Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Normally I write my book reviews over at Things Momma Loves, in an effort to keep my personal blogging and my “materialistic fangirling / reviewing” separate from one another.

This is typically a place for me to brag incessantly about how cute my kids are and tell you about the last hilarious thing said by the four year old or seven year old – to complain bitterly about how my dog literally likes to bulldoze me and show me who is definitely not boss and to type sweet nothings about the tall, dark and handsome fellow in my life.

Over there I will wax philisophical about last night’s American Idol, obsess over the current state of Sherlock’s coat collar, debate the many differences, strengths and weaknesses of the various incarnations of The Doctor and tell you what book you HAVE TO READ IMMEDIATELY or we can’t be friends anymore.

I like to keep those two blogging worlds separate in an effort to define each space and make it easier for you guys to see more of the stuff that you want from me – or perhaps just to make my life harder. Who knows?


Today I’m making an exception for two reasons. One: Mama Kat just so happened to ask for book reviews in this week’s Writers Workshop Prompts. And two: I am still so mentally lost in the last book that I read that I really don’t want to talk about anything else anyway.

fangirl by rainbow rowell

I am fangirling you could say over Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Everyone who is friends with me on Facebook saw that made abundantly clear when I spent 24 hours absolutely lost in the book, only coming up for air long enough to spazz out about it online for a few minutes before diving back in (okay and a few times I fed my children and acknowledged my dog, briefly).

This is a pretty appropriate book I think to respond this way to as the subject matter is all about being so hooked on a book that you would choose it over reality, but it’s also about SO MUCH MORE.

I feel like this book was tailor made for me – like the author looked into my soul and spilled the contents out on paper through the narrative of one Cather Avery, a girl with severe social anxiety, who is utterly devoted to the fandom of the Simon Snow series which will sound very much like Harry Potter to basically everybody.

When she’s not busy being a twin sister and shutin, she’s writing legendarily famous fanfiction that many people claim is better than the original. Oh also – she just started college to be an English Major and is kinda scared out of her mind at the prospect of living somewhere new and not sharing a room with her more outspoken, fun loving twin. And did I mention the social anxiety? It’s a fairly crippling problem throughout the book for her.

In many ways, this is your fairly standard coming of age story / love story. Certain aspects read as predictable in the way that if the author didn’t write it that way it simply wouldn’t work because this is how it goes. But the characters are so original and soooooo modern and so deeply formed that you can’t help but root for them, especially Cath. And I have left out SO MUCH about the plot because if I told you all the amazing, I’d basically be sitting here telling you the whole story.

This book reminded me of what it’s like to be a college student, a teenager, a girl in love for the first time, a writer, a daughter, a reader, a nerd, an often extremely anxious person – luckily not to the extreme of Cath, but enough that I read her struggles and totally “got” it and felt I understood her deeply. This book also taught me a lot of things that I didn’t know and opened me up to worlds and ideas I hadn’t yet considered. And it made me want to read some  fan fiction, like, immediately.

This book makes me want to blather on incessantly and shove copies of the books in peoples faces and just stamp my foot and wait for them to be done reading so we can all collectively go, “I know, right??????” together and then probably all retreat back into our own respective corners and over think whether or not we’ve made enough eye contact and how many minutes has it been since we spoke and did we lock the car door? I can’t remember but I’d probably better get up and check just to be sure…

Anyone else fangirling hard over Fangirl? Squealing and commentary totally welcome in the comments section.

Mama’s Losin’ It

10 responses to “Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell”

  1. Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell | The Critic and The Fangirl Avatar

    […] This was cross posted at Jen’s personal blog. […]


  2. Book Review: Eleanor and Park | The Critic and The Fangirl Avatar

    […] just finished reading Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, she of Fangirl fame (see my review of Fangirl here). Actually she wrote Eleanor & Park first so most people in the know probably know her for this […]


  3. 10 Nerdy Things About Jen | The Critic and The Fangirl Avatar

    […] Have you ever become totally obsessed with a book or a series of books before?  Have we met? Um, yes. There was the time I read the entire Selection series by Kiera Cass in basically one sitting (the ones that had been published at the time anyway) or you known my entire tween years being consumed by The Babysitters Club. Truthfully, once I read a book in a series that I like, I’m going to keep reading. And I think we can all remember that day I read Fangirl. […]


  4. […] I read this book in one day – it was a mad, crazy, obsessive daylong reading spree in which putting the book down felt painful and wrong. It felt like this book was written exactly for me. I, simply put, am fangirlingoverthis book hard. – Full Review – […]


  5. […] Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – Finished February 19, 2014 – I read this book basically in one day – it was a mad, crazy, obsessive daylong reading spree in which putting the book down felt painful and wrong until I’d finished. My apologies to the children, husband and pets neglected on February 19, 2014.In many small ways, it felt like this book was written exactly for me – like the author had captured a piece of my soul and put it on paper. While I can’t necessarily relate to the WHOLE story (don’t have a twin sister or a psychologically diagnosed mental illness – also don’t write fanfiction and am significantly older than 18) – so much of it I could definitely relate to and I quickly found myself rooting for Cath and waiting for certain plot events to come about. I, simply put, loved this book and kinda wish I could read it all over again today. – Full Review – […]


  6. Kat Avatar

    I’ve never heard of Fangirl, but you’ve convinced me!


  7. Alison Doherty Avatar

    I’m fangirling over this books as well. I’ve reread it four times since I first read it in November.


  8. […] you read that, read my review of Fangirl by Rainbow […]


  9. mjaj74 Avatar

    I’m quite a fangirl, so I’m thinking this book would be a fabulous read for me! Thanks for recommending it!


  10. Kristin Avatar

    Thanks for introducing this book! I’m a fangirl myself, so I will def check it out!