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GROUP READS > Fangirl Discussion

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message 1: by Dlmrose (new)

Dlmrose | 17876 comments Mod
This is the discussion thread for the Winter 2013 Group Read Fangirl. Please post your comments here. This thread is not restricted to those choosing this book for task 20.10, feel free to join in the discussion. Warning- spoilers ahead!

message 2: by Cindie (new)

Cindie | 1766 comments I ate this book. I started this am and just finished. I did not think I would like it -- and then I could not put it down. Anyone else have that experience?

message 3: by Lois (new)

Lois | 1965 comments I read this book with my iPad at hand for checking pop culture terms and other references. It's not often I read a book set in Nebraska, for one thing. Most importantly, I was completely unaware of the fanfiction phenomenon. I was surprised to learn that it is a thriving genre with people writing about hundreds of different books, TV shows, movies, and games. Apparently the concept has been around for a long time, but it has really become popular since the web. I am looking forward to asking some of my trendier younger friends whether they read any of it, especially the die-hard Harry Potter fans.
So, I liked the book. Nicely written, with a good variety of interesting characters, and I learned a few new things.

message 4: by Dlmrose (new)

Dlmrose | 17876 comments Mod
I was drawn to this book because my daughter is a serious fanfiction author. I related to many, many of the writing references. I believe I may have said some of the exact things that Professor Piper said to Cath about fanfiction to my daughter. Cath's responses paralleled by daughter's (though Cath's were a bit more constrained by the situation- my daughter feels free to "enlighten" her mother)

message 5: by Lois (new)

Lois | 1965 comments Dlmrose wrote: "I was drawn to this book because my daughter is a serious fanfiction author. I related to many, many of the writing references. I believe I may have said some of the exact things that Professor Pip..."

Would you be willing to share a link to your daughter's writing? I'd be interested to read some of it.

message 6: by Dlmrose (new)

Dlmrose | 17876 comments Mod
Lois wrote: "Would you be willing to share a link to your daughter's writing? I'd be interested to read some of it.

Dlmrose: I've never read any of it myself. And her stuff is pretty niche.

Dlmrose's Daughter: Most of my work is based on very specific anime and lesser-known canon works, so it doesn't translate without a background in each series. But the site I post on has a wide range of options for all kinds of canon series, from books to TV to movies to video games, so you can find something you're looking for, something better-known to you. Try

message 7: by SandyC (new)

SandyC (sandyc88) | 420 comments I found the fan fiction aspect interesting, but I didn't like that the author chose to use a Harry Potter ripoff as the basis for her character's obsession (did she have to get permission from Ms. Rowling?) The book is well-written but very angsty. There are some serious issues tackled, but I thought there could have been deeper insight. Like someone else said, I don't think I've ever read a book set in Nebraska. The descriptions are a lot like Iowa (where I lived for one whole year.)

message 8: by Lois (new)

Lois | 1965 comments Dlmrose wrote: "Lois wrote: "Would you be willing to share a link to your daughter's writing? I'd be interested to read some of it.

Dlmrose: I've never read any of it myself. And her stuff is pretty niche.


Thanks for responding. I had found that site when I went looking for fanfiction initially. It's amazing the variety of work that people are doing! I thought maybe your daughter might be writing on something like Pride & Prejudice, Anne of Green Gables, Jane Eyre or similar... (I wonder who does those?) She's right: lesser-known anime would not be in my realm of experience! It's really cool that so many people are enjoying the whole fanfiction experience. I'm impressed!

message 9: by Lois (new)

Lois | 1965 comments Sandy wrote: "I found the fan fiction aspect interesting, but I didn't like that the author chose to use a Harry Potter ripoff as the basis for her character's obsession (did she have to get permission from Ms...."

