Olivia Gardner

Fangirl, a coming of age novel by Rainbow Rowell tells the story of a fan-fiction writing obsessed college student named Cather. In this book, the reader comes to learn about Cath’s struggles with making new friends, letting go of the past, and staying true to what she believes in.

   Cath had always loved writing, and she was good at it too. Her specialty was Simon Snow fan-fiction.  In fact, when Cath and her twin sister Wren were growing up, the Simon Snow book series was the only thing besides their endless friendship that kept them from falling apart after their mother left. These tough times filtered a never ending obsession for the books that both Cath and Wren shared together. They would read the books and write fanfiction about it together at every opportunity they had until, in later years, Wren slowly grew away from the fandom and eventually, Cath too. Before entering college, Wren told Cath that she had wanted to “branch out” and that she wouldn’t be sharing a room with her like they always did back at home. The twins had never left each other’s sides until freshmen year of college, consequently Cath didn’t know what to do or how to make new friends and get along with a new roommate. When Cath met her new roommate, Reagan, she wasn’t quite sure what to think of her. Cath related more to Reagan’s sort-of boyfriend Levi more than she did her, and for a while, the two didn’t talk.  It probably also didn’t help that Reagan was almost never in the dorm.  Cath still, however, didn’t feel at all alone because she had her evermore wanting fans. Meanwhile, her sister was out being a social butterfly, partying, and becoming intoxicated, which lead to Cath not trusting her. As the story progresses, Cath slowly gains Reagan’s trust and learns to forgive her sister for the grievances she caused her. She also pursues her writing dreams through upper level classes which sadly, come with a whole lot of stress, plagiarism and betrayal. Cath learns what is truly important and sticks to what she wants.

Fans of realistic fiction and dramas will love this novel. However, in my opinion this book was rather confusing and repetitive. For a while (until I actually looked it up) I thought that the Simon Snow books were an actual thing but they, in fact, are not. This was only one of many things that confused me about this book. Another problem was that a lot of the plot didn’t have actual definitive answers in the book and were just left hanging which bothered me . There was also not much variety in the story, with setting, and character development, everything just seemed to end up where it originally began. Ignoring these setbacks, I did enjoy the book even if I became confused at times. I would still recommend it, just not to all people. This book is definitely aimed towards upper grades taking in the usage of language, a college setting, and higher value wording, I think 7th grade and above.