Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell | Book Review (but slightly different)Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Published by St. Martin's Press on September 10th 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 445
Format: Hardcover

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park.

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

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?

A few days ago my secret sister asked me if I had read Fangirl yet. She’d browsed my Goodreads profile, and found Rainbow Rowell’s other books marked read, but Fangirl painfully empty. And to my surprise (and growing horror), I realized she was right. Which just isn’t right, because Fangirl is EVERYTHING and means the world to me. I read Fangirl at precisely the right time. It was exactly the kind of read I needed at that time, relayed a beautiful message like a punch in the gut, and because of that it has  secured a solid spot in my heart.

Now there’s literally TONS of great reviews out there, and I don’t think I have anything to say that hasn’t been said before. Therefore, this is going to be a slightly different review than what you’re used to seeing here on my blog. It’s going to be me telling you about why Fangirl had such a huge impact on me.

What was going on in my life?

When I read Fangirl I had just about finished high-school. My high-school diploma almost in my pocket, I’d gotten the green light from the university of my choice to start my dream study the next year, that sounds like I had it all figured out doesn’t it? Truth was: I was excited but also incredibly intimidated and more than a little scared for what was to come. I would have to move out, because traveling 1 hour and a half to university (and back) every single day just wouldn’t work out. So a strange city, where I didn’t know anyone. That’s bound to be scary for everyone, but internally I was freaking out BIG TIME.

What Fangirl did for me

So I did what I always do when I start freaking out: I read. I picked Fangirl and Cath’s socially awkward personality turned out to be exactly what I needed. She was just as geeky and passionate about books as I am and definitely more socially awkward than I am. And I know that it’s a piece of fiction, but I figured that if she could come out stronger then so could I. I also realized that there were a lot of others probably feeling the same way I did. No one likes change, that’s a given, but it’s also the only way we can challenge ourselves. Change can keep you on your toes, and LOTS of good things can come from it.

So I told myself to suck it up. That first day was nerve-wrecking, but I managed to open myself to the whole experience and now (almost one and a half year later) I am completely settled. I made some great new friends, joined a running association and am very very happy with how my life looks right now.

Sometimes you just need a little nudge in the right direction. Fangirl, without a doubt, was that nudge for me. It was the right read at exactly the right time. Cath’s beautiful and touching story was my wake-up call and for that reason alone Fangirl will always have a special place in my heart (it also helps that besides that the book is just 100% pure awesomeness).

So there you go, my slightly different than normal review of Fangirl. Now there’s just one thing left that I’d like to ask you:

Do YOU have a specific book that did what Fangirl did for me?