Well, there's something in Rowell creating a Harry Potter ripoff for her story about this girl creating fanfiction about another (fictional) author's work. Now there are fanfiction writers writing Simon/Baz stories. (

message 10: by SandyC (new)

SandyC (sandyc88) | 420 comments Ah, Lois, that's hilarious! Simon and Baz live on...

message 11: by Jamie (new)

Jamie | 4 comments This is a fun read so far. I love the fanfiction aspect. I don't find many books that even mention it in passing. It's like the tabboo subject so to see a book with that as a focal point is interesting.

message 12: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7692 comments @Sandy - Rowling is actually accepting of fanfiction of her stuff - there is one guy who wrote and released a bunch of HP FF on Amazon based on Harry's parents with her permission

P2P (pulled2publish) is a huge thing now - 50 shades of grey started out as twilight fanfiction

message 13: by Kristina Simon (new)

Kristina Simon (kristinasimon) | 10973 comments Mod
I'm with Cindie -- I couldn't put this book down! I really enjoyed the relationship between Cath and Levi. I loved that he was so accepting of her writing (fanfic and original). I am such a sucker for happy endings.... *le sigh* ;-)

I will definitely be reading more of Rainbow Rowell's work.

message 14: by Kim (new)

Kim (goodreadscomkimber) | 731 comments I actually grew up in Lincoln, went to UNL and currently live in Omaha...pretty weird for me to see so many things I know so well in a novel. But this Taco Truck place...I must find it!!
I loved the novel, it was heartwarming, honest and funny in parts, too. The dialogue was so simple but said so much. If you are someone who loves quotes, look at the quotes on the GR homepage for the book, there are pages and pages of really great stuff.
Not sure why I haven't read one of Ms Rowell's novels before this...I always loved her column in our local newspaper. Just too many books on the lineup to read, I guess. This task gave me an incentive to read Ms Rowell, now I'll be in seek of more of her work!

message 15: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 89 comments I read this book during the last season and LOVED it. I also highly recommend Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. She creates such great unique characters. She is my new favorite author.

message 16: by Bekka (new)

Bekka (froydis) | 524 comments I loved this book! I read Eleanor & Park over the summer and fell in love with Rowell's writing. I thoroughly enjoyed her use of the fan fiction phenomenon, and particularly liked her use of a "Harry Potter-ish" series for this. I loved the romance in this book as well. I think Rowell has a great talent for writing boyfriends! She writes realistic, honest characters, and I found the situations very true to life. Great book! I'm glad this got picked as a Group Reads this time, as it gave me the perfect excuse to move it to the top of my reading list.

message 17: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7692 comments I finished this up today and while i liked it, I didn't love it - everyone else seems to and I felt like I was missing something. I get the whole fanfiction world - I remember first discoving FF about a decade or so ago, when JAG went off the air - totally not realizing that it was what ppl wanted to see, not what was really going to happen - but i think the whole HP closeness was just too much - if FF was based on something less HP, i might have enjoyed it more - but I kept seeing Harry and Draco in my head, not Simon and Baz

message 18: by Amy (new)

Amy | 1273 comments I finished this book a few days ago and, like Dee, I liked it but didn't love it. I found the fan fiction aspects distracting and kept waiting for the interplay between the real people to resume. When the book was over, I found myself wanting to know more about what these people would be like as adults and whether their romantic relationships would continue to blossom.

message 19: by Randi (new)

Randi (mrsrandimoulton) | 256 comments I've read two of Rowell's other books (Eleanor & Park and Attachments) and loved them both, and this one melted my heart as well. I gave it 4.5 stars. Rowell does wonders with characterization - I could totally picture Reagan, Levi, and Cath (less so the others) and got a sense of who they were. I used to be obsessed with the Harry Potter fandom (before all the books were out, much like Cath and Simon Snow), so I thoroughly enjoyed the fanfiction plotlines and the fact that Rowell included Cath's writing. There was so much going on in this book - it wasn't just the family aspect (Wren, dad, Laura) or the romance aspect or the college experience aspect - so it felt really authentic to me. It made me ache for my own college years again. I didn't want the book to end! Rainbow Rowell is definitely on my auto-buy author list; she's incredible.

message 20: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 16197 comments Mod
Sandy wrote: "I found the fan fiction aspect interesting, but I didn't like that the author chose to use a Harry Potter ripoff as the basis for her character's obsession (did she have to get permission from Ms...."

