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 . . .
In a plight to try and make my spot as a ‘proper, grown up reviewer’ VERY IMPORTANT, I have decided that my reviews will now have a level of maturity that may have not been prominent in my former reviews. Eh hem.
Fangirl is a fun, light-hearted, teen read which is not set in an apocalyptic future and no one dies in it so yayyy.
Fangirl is about a girl called Cath who has gone to college somewhere in America with cows (I think its college which is like Uni in the UK, I don’t understand the American schooling system) and she is the quieter, more reserved half of a pair of twins. Cath and her twin sister Wren enjoy the very popular book series ‘Simon Snow’ which is about the world of Mages and is an obvious joke about the very popular ‘Harry Potter’ series. In fact Wren and she are such massive ‘fangirls’ of Simon Snow that they write ‘fanfiction’ about it. Now if you don’t know what fanfiction is, I suggest you Google it because it will be easier.
Cath and Wren have stuck together ever since their mum left them with their slightly insane father and they have done everything together…until now. Wren, as the more outgoing of the two, suddenly decided that although the two twins would be going to the same college (Uni, whatever) that Wren wants to not share the same room as her sister and Cath was pathetically ‘dumped’ by her own twin. Cath being the quieter, more socially awkward one relied on her sister to do the socializing for her and she is slightly freaking out a lot.
The book opens on Cath being worried about there being a boy in her room and then finding that the boy’s name is Levi and he is not her roommate but her roommate Reagan’s ‘friend’ (Cath assumes that Levi is Reagan’s boyfriend, I, as the admittedly embarrassed lover of poorly written romance novels, see Levi as a potential lover for Cath. But we are getting ahead of ourselves). Levi is really annoyingly happy and friendly to everyone and Cath thinks that is threatening. Reagan and Cath are quite happy to ignore eachother and let Levi come in only when Reagan is there; otherwise he has to sit in the hallway. Cath gets on with her life without Wren okay but is struggling and Reagan stages an intervention when she finds out the Kath was ‘dumped’ by Wren and has been living on only cereal bars and peanut butter which she has hidden under her bed because she is too scared to go into the food hall and she doesn’t know where it is. Also she was running low because Levi kept secretly eating them when Cath was in class.
Anyway, as the two make an unlikely but brutally sarcastic friendship, Cath has to juggle her very popular fanfiction account which has thousands of followers; school work and her dad’s sanity decline because he is struggling to cope without the girls. Wren becomes a social butterfly with no time for Cath but a lot of time for alcohol fuelled parties and flirting with boys.
After a while, Cath becomes friends with a boy called Nick in her fiction writing class and they become writing partners and it turns out better for him because Cath is a very good writer and she writes all the best bits, they become writing partners for any assignment they get and eventually tries to claim credit on a piece of work that they both wrote together which causes a massive hoo-hah and the end of their friendship.
After lots of fun (!) school stress, she gets a boyfriend, sorts out life with her dad and Wren gets saved from alcohol poisoning and all is marvellous and dandy.
That was admittedly a very vague synopsis but you get the picture and this review is already too long and my tea’s gone cold.
Verdict: After reading all (most, slight over exaggeration) of Rainbow Rowell’s books, I have decided that this is my favourite. It is witty, full of sass and a generally nice read. I definitely would recommend to anyone of the ages 12 and up, not because of the content but because I think the humour would go over the head of anyone of a younger age.
Reviewed by Daisy