Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell


Cath is the world’s biggest Simon Snow (think Harry Potter) fan. The number of people writing fanfiction about Simon is mind-boggling, so you know Cath’s something special when it turns out that she has thousands of adoring fans reading her Simon stories.

Fangirl begins with Cath trying to adjust to her new life as a college student. If having a new routine and place to live feel like change enough, then having her twin sister push her away is downright unbalancing. Worse still, people begin urging Cath to drop Simon, but she stands firm – apparently, she’s supposed to have outgrown him, but Cath’s sure she’ll know when it’s the end, and she has no intention of letting Simon go yet.

Except, maybe avoiding endings has blinded Cath to better beginnings – the cover art illustrates this perfectly. Perhaps she should loosen her grip on the people who tell her to move on – some hurtfully and some lovingly. Maybe her roommate is worth getting to know and has more moods than surly.

While she’s busy creating a love life for Simon, Cath’s possibly missing out on a romantic opportunity of her own – with a character, I’ve considered cloning for myself. No bookworm or aspiring writer will wonder at Cath’s escapism, but they may tip their hats to Rainbow Rowell for her ability to convey the addictive quality of alternate worlds and characters who come to feel real.

I skimmed some of the fanfic excerpts as I thought there was a tad too many and I wanted to focus on the main story.

Fangirl has with an impressive cast of characters – from smooth, manipulative types, to selfless, blunderers and people struggling with addictions and mental health issues. Difficult themes are tackled, and yet the book never feels overly heavy. 

This is a coming of age story about first love, family and letting go of one’s fears, it’s about going with the flow and accepting that real life isn’t scripted – expect to laugh and cry in equal measure.

 Current rating on Goodreads: 4.46

Pre-order: Β The Book Depository
Standalone or Series? Standalone
Format: Ebook
Published: Β September 10th 2013 (Early review, with my thanks to the publishers – St Martin’s Press- for the advance reader copy; the provision of which has not influenced my opinion)Β 


  1. I read her Eleanor and Park but didn’t find it as enjoyable as I predicted, but Fangirl sounds way too epic to miss out on, your review has me convinced.

    Fab review, Katja! <33

  2. Great review Katja – this is definitely going on my TBR now! I’ve heard really great things about Rainbow Rowell, but I didn’t know what Fangirl was about until I read this, and the premise sounds really good (not least because I can kind of relate!). Definitely going to be checking this one out, thanks for the awesome reminder. πŸ™‚

  3. Excellent review, Katja! I didn’t realize exactly what Fangirl was until now. I thought Simon Snow was a celebrity or something, not a Harry Potter type characters! This book sounds like a lot of fun, but I can see why the fanfic excerpts could get to be a bit much.

  4. How great that you found something you enjoyed! I envy Rainbow for being able to write many characters and have each stand out and be believable. I enjoyed reading the review. Thanks, Katja! πŸ™‚

    1. True, the cover’s less elegant than most but I like it πŸ™‚ It’s quirky and fits the plot of the story. The plot itself is more expansive than what I’ve come to expect of NA and has me rethinking my dismissal of most NAs. T

  5. I’ve heard so many great things about Fangirl. I wasn’t aware that there were fanfic excerpts in the book but I can understand how they can detract from the overall experience of reading Fangirl. I think I’m going to give the book a shot.

  6. Great review Katja! I wasn’t aware that there were actual fanfic excerpts in the book but I can see how it can be annoying/detract from the book. Still though, I’m glad you thought it was a great novel and I’m going to give the book a shot.

  7. I enjoy a story with characters that make you either like them or hae them. This sounds like a good one. Very nice review.

  8. Awesome review, Katja! I’m probably one of the few readers who didn’t have the best of luck with Eleanor & Park, but I did like Rainbow Rowell’s writing in that one. Fangirl definitely sounds like it’s worth a try.

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