My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Why this one?
Can I be honest?
I didn’t actually intend to pick this one up. A friend was reading Eleanor & Park and she had recommended it. I’d heard about the buzz surrounding the book too and so I walked into the bookstore to get it. They didn’t have it and instead I got Fangirl.
Of course, I read the blurb before deciding to buy it. And it intrigued me. I am a proud fangirl myself and reading about one had me all excited. A little snooping around on Goodreads led me to find out what our MC was fangirling over and I was totally on board!
I guess some part of me knew that however the book turned out to be, I was going to like it for sure.
About the Book
Cather and Wren (weird names, huh? Wait till you read about why they were named so!) are twins, who’ve always done everything together. This includes fangirling hard over the worldwide phenomenon Simon Snow and Co. (who are totally based on Harry Potter and Co. Books, movies, the works). Together, they write Simon & Baz fanfic (of the Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy persuasion, if you know what I mean 😉 Google it, seriously!).
But now they are moving to college, leaving their dad alone (their mother left when they were young) and Wren decides that they need to ‘meet new people’ and ‘have new experiences’. So Cather is left to deal with worrying about her dad, a new roommate and writing her fanfics solo.
But while Wren is moving on a bit to fast, Cather is anxious and terrified of this new world. The only solace she finds is when she is MagiCath, fanfic writer extraordinaire and fandom sensation. With the last book of the Simon Snow series due for release, Cath needs to decide if she is willing to leave it all behind and move on to the real world, which FYI includes the VERY awesome Reagan and absolutely delightful Levi!
What Did I Think?
Let’s just say… Rainbow Rowell, you have me converted.
I like the way the relationships flow between characters in the books; between the girls and their father, between the twins themselves, and the dynamics between Reagan and Levi. The interactions between characters seemed real and not superficial. Especially when you consider how the twins’ relationship with their mother pans out.
Reagan is my favourite character in the book. She is plain awesome, unapologetic and cool AF! I’d totally like to read her POV on being friends with the socially anxious Cather and doing a damn good job at that.
Levi, as the usual trend with fictional boys/men is, is totally likeable. I have this tendency to reflexively crush on fiction males so I don’t think I’d be an unbiased judge of character here. But any guy who wants to sit by me while I read him fanfic about my favourite character that I have written has to be my dream guy!
That being said, I think I expected a little more of Cather, our MC. Maybe a little more fangirling than writing fanfic and cooing over posters would have been nice. Like where are the conventions and online forums? I would have loved to see her in action, defending her fandom against non-believers or maybe even having a crisis of faith.
Also, what is with the interspreading of chapters from Simon Snow books and fanfiction in between the actual story? Initially, I assumed that the Simon Snow chapters would have some deep underlying connection with what was going on in Cather’s life but at least I never grasped it. They were just random chapters, presumably intended to give us some insight into Simon Snow’s world and his relationship with Baz.
The funniest thing was when Levi compares Simon/Baz to Harry/Draco! The story and setting were so similar, that I kept comparing it to Harry Potter myself and wasn’t able to build any sort of connection to the fictional world of Simon Snow. Maybe that’s why I couldn’t feel the extent of Cather’s fangirling.
I am huge sucker for the whole Chick-Lit genre and writing style and I am proud to say that it reflects in the way I write too. I love me my Tolkiens and Paulo Coelhos and the occasional dash of Gabriel Garcia Marquez as well. But I shamelessly admit that the Meg Cabots and Stephanie Meyers are a guilty pleasure that I want to indulge in all the time. And I am so adding Rainbow Rowell to that list.
If you’ve noticed, I’ve totally revamped my review format. Still learning! Let me know what you think! And if you’ve read the book, what’s your verdict?