Dee wrote: "@Sandy - Rowling is actually accepting of fanfiction of her stuff - there is one guy who wrote and released a bunch of HP FF on Amazon based on Harry's parents with her permission

(NOTE: this is a different Sandy, LOL!)

But the difference is that this book is NOT fan fiction, just because there's a subplot about fan fiction. This is a HP ripoff for commercial use by a published author, done specifically for commercial publication.

message 21: by Jamie (new)

Jamie | 4 comments I don't see it as a ripoff. She could have easily stated it as a Harry Potter fanfic starring Harry and Draco but then readers would probably start looking for said fanfic to read the full story. So she would either have to write the fanfic or deal with letters asking about it.
Its like reading about a fictional town in a real state. The state is real, the highway might be right but the city isn't real. Or when movies create names of brands similar to the real thing but not (McDaniel's instead of McDonald's) we all know what the reference is to. I see this more as a liking to Harry Potter myself.

Being there was a purpose in relating to the situation, if she had created a completely new fanfiction story, readers would have a harder time relating. Harry Potter, and it's fanfiction has a HUGE following which is what she wanted for Simon. A random, smalltime story would not have 20,000+ hits a day, but H.P would. This makes it easier for readers to follow. The similarities from Simon to Harry are blatent and I think very intentional. Referencing something in a book does not mean copyright. If that is the case, any book that mentions Walmart, an artist, etc is just as guilty. The only difference is that she changed the names and situations slightly. Which once again fits with a fanfiction concept.

This is just my opinion though.

message 22: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 16197 comments Mod
Jamie wrote: "I don't see it as a ripoff. She could have easily stated it as a Harry Potter fanfic starring Harry and Draco but then readers would probably start looking for said fanfic to read the full story. ..."

Well, this isn't the area of law I practice and copyright law is very specialized, so I'm not saying this is legal copyright infringement - I'm sure that her publishers either cut a deal with J.K. Rowling or got legal advice on it.

I can tell you, though, that this is a VERY different situation than "mentioning" a town or Walmart or an artist in a book. She didn't just mention Harry Potter in her book - she took that world (as you said, blatantly and intentionally), made slight changes, and used it to make her book more commercially appealing. That's pretty much what copyright infringement is all about.

message 23: by Jamie (new)

Jamie | 4 comments Well she could have simply said Harry Potter but being people would start looking for the actual fanfic 'Cath' wrote it looks like she changed it. I have already heard of a few people inquiring into it on fanfic sites. If she had Cath writing Potter fanfiction, fans of this book and Potter fanfic fans would likely go nuts trying to find the full story. Being the whole concept is based on FANFICTION, which Rowling has already okayed (even for publication).
As for snippets from the Simon books we get for a few chapters, that is the only real questionable part but being I have lost count how many books I have read that have quotes (be it a sentence of full page) as a chapter intro, I doubt that has too much holding. Also, most of the details are actually of the fanfic itself. And that has already been thoroughly okayed be Rowling. Likely Rowling did have to approve this to be on the safe side but being we do not know what has happened behind the scenes there I do not think it is our place to accuse the author. I would feel differently if Rowling had expressed a dislike to fanfiction or the use of her books but she has been fine with the use. Be it fanfiction, music, Sim game videos, etc. So much has already been taken and twisted so much by so many sources, I would feel differently. But until I hear that she did this without Rowling's okay I won't complain and I will simply enjoy it for what it is. If this was based off any other series just about I would agree with you more but being all the fanbooks, fanfic, fanvideo, etc out there and many making a profit, and the fact the just about everything in Harry Potter is already copied from so many other works itself... But I can understand it being a gray area.

message 24: by Janet F (new)

