October 13, 2013

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell


written by Rainbow Rowell
published September 10th 2013 by St. Martin's Press
genre Young Adult/Contemporary/Romance
433 pages
read in English/Indonesian
other books by the author Attachments, Eleanor & Park


Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .
But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate 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. For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?
Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories.

Reading Fangirl is an upsetting but thrilling experience.

Why? Because, honestly, it feels a lot like I was reading about my ownself. No, seriously. Cather is a carbon copy of middle grade Tirta! She's a closeted introvert, doesn't talk much in real life but of course talks a LOT on internet, an active participant in a fandom that takes up so much of her time, has this irrational fear about meeting new people and getting out of her comfort zone... Oh, hello, me, three or four years ago.

And this is what keeps making me frustrated when reading Fangirl. I dislike how Cather always seems to be negative toward such a simple action like going into the cafetaria with her roommate. Sometimes I want to yell at her for sulking and locking herself in her room all day, writing fanfiction and going over the internet ALL THE TIME, because hey Cath, I've been there, and while I agree that internet is the best invention ever in the world and people in the fandom are so much better than real life, but there's sooo much more to live out there! Believe me. Confidence and feeling comfortable with your ownself are not gained by shutting everyone outside you and your fandom, but by actually going out and experience things! (yea)

On the other hand, I sympathize a lot with Wren. These twin girls cope together and stay beside each other on the first years after their Mom left the family, but  as they grow older, Wren feels like she needs to get away from Cath (who knows too much of their family problem), she wants to be independent in her own way. While I do not support the smoking, partying, doing crazy stuffs with her new bestfriend, I can understand. All I see is a broken girl who needs to seek attention that she supposedly get from a mother. At least Wren isn't being negative about her surrounding or holds prejudice against other people.

“Do you think I absorbed all the impact? That when Mom left, it hit my side of the car? Fuck that, Wren. She left you, too."

"But it didn't break me. Nothing can break me unless I let it."

"Do you think Dad let it? Do you think he chose to fall apart when she left?"

"Yes!" Wren was shouting now. "And I think he keeps choosing. I think you both do. You'd rather be broken than move on.” 

Go Wren!


The romance is okay. Cath and Levi have some swoony moments and I'd love to find a boy like Levi to be a boyfriend! I love every part where Levi asked Cath to read her stories for him, and he's such a sweet guy for understanding how to cope with a girl like Cath. They're adorable together! The only problem is that at some parts I was annoyed because the story gets a little sidetracked by their lovey-dovey moments.

“It's okay if you're crazy," He said softly. 

"You don't even know-"
"I don't have to know," He said. "I'm rooting for you.” 

“You look so blindingly cute right now, I feel like I need to make a pinhole in a piece of paper just to look at you.”  (AWWWE)
Another good thing about Fangirl is the story actually tells so much more: not only romance, but also the dynamic of a family relationship. Cath and Wren's dad is such a strong man, raising TWO GIRLS alone at the same time. And then there's this side of Cath and Wren trying to adapt into college life, which I'm also experiencing at the moment, so I can relate a lot and it makes reading Fangirl become so much fun.

It's both refreshing and touching to know that there's an author who could fully understand of what it's like to be a devoted fangirl. Attending or streaming every premieres, getting excited over sneak peeks, writing or reading fanfictions, gathering with other people from the fandom, wearing a shirt with a quote from your fandom and feeling like you're baring yourself out to the world... And by so many positive reviews I read on the internet, I know that there are people who feel the same toward Fangirl, and that makes us united! It's always nice to know that people understand you.

In comparison to Rainbow Rowell's previous books, Attachments and Eleanor & Park, I feel sorry to say that Fangirl ended up in the third place. But I'd still recommend it to anyone (that anyone includes those who loves reading YA, those who are a fangirl themselves, those who are actively participate in a fandom, or else, you will LOVE this book!). Rainbow Rowell is an author that I've positively put in my auto-read list and her books are worth to read (at least once!)

About the Author

Rainbow lives with her husband and two sons in Omaha, Nebraska. Right at this moment, she is probably  arguing with someone about something that doesn't really matter in the big scheme of things -- or trying to figure out how Sherlock faked his death. Rainbow has written three books: Attachments, Eleanor & Park, and Fangirl. Her upcoming book, titled Landline, is set to come out in July 2014.
                                            Twitter | Website

Read other reviews of Fangirl by
Danny from Bewitched Bookworms (Make sure to check out their blog, it's super adorable!)
Sophie on Goodreads
Ashley from Nose Graze


  1. LOVED Eleanor & Park so I can't wait to read this one! I can't believe it's already out... Now I just need to get enough money to buy it >_<

    Great review, Tirta! You were sort of like me! I used to be really anti-social in sixth grade and, like Cath, hated cafeterias. I really think that I'm going to relate and connect with Cath a lot, though I can see why she can get a bit frustrating. You just sort of want to push her out the door and yell "GET SOME FRIENDS!" :P

    Levi sounds like such a sweet character. I can't wait to 'meet' him! And that conversation between the two you showed. It's so adorable! This is one romance I can't wait to read about :D

    1. Totally! I understand that us introverts are really uncomfortable being in a big crowd but the more older we are, with all those life experiences we've had I think it's good to get out of our comfort zone at times. That's why I get frustrated with Cather a lot. It's fortunate that there are Levi who could understand all these sides of her, I totally envy that girl on this area :p

      Thank you for coming here, Lesley!

  2. I want to read it, too! Now I'm getting more intrigued.

    Thank you for the review! :D

    1. No problem. Come on get your hands on the book soon, you won't regret it! ;)


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