Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
'Cath 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 . . .'
I was sent this in exchange for a honest review.
I have only read one other Rainbow Rowell book which was one of her adult titles, I was excited to read my first YA by her.
This story is about twins, Cath and Wren. Although they are identical, they have completely different personalities. Cath is more of an introvert and spends her time in her room on her computer writing fanfiction. She is a devoted Simon Snow fan and wants to please others with her stories. She has been writing for almost two years and is building up to something big.
Wren is more outgoing and has decided that now she is off to college she doesn't want to be know as one of the twins. She wants to live a separate life and decides not to live with Cath. Cath wants to continue writing her fanfiction while at college and now has to balance the two.
I now have a confession to make, I didn't know what fanfiction was, however it didn't take me long to work this out through reading the book. This could be because I am not in the target audience for this book? I liked Cath as a character, she was well developed and was softer than Wren. I did enjoy the story and felt that I got into it very quickly. I genuinely cared about the characters and wanted to know what was going to happen.
There was only one character in the book that I truly didn't like and that was Nick - Cath's library partner who took her classes with her. I felt he was using Cath and that he should be found out. I don't want to say if he was or not as I don't want to spoil the story for you.
I felt Rainbow Rowell captured college life well from both points of view of the characters. She managed to make you feel as if you were at college with both of them. I felt I had a stronger connection to Cath, however the majority of the story was told from her POV so this would explain that.
Reagan was Cath's room mate and what a room mate she was?! She was brilliantly well written and gave you the impression that her mood could change with the wind. Never knowing if she was going to be mean or nice to Cath at any one moment.
I also loved Levi, he was awesome, and every girl would love a guy like him wouldn't they? He was so kind and caring. I did want to punch him at one point but we will see past that (If you have read it, I think you will know what part!)
There was a lot going on in the story, many different smaller story lines, however these were written well and didn't take focus from the main story. I felt Rainbow Rowell connected with her audience well and the issues were current ones to the audience the book was intended for. Rainbow Rowell, covers issues that teenagers and young adults would be going through and has made them real in her story.
One thing that I didn't really like in the story were the chunks of fanfiction at the end of chapters, I found this made the story a little disjointed. I understand why the author did this, however for me it spoiled a little of my enjoyment.
Rainbow Rowell's writing is infectious, you want to keep reading it and are sad when it is over, you can quite easily sit and read for 10 minutes but look up at the clock and 2 hours have passed!
This story is about coming of age, relationships of all kind, romantic, ones with your sister and family, Cath also struggles with homesickness for her father as she knows he is going through a rough time. The choice of caring for him and staying at college is another issue I feel Rainbow Rowell tackled carefully. The split decision from the sisters and how they dealt with that was written well. This is a brilliant YA book for anyone who is going off to college for the first time. It doesn't matter if you have read fanfiction, written it or even knew what it was. The story is not about that but one of the journey of the first year away from home at college.
I would recommend this for anyone, young or old. Although it is a coming of age novel, it has wonderful realistic dialogue, drama and character driven stories. Finally it's just a really sweet tale that will leave you feeling like you have just received a hug.