Janet F (janet_f) | 456 comments Great discussion here into the realm of fan fiction, Harry Potter and where/how we draw the line on use of other writer's material! Before reading Fangirl I didn't know anything about fan fiction except some vague reference to 50 shades of Grey having a Twilight fan fiction connection. That had confused me since I haven't read the Twilight series and don't recall the twilight movie I watched having much in common with the either of the 50 Shades books I recently read. Since I didn't know what fanfiction meant, I was wondering if maybe in the third 50 shades book I'll find out they are all vampires (sorry, spoiler alert, if that happens). I also missed the whole HP connection with Simon & Baz since I only got as far as HP book 1. I guess I need to read more HP to get up to speed with the discussion.

My impression of Fangirl (before I read this discussion thread & got sidetracked) was that it was a fun read. It gave me an introduction to fan fiction and it presented some challenges a college gal might have if she is a twin & has an internet following she doesn't want to give up. Cath is awesome & talented in many ways but "doesn't know it". She's a good protagonist to rally for. I liked it enough to plan to read more by Rowell and I promise to give Rowling another chance too. Wow, those names are similar, coincidence!? so, I looked it up, Rainbow Rowell is the author's real name.

message 25: by Mandy (new)

Mandy (mandyy) | 92 comments I really liked this book. I didn't love it, but I really liked it. I have to admit that after the first 50 pages, I skimmed past the Simon-Baz sections. I found them distracting from the main plot.

But, I really enjoyed the main plot. I related to every bit of it. Her college experience read just like mine at San Diego State. We even had a Love Library! I will definitely read more of Rowell's work.

message 26: by Mary Beth (new)

Mary Beth (lifelovebooks) | 103 comments I loved it! I found once I started that I just couldn't stop. The characters were really well written and heartbreakingly real. The story moved well and was very engrossing - I was rooting for Cath and Wren all the way through.

Cath was afraid of change - she said it during the book - the fan fiction stories, the reluctance to write her own story, the fear of moving forward with Levi was all part of her own fear of change. I loved Levi's patience with her, how he became such an anchor for her. I loved watching Cath grow and blossom, and to finally move forward. I loved the fan fiction. I absolutely believe the HP fan fiction was deliberate - the story is about fan fiction, what better way to showcase it than to include some fan fiction of her own. I don't believe she wrote about HP to sell more stories - honestly do you think HP fans would pick this book up just for the Simon and Baz story parts? I agree with @Jamie that this was so that those reading the books can relate to the hugeness of what Cath was writing.

Overall really fantastic and I am looking forward to reading eleanor and park.

message 27: by Dlmrose (new)

Dlmrose | 17876 comments Mod
I found an interesting note about the cover thanks to a blog I follow
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell artwork by gingerhaze who does lots of fanart- LOTR, Avengers, Scooby, etc
I thought that the choice of a fanartist cover artist for a book about fanfiction was a great choice

message 28: by Kaora (last edited Dec 26, 2013 07:28AM) (new)

Kaora (ophelja) | 1145 comments Take this review with the knowledge that this is not my type of book. I chose to read this one for the challenge because I have already read American Gods and the other one is REALLY not my type of book. :)

I felt it was a cute story, but there was a bit too much of the dramatics for me. I understand they are still young, but I can't stand YA novels for this very reason. Although I did like that it didn't seem like the typical YA story. The author did a good job of developing the characters (my main complaint with other YA novels) although some of the scenes made me roll my eyes with the "romantic" cheesiness. (Is there something wrong with me?)

