Rating: ☕️ ☕️ ☕️ ☕️ 1/2
Still recovering from a brutal semester of Canadian Lit, Fangirl certainly did not disappoint! It is the first contemporary I’ve read in a while and, I must say, it succeeded in giving me those butterflies. This quirky story about a girl named Cath who is obsessed with the fictional Simon Snow series was extremely readable and once I sat down and started reading I actually had to make the conscious decision to put down the book and venture into the real world. I probably could have settled in and read this entire book in one sitting.
So for the quick “what is this book about” bit, the main character, Cath, is not only a huge Simon Snow fan, but she is an active fan fiction writer, and the book focuses a lot on her writing and obsession with the fictional world. We journey with Cath through her first year of college and the difficulties she faces with her twin sister, mentally ill father, estranged mother and new found love interest. I have to say, for a seemingly light, fluffy read, this novel was surprisingly deep in exploring the family, friendly and romantic relationships between the characters.
There are a few things I want to talk about in this book and I don’t really know how to organize this review so I’m going to just start and it probably won’t be any good, but what can you do? I guess the first thing I noticed in the book was that it really wasn’t all that predictable. In 99% of seemingly “chick lit” books, you know exactly what is going to happen. You know what I mean? Guy meets girl, girl loves guy but he is unattainable in some way, they become friends with obvious feelings or get together, have a huge fight or misunderstanding, and then BAM, they get together and live happily ever after? Anyone recognize this? Anyway, with this one I felt that it threw you little curve balls, not big enough to drop your jaw, but enough to make it not so typical. I may be way off the mark here and was just too dense to see what was directly in front of me, but there were little things like how I assumed that Cath’s writing partner, Nick, was going to be her love interest in the book, but instead it ended up being the charming and funny Levi, who I took at the beginning as a funny sidekick type character. Which, who knew, was SO much better.
Speaking of Levi… LEVI. Man oh man, does this guy rank on my biggest literary crushes list. Not only is he extremely charismatic, funny and genuinely the best guy you will ever meet …… he also works at Starbucks. I KNOW! Free lattes?? Perfect Boyfriend Levi was one of those characters that you fall in love with right away, which goes to show how his personality jumps off the page because he has that affect with everyone he meets in the book as well. The only thing about him that was a little iffy for me was that he was a little too perfect. He showed extreme patience when it came to Cath and her extremely slow warming up to him. I mean, it was weeks after they started dating that they finally kissed. He had to go for a least a month on JUST HOLDING HANDS and most of the time not even that. I feel like there is no real life guy who would actually do that. I guess that’s why they say boys are better in books.
I also loved the idea that he enjoyed just sitting there and letting Cath read aloud to him, but again who would do this? That is literally my dream relationship to just sit and read aloud to a guy and have him fall madly in love with me, but I can say with a fair amount of confidence that this would not happen. No matter how good of a guy he is I doubt someone would actually sit and enjoy someone reading out loud for hours. If you are a guy and you would do this, can I please date you? I think you may be my soul mate. Please? No? Okay… moving on.
The last part of this longer than usual review will be dedicated to Cath. I could completely, one hundred percent relate to her with the whole first year of university hermit thing. That was me, only I didn’t get an extremely perfect boyfriend in the deal. I had a really difficult time adjusting to uni, just like Cath, so I think that may be why I took a liking to her and felt a deeper connection with her. And also fandom obsession? STORY OF MY LIFE. This character is pretty much me. I have to say I have rarely met characters in books that I have related to so strongly. Harry Potter, Doctor Who, I mean what’s wrong with having a fictional world take over your real one? Nothing I tell you!
Well now, what was I saying? Okay, moving on now to some more *ahem* real things, I loved what Rowell did with Cath’s relationship with her mother. I’m not going to ruin anything by saying what happened, but I thought it was an extremely realistic portrayal of what would happen in that situation. The only qualm with Cath that I had was maybe she was a little too awkward and socially inept. And the…. slowness? with which she approached her relationship with Levi. I mean come on girl, it’s been more than a month. Give the guy a peck on the cheek at least. But then again I am probably ten times worse so I can’t really criticize 😝
All in all I highly recommend this book for a cutesy romance, chick lit type thing, but also because it is a contemporary that has a lot of depth. It is just so much more than your average fluffy read. I only gave it 4 1/2 teacups instead of 5 because of a few moments that I would shake my head and just say “really?” There were definitely some points that I considered pretty ridiculous, but this book kept me up reading all night until I finished it! That is a very good thing in my opinion.
Want to find out more about Rainbow Rowell an
d her books? Click here —>http://rainbowrowell.com/blog/
To read my review of Rainbow Rowell’s other YA novel, Eleanor & Park click here –> CeeCee Reads Eleanor and Park Review