Book reviews

Review: Fangirl

I started writing this review on Monday evening, however McFly decided to announce a tour and so that’s been keeping me occupied for the last few days. I’m pleased to report that I managed to secure a ticket to all 3 Manchester shows and so now I can get back to finishing off this post.

I feel like most YA readers will have already read Fangirl (I arrived a little late to the Rainbow Rowell party) but if not then let me give you a quick synopsis. Twins Cath and Wren have just started their first year at college and whilst they’re practically identical in appearance (haircuts and glasses aside), they’re somewhat different in personality. Wren is the more outgoing of the pair and isn’t afraid to mingle with everyone she meets, whilst Cath is considerably more reserved and prefers the safety of her room. The story focuses on Cath’s experiences as she struggles to acclimatise to her new life as a college student, balance her familial relationships, navigate that dangerous romance path, all at the same time as writing her iconic Simon Snow fanfic (think Harry Potter with more vampires).

I liked how easy it was to read the book as there wasn’t the same level of drama as the previous few books that I’ve read. It was nice just to sit back and enjoy the story without having to piece together plot points or contemplate deep topics. Having said that, I did find myself reflecting on my own experiences as there were a number of similarities between myself and Cath e.g. social anxiety, the pressures of student life, being abandoned by a parent (although not quite to the same extent). And of course there’s the actual fandom aspect which I easily identified with – choosing to live in a fictional world rather than accepting real life in is a very familiar concept. Levi however is where we differ as I’m even more anxious and less confident when it comes to relationships. Not that I’m opposed to the idea in theory as Levi sounds wonderful.

Overall I enjoyed the story although it was nothing too special. I recently bought Carry On so I’ll get to spend more time with Simon and Baz when I get round to reading it. I have to say I’m a little curious as to how it will work as its own story but I’m looking forward to finding out.


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