I guess its good that I didn't outright hate the book, but I didn't love it either. I also have to agree with Mandy's point that the Simon/Baz parts were distracting.

message 29: by Connie (new)

Connie G (connie_g) | 371 comments Fangirl was fun in many ways--as a coming of age story, as a cute "first love" romance, and as a window into the world of fanfiction. Although I had heard of fanfiction before, especially when the "Fifty Shades" books were published, I hadn't realized how many people were writing fanfiction online.

message 30: by Stacey (new)

Stacey (stacita) | 241 comments I really enjoyed this, maybe because I have a lot of friends deep into fanfiction. But it did have a few of those stupid plot moments where characters seem to unnecessarily and unrealistically refuse to talk to each other about really basic things, for the purposes of plot convenience, which annoyed me a bit.

message 31: by mstan (new)

mstan | 876 comments I really liked the college setting, and the book was pretty addictive - I couldn't really put it down (but I had to go to work...). After things got rosier though, some of the cheesiness started emerging. I wasn't so much a fan of the fanfic excerpts either, though I liked being educated on what fanfic really is about. Overall a 4-star read for me.

message 32: by Rosemary (last edited Jan 01, 2014 11:05AM) (new)

Rosemary | 640 comments I liked this a lot and read it all through in one evening. I loved all the 'real' characters except I wasn't sure about Levi. Having known an equally irresistibly charming man myself, I fear Cath is in for heartbreak somewhere down the line. Still I thought he was very well drawn.

I agree with Stacey about the characters unnecessarily and unrealistically refusing to talk to each other and with the people who've criticised the Simon and Baz sections - I thought the fanfic sections were just about okay, but the sections that were supposed to be from Gemma Leslie's books were terrible. An evil monster called Humdrum? Please. Those sections just read like a bad parody of Harry Potter to me. But still it was very enjoyable. 4 stars from me!

message 33: by Jayme VA (new)

Jayme VA | 789 comments I liked Fangirl all right, but definitely did not love it. I think it was because of all the hype surrounding it that I was disappointed. I gave it three stars.

I listened to the audio book and they did a good job distinguishing between the two story lines (different narrators). Did they do anything like this for the print book (different fonts or pictures)? The Simon/Baz snippets were very short and it got to the point where I didn't really pay attention to them.

I definitely plan on reading Eleanor and Park, but this book just seemed like too many other books I've read. I found myself wondering several times how different this story would have been in the hands of John Green, and I don't often think like that when reading.

I'm glad so many of you really enjoyed it!

message 34: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7692 comments the fonts in the book were slightly different for the fanfic - i think they were italics

message 35: by Emily (new)

Emily | 684 comments I loved this book. More than I thought I would. I also listened to the audiobook, and I liked how they used a different narrator to read the Simon Snow parts between chapters.

I thought that the writing was excellent. I didn't think that the characters fighting/refusing to talk was unrealistic at all. That's exactly the way that shy, passive-aggressive people fight. I would know, not that I'm necessarily proud of it, haha. I'm not a fanfiction reader myself, but one of my old roommates was, so I've always known about it.

I didn't see a problem with Rowell using Harry Potter as an obvious inspiration for Simon Snow. I think if she had just made up a random story, it would have been harder to relate to. As someone who has been to her share of midnight Harry Potter releases, it helped to give the Simon Snow phenomenon perspective.

I loved the characters and the way they developed throughout the book. It also helped, I think, that I saw a lot of myself in Cath - I didn't do fanfic, but I was a pretty bad shut-in nerd in college. Glad I read this one.

message 36: by Jean (last edited Jan 04, 2014 06:34PM) (new)

Jean | 123 comments This wasn't a favorite for me. I Thought Cath and Levi showed a lot of character, but the book moved slowly and the plot seemed very thin.

message 37: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 1388 comments I really loved it, including the fan-fiction with really lame spell casting and names, it just grew on me.

If I didn't have to have gone to work today, I probably would have finished around 3 am. It was a cute story, and I relate to Cather. I'm always self-conscious in social settings, never feeling I'm behaving appropriately. Having LOUD relatives has never helped matters. I prefer quiet.

As with Kate above, I had no problem with the Harry/Simon aspect. I loved the midnight release and relate well with what Rowell was portraying. I may not have dressed up, but I was surrounded by fellow fans who had to know NOW:) I'm glad I picked this for the Group Read.

message 38: by Ty (new)

Ty  | 563 comments This book was pretty meh for me. The fanfic parts were incredibly distracting and the YA lovey-dovey part was just (JUST!) okay for me. While I'm not a huge proponent of fanfiction (legal/moral issues), I understand the need to explore characters that hold an emotional investment for the reader. I was still uncomfortable with the author's version of HP fanfic used in the novel.

