For those of you who don’t know, who haven’t guessed from the title, Fangirl is about a young American girl just starting college who obsessed with the (doubly) fictional “Simon Snow” fandom. Cath has been fully immersed in the fandom for years, and her current slash fanfiction “Carry On, Simon” is a cult-hit with tens of thousands of fans eagerly waiting each new chapter.
Despite my unwillingness to start this novel, I am really glad that I did – evidenced by the fact that I finished in a day. – Maybe it’s because I myself have been a fangirl, maybe Rowell’s writing ha improved or maybe I should give Eleanor & Park another chance, but I really enjoyed Fangirl from the moment I picked it up.
Cath was a great character to follow around – she was funny and awkward without it seeming pretentious, and the characters around were equally entertaining. Reagan was probably my favourite side-character, what with her reluctance to Cath – but Wren, Levi, Nick, and even Professor Piper and Cath’s dad, all added something different and interesting to Cath’s story.
There was only one part of tbis novel that I found jarring, and that were the actual romantic lovey-dovey scenes – which I something I’d actually found with Eleanor & Park. There is something about the way that Rowell’s characters behave in these scenes that I just find a little bit out of ordinary.
This is the kind of novel that feels like it has genuinely been written for this fandom-driven generation. I can imagine readers around the world being able to easily fit themselves into Cath’s shoes – with her awkwardness, her utter devotion to fictional characters, her tendency to worry and her general experiences with being eighteen in a 21st century world.
Once again, I really enjoyed this novel. I didn’t love it as so many people have, but I enjoyed it. It was funny, refreshing, romantic but not cloyingly so, and the concept of the novel just clicked with me. I often had to stop and read a passage aloud to my husband, just to be able to share the humour or the feeling of it with someone. I will be recommending this book to students – but I’d love to know what others think.Give it a read, Let me know if it was worth it.