Melanie's Reviews > Fangirl

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
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bookshelves: read-in-2015, young-adult, new-adult

I'll be honest with you; the cover art of this book drew me in. Obviously, I can get behind the whole "fangirling" thing, but Noelle Stevenson's (the author and illustrator for Nimona) art is so phenomenal that I couldn't help but pick up this collector's edition at Target. So kudos for Rainbow Rowell for that amazing choice, because I'm sure I'm not the only Lumberjanes fangirl.

I also feel like I need to start this review with a disclaimer; I absolutely hate when people try to act hip by calling themselves "nerds" or "geeks". I hate that it's considered a "cool" culture right now. Just because you like the new Star Wars trailer and you bought a Yoda t-shirt does not make you a "totally cute, but super nerdy geek". That shit just gets on my nerves. This happens a few times in this book, and it's as off-putting as it is in real life.



Moving on, this book is an alright YA Contemporary, but it's a terrible representation of a "fangirl", in my very humble opinion. Just because you like a book series and write fan-fiction for it, while feeling like you can write the characters and world better, does not make you the fangirl. Putting on a Harry Potter Simon Snow t-shirt does not make you a fangirl either. I'm not trying to sound like an elitist or anything like that, but Cath just never gave me the fangirl vibe and I think a lot of people might be disappointed if they go into this thinking that it is about the most hardcore fangirl to have ever.... fanned?

For more on proper fangirling, please look at Khanh's amazing review.

Another big problem for me was Wren. First off, I borderline hated her through 80% of the book. She was a naive little brat, who completely left her sister when she needed her. I'll never understand a book about siblings that can treat each other like that, because I'd do anything for my little brother. I would never shun him away or refuse to room with him because I need to "find out who I am". That's ridiculous, be good to your family and be a good person. You can figure you who are just fine without being hurtful and unsupportive. I also hated how when shit went down (view spoiler), Wren acted like a little brat when her father tried to have an intervention. But then, out of nowhere, she decided to be a good human and to stop acting like an idiot. Out of all the tropes in books, "Big Shiny Bow Syndrome" is the worst. I also feel like there were many incidents in this book that the bow was placed; her dad's mental health, her refusal to help Nick, her relationship (or lack thereof) with her mother after the hospital. This story was looking like Target's Christmas aisles.

I also didn't care for the Simon and Baz excerpts, and that is making me really apprehensive for Carry On. To be honest, I'm already very apprehensive for Carry On just because of how much everyone on my GoodReads and BookTube are in love with it. I seem to never like the most hyped books, and then I just look mean in my unpopular review.

“I'm not really a book person.” “That might be the most idiotic thing you've ever said to me.”

I did enjoy Rainbow Rowell's writing style a lot. She's obviously talented and did a wonderful job at immersing me into this story. It was a really fun read, and for as much as I hated Wren, I really liked Cath. I could really relate to her anxiety and inability to trust people quickly. On a very personal level, I could really relate with the issues she had with her mother and abandonment. Even though I didn't believe her fangirling, I still enjoyed her as a character, while absolutely adoring her and Levi's relationship. Levi and Reagan were both amazing and so believable. A little awkward, yes, but they still completely helped make this book for me.

“There are other people on the Internet. It's awesome. You get all the benefits of 'other people' without the body odor and the eye contact.

I've also never read a book about a fan-fiction writer before. Despite the level of Cath's inner fangirl, I enjoyed that the author did something different and did something I've never read before. I can't think of the last time I've wrote that in a review. It was very creative and innovative, and I wouldn't be surprised (especially because of the popularity and success of this book and Carry On) if I see others trying to imitate it.

“It's a cliché. I swear to God, every surviving Volvo produced between 1970 and 1985 is being driven by quirky fictional girls.”

I'd recommend this book to any senior in high school or freshman in college. I really think this book does a good job at capturing the jitters I know that I personally had/felt. Seriously, I was so bad at meal plans and just college eating in general. I lived on peanut butter sandwiches and cheeze-its.

The ending though... That's the kind of ending nightmares are made of.

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Reading Progress

November 20, 2015 – Shelved
November 20, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
December 7, 2015 – Started Reading
December 8, 2015 –
51.0%
December 9, 2015 – Shelved as: read-in-2015
December 9, 2015 – Finished Reading
February 9, 2016 – Shelved as: young-adult
May 15, 2016 – Shelved as: new-adult

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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message 1: by Philip (new) - added it

Philip Great review, Melanie. I read Carry On without even knowing about the connection to Fangirl and I really liked it. I keep meaning to read this as well, but am not super motivated.


Melanie Philip wrote: "Great review, Melanie. I read Carry On without even knowing about the connection to Fangirl and I really liked it. I keep meaning to read this as well, but am not super motivated."

You enjoying Carry On makes me want to read it! It seems so polarizing with my friends. And I'm such a Harry Potter lover, I'm scared I won't like it. But then I think about all the Harry and Draco fanfiction I've devoured, and I want to read it! So thank you so much for your input and kind words! <3


Azzah Hayat You perfectly capture the entire feel of the book. You still like the book more than me, though. My review might be called a lot more....scathing? Loved your review, btw.


The Story Girl I know this is a really old review, but what was wrong with the ending? I feel like I missed something there haha and now I'm going to have to go back and re-read that ending.


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