The writing was excellent, Levi was great (although a little too good to be true), and the co-dependent parental interactions were fascinating. Also, it could've used an editing cut of 50ish pages or so.

message 39: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth_greece) | 1183 comments I loved it! I loved the characters, the writing and the fanfictions excerpts grew on me. I'd never heard of fanfiction before and I haven't read Harry Potter books.

message 40: by KSMary (new)

KSMary | 820 comments I just picked up the book and read it in one sitting. First, let me preface this with saying that I did not want to read this book but I had already read the other two and don't really like to reread books. I became even more hesitant when I realized it was set in Nebraska where I grew up. With that being said, I found that I liked it. My daughter used to spend a lot of time reading fan fiction and even wrote some herself. Her descriptions of UNL were kind of comforting to me even I went to a different college in Lincoln. The story took me back to college and I made me remember what it was like to start college and find a place for yourself. Great book for her intended audience.

message 41: by Soelo (new)

Soelo | 118 comments First, I have to say that I confused part of the fictional world in this series with the fictional world in graphic novel series that I am reading:Unwritten. Unwritten's version of Simon Snow is Tommy Taylor. In Fangirl, the identity of the Mage is revealed, and then I spent a whole book thinking that the leader of the school in Tommy Taylor's world had that identity...Oy!

Next, I read E&P over the summer and have had Attachments laying around for a year or two but haven't read it yet. I live near Anoka County in Minnesota and was disappointed that Rowell was uninvited to speak there in September after some protests over the content in E&P. Luckily, the St Paul library had her speak on October 30th and I went with my niece. She reads and writes fanfic, so I bought Fangirl for her. Rowell was funny and talked about writing, adolescence and fanfiction.

message 42: by Tammy AZ (new)

Tammy AZ (tammyaz) | 932 comments I finished Eleanor and Park, which I loved, and immediately started Fangirl. While I enjoyed Fangirl, it didn't capture me like Eleanor and Park did. The Siman and Baz sections were distracting and about twice as long as they needed to be and for me they brought the entire book down. I felt that without so much time spent on the actual fanfic sections, the author could have further explored the absent mother and Wren's obvious issues. The issues with Wren and then the immediate resolution seemed a bit far fetched. All in all, this was a worthwhile book and if you were on the fence I would suggest Eleanor and Park.

message 43: by Katy (new)

Katy | 658 comments I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I listened to it on audiobook over a couple of longish drives and it was something I looked forward to getting into the car for. I liked Reagan, I liked the dad, and I hated all the fighting with Wren for Cath's sake, but liked it for plot purposes. Though I agree with Tammy above -- that got wrapped up REAL fast!

The fanfic/Harry Potter discussion was on my mind as I listened, too -- at first I thought, why didn't she just have Cath write HP fanfic? Then thought -- well, she couldn't b/c then she'd be making money off of HP fanfic. So then I thought, why didn't she just make up a totally new world? I agree with those above who said it helps to make the phenomenon clear, but I also think I wouldn't have enjoyed reading about Simon & Baz if they were, say, undersea talking anemones or something. I guess that's the draw of fanfiction! :) I think it worked for that felt close enough to something I knew to make it feel like fanfic.

And most of all it made me want to reread the Harry Potter series!

message 44: by auranee (new)

auranee | 8 comments Wow -- this book jerked me back to memories of my own freshman year of college & the frequency with which I felt, for better or worse, exactly like Cath. Lots of charming moments, the characters are well fleshed out, & I like fanfiction, so I had a really high tolerance for its interruptions & in fact enjoyed reading it a great deal. Simon & Baz: adorable. I love Harry Potter & I totally dig this shout-out to that universe and also to its, I think, popular success & the whole universe of stories it has inspired.

