The Mary Sue Books and More Club discussion

Fangirl
This topic is about Fangirl
54 views
Our TMS Reads > December Book Discussion 4: Fangirl, Chapters 30 - 38/End

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Brittany Allyn (soyxunxperdedor) Discussion thread for Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, Chapters 30 through 38/End. Discussions will probably run through the first week of January.


Katie (katiebuffam) | 51 comments I'm going to skip the read-a-long because I read this book before and I'm probably never going to pick up another book by Rainbow Rowell again. I have a lot of thoughts about Fangirl though, so I'm just going to jump into the discussion with people who just finished it.

It seems harsh to say that I don't want to read anything by Rainbow Rowell again (god I love her name), especially since I didn't hate Fangirl. It's just that Fangirl was so full of itself. How can someone be a part of fandom and not connect with the community at all? It felt kind of insulting to fangirls, I didn't feel like Cath was a positive representation of fandom.

Cath was so aggravating and helpless to me, and she really, really needed some professional mental health care. It's one of those stories where I feel like it's touted as the main character growing, but in reality everyone just changed to suit the main character's lifestyle (*side-eyes Disney's Brave).

I know this book is really popular, so if you're someone who loved it, please tell me why I'm wrong! Or if you didn't love it, I'd love to know what your thoughts were.


Heather Lynn (realheatherlynn) | 29 comments Katie wrote: "I'm going to skip the read-a-long because I read this book before and I'm probably never going to pick up another book by Rainbow Rowell again. I have a lot of thoughts about Fangirl though, so I'm..."

I totally agree. I've read Eleanor and Park, though, and Landline and both of them are pretty great! I'm getting sick of the trope of characters having "no one" to talk to except the boy they meet. It's kind of ridiculous. I spent a month or two when I first went to college not really talking to anyone either and I still found friends and had my online friends.

The author is a fangirl IRL but you're right, this isn't a positive representation of fandom. At least, not to me. The whole book made me rather uncomfortable.


Kyal | 3 comments This was a weird read for me. I finished the book in two days so I know that I found it entertaining, however it's hard for me to say what I liked about it.

I agree with the others who have commented so far. The one scene that really bothered me was Cath debating with her professor about writing a fan fiction piece for class. I find it hard to believe that any person would have thought that was okay. I understand that maybe the author was trying to discuss the merits of fan fiction writing, however I think she could have done that with Cath and a different character. Then with he reluctance or insistence that she couldn't create on her own... didn't she turn in other assignments? Or was the only one that was turned in at that point the partner exercise? I'm pretty sure they had done more writing exercises by that point so I'm not quite sure why Cath was insistent that she couldn't write her own stories.

I appreciated that it touched upon mental illness. Probably could have done without the romance with her and Levi but it was cute. I liked Regan a lot, and an was probably my favorite part of the book.

I also ended up skimming the book and fan fiction passages. I get that the interludes between passages was to symbolize the progression of the story but the long passages actually in the chapters I had difficulty having patience to read them.

I know it sounds like I hated the book but it was actually alright. I think I was expecting something different and came away disappointed. Something more like Me. Marvel with her dorkiness and fandom and a lot of heart. Fangirl as missing that endearing and heart factor for me.


Brie Eccles | 2 comments Katie wrote: "I'm going to skip the read-a-long because I read this book before and I'm probably never going to pick up another book by Rainbow Rowell again. I have a lot of thoughts about Fangirl though, so I'm..."

I understand why you didn't like the book, but MAN I loved the relationship between her and Levi. Not because I thought that it was realistic (who is able to communicate their feelings to that extent at 18? I sure couldn't.) but because I felt like it epitomized how a first relationship can feel.

I had trouble with her as a student more than I did with her as a girlfriend. I think you touch on a good point- didn't she have other assignments? What was going on with her odd relationship with her teacher, both being intimidated and simultaneously (passively) rebelling by not doing her assignment (until the end)? That was hard for me to swallow, but I guess it sort of fit into the overall theme of mental illness/anxiety/depression.


Alisha I agree with what every one else is saying. For me, I really wanted to know why she was so obsessed with the escapism that Simon Snow and fan-fiction writing offered her. Looking at the beginning of the book, it was shown that Simon Snow was first published in 2001. So, I assume that Snow was a way to comfort herself during the time that her mom left and bond with her sister but I wanted more about it in the text. I also wanted more about Wren. She had been really close to Cather all through high school, so why did she suddenly want to distance herself? Also why was she so open to meeting her mother when Cather wasn't. I wanted more about their relationships and less about Levi the perfect boyfriend. I see this book as one of a lot of potential that just didn't fully meet that at the end of the day.


