Fangirl follows Cath has she heads off to college for freshman year with her twin sister Wren. College brings many new experiences for Cath like living with a stranger, coed dorms, and eating out of the cafeteria. Cath especially struggles with social interactions, preferring to stay in the realm of fiction. She writes fanfiction for her favorite book series and would spend all of time writing if given the choice because being a fangirl is life.
Fangirl is one of those contemporaries that just hits the spot. I recently spoke about wanting college coming of age stories. This is exactly that. Cath experiences all these firsts that come along with being a freshman. I remember meeting my roommate and thinking “What? I’m supposed to live with her for the year?” Cath is only eating protien bars because she doesn’t want to ask how to get to the cafeteria. And she is attending this fiction writing coarse yet has no desire to write anything but fanfiction. How is she going to deal with all of this “new”.
While I’ve never written or even read fan fiction I totally related to Cath always wanting to slip away to the world of Simon & Baz. Simon & Baz’s reflection of Harry Potter always added a giggle to my day. And I just enjoyed seeing how dedicated Cath was to her fans and to this story she was writing. Her hesitancy in her relationship with Levi is so sweet and raw. I didn’t think I would like Levi and by the end I was swooning. I loved that he respected Cath and really appreciated Cath as a fangirl.
I mostly just loved how this book redefines what being a geek/fangirl is. It takes stereotypes and addresses them head on. Can you be a partier and still be geek? Can you not enjoy reading but be a geek? I loved that Cath’s perceptions of the people around her changed. She found she could be herself and still be happy.
One thing that I had a problem with was mental health issues in this book. In the beginning I got the impression that Cath had an anxiety disorder. And mental illness is technically in her genes. But as time went on Cath would turn her anxiety on and off. One scene she would be panicking and then in another she would be perfectly fine. It really started to bug me because real mental illness doesn’t work that way. Like at all. By the end of the novel I couldn’t tell anymore if Cath had a disorder or just was highly highly introverted. Rowell likes to leave things ambiguous when it comes to her stories so I guess I’ll never know. But I think this is an important issue to address.
Overall I really liked this one. I would recommend it if you like stories about college life, fangirls, geeky romance, or just want a good contemporary.
Have you guys read Fangirl? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.