Harry and Malfoy type characters) fan fiction.  Wren has always been supportive in the past but now that the girls are getting older and leaving for college, they’re in a more transitory period and Wren, especially, wants to separate herself from her twin.  She doesn’t even want to live with Cath which ends up effecting each sister differently.

Cath is a character I completely related to.  She’s an introvert who loves literature and she takes on the burden of familial responsibilities when Wren becomes more concerned with going out and partying than the well-being of her father.  She’s also pretty insecure and awkward.  I love that Rowell even uses Cath’s fanfic as a story element by interweaving it through chapters.  Cath’s writing also gives us a sense of how she’s coping with her own real life.  Even if you didn’t grow up addicted to Harry Potter, if you’ve ever loved anything fictional, you’ll be able to relate to Cath’s intense passion for the characters.  It still amazes me how much Rainbow Rowell understands and expresses the feelings superfans experience.


Part of what made this book so enjoyable is that it explored so many of the relationships in Cath’s life from her twin sister to her father to her absent mother to her new roommate / potential friend  to a potential love interest.  Levi, the potential love interest, is probably my second favorite character of the book (after Cath of course) because he really gets Cath to break out her shell, even if it’s only a little.  He’s patient and understanding and it’s evident that he cares for her.

Overall Fangirl is an enjoyable journey through the transition from childhood to adulthood.  It captures the essence of what it means to be a fangirl and celebrates the love of fanficiton, which is typically viewed with negative connotations.  It’s no wonder Fangirl was the first book read by the official Tumblr book club.  I loved how Cath’s character grew throughout the novel and how despite her reluctance, she begins to step outside her comfort zone and experience life differently.  I cannot wait to read Rainbow Rowell’s book set in the world of Simon Snow, titled Carry On, which is scheduled for release this October.

1Cath 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? (via Goodreads)


12 Responses to “Tea & Book Chat: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell”

  1. Fiona says:

    Okay this has been sitting on my shelf for absolutely months now and I had no inclination to read it but now I feel its what I need. I’m going to start this as soon as I finish my current novel :)

  2. I’m so happy you liked this one!! It’s one of my favs. I loved that this book was about COLLEGE and it wasn’t just about sex and tattoos:) And I also can’t wait for the Carry On book. Although, I really want more Cath and Levi, I will be happy with more Baz and Simon.

    • Kristin says:

      Yes! I feel like we’ll learn even more about Cath by reading about Simon and Baz! I actually had read Fangirl last January and never reviewed it but I love it so much that I left like I had to spread the word to anyone who hasn’t picked it up yet!

  3. Thanks again for sending this as my Secret Santa gift!! It definitely sent my love for Rainbow Rowell through the roof!!! My review for this has been sitting in drafts for over a month (I’ve been really bad about posting my reviews lately). So hopefully I’ll finish it up in February.

    I can’t wait for Carry On :)

    • Kristin says:

      I’m so happy you enjoyed it!! This was the first Rainbow Rowell book I read and I knew everything she ever published afterward would be an insta-buy! I can’t wait to read your review once its posted!

  4. Chrissie says:

    This sounds like a really sweet book and the kind of easy read that’s still fulfilling. I love novels where you can immediately sympathise or empathise with the main protagonist.

  5. I’ve been curious about this book for a while now, and I’ve only heard good things. I’m definitely gonna have to check it out.

  6. Joie Fatale says:

    I am reading this, and, Ready Player One! Loving them both!

  7. Nina says:

    I’ve been meaning to read ‘Fangirls’ for the longest time! I think I’ll bump it up a few spots on my “to-read” list :D

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