Anita Fajita Pita (anitafajitapitareada) I finally got to read this book! I know I'm late, but I'd like to jump in the conversation a little too. Overall, I had to like this book. It was really an escape for me from the tougher non-fiction I've been reading. I read it really quickly too, once I finally picked it up, so there's something to be said for an easy flow of story. Generally, I'm getting that the biggest issue for many readers was expectations. Expectations for more fandom, and geek girliness and things like that, that really weren't met in this story. Yes, Cath's life clearly revolves around Simon Snow and her fanfic, Carry On, but it didn't permeate this story; titled "Fangirl."

I personally think the story hovers around unresolved mental and emotional issues, and that Rowell does a pretty poor job of directly and clearly addressing it in her writing. But maybe that's her intention. Maybe she's showing us what it's like as opposed to hooking us to an explanation of what it is. I read a lot of non-fiction, so maybe I'm too used to clear and direct writing.

Which leads me to how I really did enjoy this book and it was a fun and easy read. I like it enough to know that I'll read more Rainbow Rowell. There were plenty of too good to be true relationship tropes that kind of irked me, but that's just me; there's nothing really wrong with that if you like it. Cath's relationship with Levi was one of those too good to be true things, but it is nice to play make believe, right? I really like Reagan, I loved the way Cath handled the story issue with Nick at the end, I enjoyed her dad (he's so funny and had a lot of depth for a side character), and her relationship with Wren was just crazy but I don't even have a sister yet alone a twin so I just watched it like a t.v. show.

Brie wrote: "What was going on with her odd relationship with her teacher, both being intimidated and simultaneously (passively) rebelling by not doing her assignment (until the end)? That was hard for me to swallow, but I guess it sort of fit into the overall theme of mental illness/anxiety/depression.."

Yeah, this comes back to me thinking the main underlying theme is maybe mental and/or emotional illness, anxiety, stress, and how the character is trying to (and has been trying to) cope through her attachment to Simon Snow. I got a slightly weird vibe during one of her last conversations with Ms. Piper when Cath was glad that Piper reached across the desk to squeeze her arm or something because she was hoping she would? It seemed like some sort of maternal projection that kind of jumped out of the book at me strangely...? I don't know, I kind of think that Rowell is trying to write about abandonment issues, but never really gets down to it.

Kyal wrote: "I know it sounds like I hated the book but it was actually alright. I think I was expecting something different and came away disappointed. Something more like Me. Marvel with her dorkiness and fandom and a lot of heart. Fangirl as missing that endearing and heart factor for me..."

I love Ms. Marvel, and yes, her fangirl passion from Cather would have made this title make more sense!

Alisha wrote: "Looking at the beginning of the book, it was shown that Simon Snow was first published in 2001. So, I assume that Snow was a way to comfort herself during the time that her mom left and bond with her sister but I wanted more about it in the text. I also wanted more about Wren..."

I also kind of got the sense that Cath's issues with her mom leaving them was kind of the hidden and deeper issue that ran throughout the entire book, but was never really delved in to and resolved by Rowell; until kind of right at the very end as she finally wrote her fiction piece for her class. Right at the end. And then it ended. I'm thinking maybe this was Rainbow Rowell's very obscure nod towards a the future is bright kind of happy ending.


Rachel (ribbonquest) | 56 comments Cath's fanfic,Carry On, was published in February and it's fun and awful and hits all those guilty pleasure points from reading Harry Potter fanfiction.

There's excessive swearing that you know wouldn't be in cannon. The main love interest is carefully being shuffled aside. There are chapters from the perspective of other characters. There are one sentence chapters. There are the out of place pop culture references. I wouldn't be surprised to see a chapter with song lyrics between paragraphs, though I'm not sure how that'd work legally in actual published fiction.

I'm not far yet. It hasn't turned slash fic yet. Baz hasn't even shown up yet.

It's a good break after going through a few grim books in succession.


Chessa (chessakat) | 81 comments I loved Carry On even more than Fangirl!


back to top

unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

Carry On (other topics)