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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
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Fangirl

by Rainbow Rowell

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Wren and Cath are twins who have spent much of their lives wrapped up in the fictional world of “Simon Snow”. So much so that Cath has become a popular fan fiction author with a large online following. When the girls go off to college Cath finds herself very much alone as the outgoing Wren has chosen to live apart from her and embark on a very active and self-destructive social life. The reader travels with Cath through her freshman year as she learns to live with a stranger (roommate), falls in love, deals with academic pressure and watches her sister make some serious mistakes all the while maintaining a popular online presence. ( )
  knitwit2 | Dec 20, 2014 |
Gr 9+, It’s Cath and Wren’s first year at college, and while Cath thought that her twin sister would be right by her side, Wren had a different plan. Feeling anxious, and alone in a new big university, Cath tries to hide herself in her fanfiction writing, and subsist on her large supply of protein bars since she has no idea where the dining hall is or how it works. At least she tries to. Levi, her roommate’s friend, always seems to be around, both of them trying to get her to come out of her shell. Some how Rowell’s voice and plot line of a coming of age novel when you’re 18, living on your own at college, your dad is bi-polar, you have social anxiety, and haven’t ever been kissed is a coming of age tale many young adults have been waiting for. Her voice for the characters, along with descriptions are authentic. However, I feel this book is geared more towards the new young adult (18-23), rather than high school. I’m not sure how relatable the idea of how 1 month during freshman year is equal to 6 years, and other college experiences that are discussed in the novel. Overall, a great read that is sure leave a smile on your face. ( )
  foresterk | Dec 7, 2014 |
I loved this book it reminded me a lot of my first year living in the dorms at college. I loved the growth that Cath went through. I think it's a book that high schoolers and people in college can relate to. ( )
  Jashrekn | Dec 3, 2014 |
Fun, flirty and easy going story that you just don't want it to stop. It made me feel proud of being a book lover too. I also love author's style of writng and the reachness of expressions. ( )
  dampet | Dec 1, 2014 |
I have some friends with reservations about Fangirl, and then there's lots of people who think it's the best thing since sliced bread. It took me a while to read it because of that, but I think on balance I like it a lot. The primary thing I enjoy is that it involves neuroatypical people; Cath's anxiety, her dad's bipolar, Wren's potential alcoholism. It feels true to life in the way the twins grow apart and come back together, in the way university life works. I've totally been with Cath, eating energy bars instead of finding the cafeteria, talking to people online instead of going out and enjoying the fun.

One thing that does bother me is the characters who try to drag Cath out of herself like it's that easy. Reagan mentions medication once, but after that there's no indication that Cath gets therapy or any kind of substantive help with her issues. She's just kind of friended-and-boyfriended out of it to a large extent, which -- I'm not going to say it's impossible, but when I was in Cath's position, it took medication and therapy as well as the friends.

Also, Levi's "nice guy" thing was just -- ick. I mean, in many ways he seems like a genuinely nice guy, but then he admits he was doing the whole nice guy thing to try and get Cath to date him. And he wouldn't respect her wishes about her name or letting her carry her own damn laundry, so how I'm supposed to believe he respected her about anything else, I'm not entirely sure. You're not such a nice guy if you're trying to be a nice guy to make a girl like you, you know? And that aspect didn't fit with the rest of Levi, who seemed too good to be true in many ways -- the kind of guy who rescues kittens from trees and helps old ladies cross the road.

Anyway, most of the scenes between Levi and Cath are really well done: early awkwardness, the slow evolution of their relationship, even the misunderstandings -- which normally really annoy me in romantic stories. I did feel that their relationship was real, even if Levi himself was a little too good to be true.

I do still really like the way Rowell writes; it's really easy to just settle into, nothing pretentiously getting in the way of reading it, nothing trying to be too flowery. And the excerpts of fanfiction and "Gemma Leslie"'s work made me smile; Rowell does understand fandom, as was also clear when I went to her talk/signing, and she gets the comfort and excitement of that online community just right. ( )
  shanaqui | Nov 23, 2014 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rainbow Rowellprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Caulfield, MaxwellReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gorovoy, AnnaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grlic, OlgaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lowman, RebeccaReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, NoelleCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Jennifer, who always had an extra lightsaber
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The Simon Snow Series
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"Months are different in college," Levi said, "especially freshman year. Too much happens. Every freshman month equals six regular months - they're like dog months."
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Cath struggles to survive on her own in her first year of college while avoiding a surly roommate, bonding with a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words, and worrying about her fragile father.

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