‘Fangirl’ by Rainbow Rowell

Hey, look at me, I finally read Fangirl after half of my internet friends all raved about the book! I feel like I deserve an award. No, just kidding. Or am I??? So, yeah, I read the aforementioned book and it was a great read but I wasn’t loving it as much as I expected. In fact, it left me a little bit underwhelmed if this makes sense. Let me try to explain.

The whole story in itself is really cute, twin sisters start going to college and they both love these fictional characters enough to write fan fiction, one of the sisters is more actively pursuing this than the other. The story is basically Tumblr in book form which is awesome in itself! It’s a testament to how important Tumblr has become in pop culture. And fandom because at some point or another, most of us kids of the internet have dangled at least one of their feet in the fandom waters. In conclusion, the story is very relatable.

Maybe my expectations were too high when I started reading because I expected a female John Green (he has become the standard by which I judge YA authors and some not YA ones as well) and that’s not what I got. Rainbow Rowell’s words didn’t sing like they o for some of the very special authors. They did not reverberate inside me or not enough. I know this is VERY picky of me but when a book comes with that many recommendations, they better hold true. This being said, my judgment of books is mostly based on feelings, INFJ speaking here so no wonder. To some extent judging stories and poetry and art is always subjective but there are ways to at least try for some objectivity. I am not one of the people able to do so, sorry.

There were also a couple of loose ends in my opinion, the author didn’t touch. Like Wren just stopping drinking and that’s it. I know the story was focussed on Cath, Wren’s twin, but something felt amiss for me there. Also the whole thing with the suddenly reappearing but distant mother. It’s dealt with, but not enough in my opinion.

One last thing on my complaint list is the Simon Snow franchise. Even with all the book excerpts and the characters talking about the characters a lot, I didn’t get into their story inside the story. I was confused about magicians who are also vampires and what of it is only happening in fan fiction and which is canon. It was probably not possible to outline this more in the limited space of this novel and that’s completely okay. It just bothered (maybe that’s too strong a word but I can’t think of anything else right now) me. Having to care about characters the characters care about seems a bit too much for me.

All of this being said, I devoured the story! It was a good and entertaining read but the cherry on top was missing. And I enjoyed all the meta on writing this novel has to offer. Knowing that the author wrote this book during NaNoWriMo, there are some interesting things she has included about how writing feels.  To my limited extend of having written a couple of things in my lifetime so far, I agree with a lot of the things she describes.

Did you read Fangirl? What were your opinions on the novel?

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