BOOKTALK// Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

FangirlCath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they’re off to university and Wren’s decided she doesn’t want to be one half of a pair any more – she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It’s not so easy for Cath. She’s horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she’s experienced in real life. Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. She’s got a surly room-mate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words …And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone. Now Cath has to decide whether she’s ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she’s realizing that there’s more to learn about love than she ever thought possible …

This book was sent to me by Macmillan in exchange for a review!

Rainbow Rowell has literally been on my radar for such a short amount of time and I’m already very very sure that she has cemented herself in my “George’s Favourite Authors, Like, Ever” list. I was surprised when Eleanor & Park came along, trundling into my life with all its beauty and heartache, and somehow I still managed to be surprised by Fangirl.

It is an absolute celebration of fanfiction writing and fandom culture! It celebrates the internet in all of its glory but also the pressure that comes with writing something that isn’t technically your own. It is something that I imagine a lot of fanfiction writers struggle with as they aren’t able to really do anything with your work as the characters and worlds do not belong to you. (Unless you’re a total dick and change the names. Are you listening E.L. James? I’m firing shots in your direction. What’s that? You can’t hear me over all your money. I’m sorry…I’ll stop.)

Rowell’s writing is an absolute gift. She has the ability to make you feel, whether that be deep, sad emotions or ones that literally make you laugh out loud on a crowded train at rush hour…the latter happened…dirty looks were sent my way.

I felt such a connection to Cath during this book. As someone who struggled to fit in when they first got to Uni, Cath’s struggle really resonated with me. We both shut ourselves away and wrote stories so that we didn’t have to socialise/make ourselves vulnerable. I even had my very own Reagan in the form of a friend who just didn’t give up on me and refused to leave me sat in my room by myself. I would have stopped going to Uni if it hadn’t been for her.

Rowell has a gift at writing very real characters. Characters that you start reading and suddenly you’re completely and totally emotionally invested in their various outcomes. It even comes into play with the Simon Snow sequences in the books. I’m even invested in the characters’ favourite fictional characters! It’s unfair that she is this talented but I am oh so glad that she is.


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