I wish Rowell had trimmed some of the tail-chasing drama, or that the drama centered on more tangible problems like the complications from Wren, mother, or father instead of the standard romance-novel conflict of angst + miscommunication with Levi. But it's the first year of college, I guess. I certainly did plenty of miscommunicating myself around then. ;) Overall, I enjoyed myself immensely & will be checking out this author's other books. Eleanor & Park is next, I think.

message 45: by Julie (new)

Julie This is the first time I have ever read Rowell and to be honest it took me quite a while to get into it. Maybe it's due to the fact that I had a hard time connecting to the main characters (I never went to college). In the end though, I found myself really rooting for Cath & Levi. They made an adorable, quirky couple. Wren irritated me by being such a selfish brat, but she did redeem herself at the end.

The ending itself--meh. I thought it ended kind of abruptly. I would have liked to find out if Levi & Cath made it, if their mother ever contacted them again, if their dad managed to control his mental issues, etc.

message 46: by Denise (last edited Feb 03, 2014 06:12AM) (new)

Denise | 460 comments The look into the world of fan fiction was interesting. But if there was a connection between the fanfic segments and the main narrative, I never could figure it out, and eventually dreaded those parts. I did feel a lot of sympathy for Cath and what she went through adjusting to college and dorm life. Her irresponsible parents were most annoying. Clearly I'm not the target audience for this book, I'm way too old for the style it was written in.

message 47: by Susan (new)

Susan | 672 comments I liked the basics of the story. My son is in his first year of college, living in the dorms, but living in a much smaller town. My husband and I lived in the same dorms when we were in college almost 30 years ago. So I really enjoyed reading about Cath's dorm experience. She did what I didn't, my sister and I were only a year apart in school, so we lived in the dorms together. I realize now that we should have done what Wren and Cath did, and lived apart. It would have been a better college experience. I enjoyed the love story, told in a very tasteful way, and I felt so bad for the girls, with the parents they had. How hard it must have been to have your mom walk out on you, and then have to be responsible for their father, due to his issues.

So this is where I had a problem. The story in the story sounded so much like Harry Potter. And while I don't hate the series, I only got to book 4, and then stopped, as I just didn't have the interest. My kids-loved the books, loved the movies even more. I guess I feel more educated about Fanfiction, as I never even knew it existed. If this promotes people to read and write and be creative, I'm all for it, But I personally don't understand it, and to me, the excerpts from the book, or what Cath was writing, just jumbled things up for me. I liked their story, not the story she was creating.

Maybe I'm just too old to get it.

message 48: by Cathy (new)

Cathy Galloway | 725 comments I thought this started out a little slow but I got drawn into the book about the time Cath's dad was admitted into the hospital. In the beginning, I had a hard time with her withdrawal and began enjoying the book more once she started to emerge and deal with real life. I'm so glad she finally opened up to Levi.

message 49: by Lorna (last edited Feb 15, 2014 07:04PM) (new)

Lorna | 520 comments I like the author's sytle of writing. It makes me want to keep reading. I wasn't that interested in the side story of Simon & Baz though. I also thought it was kind of strange that during most of the book the dad was not even able to take care of himself and yet toward the end he was suddenly this totally in control, take charge kind of parent. The "off and on" relationship of the twins seemed kind of extreme also. But here's the thing about Fangirl - you gotta love Cather.

message 50: by Rebecca NJ (new)

Rebecca NJ (njreader) | 1055 comments I read this book last month and have been thinking about it ever since. I listened to it on audio so I was a little confused with the Simon & Baz side story. Once I understood what was going on, that made more sense. In the beginning, I was a little concerned that Rainbow Rowell elected to base her fanfiction after HP but then I thought about it and it's probably something that a lot of readers could relate to and understand.

I love the dynamics between Cath and Levi and was rooting for them the entire time. I loved the role her dad played in the whole story including his hospitalization. Wren was also an important character - how she treated her sister in the beginning versus the end.

All and all, I did enjoy the story and would read more by the author.

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