Author: Rainbow Rowell
Summary: When twins Cath and Wren enter college, Wren pushes for independence, leaving Cath behind. Cath is forced to make her way alone through her first year, while fending off an unfriendly roommate with an over-friendly boyfriend, a writing partner who only seems to care about her writing, and a father on the brink of a breakdown. Through her love for the series Simon Snow, and her work on her fanfiction of the 8th book, Cath finally begins to understand herself, her family, and her life at college in a totally new way.
Six Word Review: Unique, quite good, but not brilliant.
How many stars would you give this book & Why? 8/10 because it was enjoyable and different, but the writing could have been better-crafted in places.
I started reading it because It was recommended to me by a friend.
I kept reading because It was easy to read, and it hooked me in. I wanted to know more about Cath, Simon Snow, and all of the quirky characters. Cath was also very relatable for me. This book created suspense in a highly unusual way, because while the plot did not really follow a traditional arc, but merely meandered from thing to thing, my interest was completely caught and I immersed myself in the world.
Gut Reaction: This book is going to have a bad ending.
Discuss: Upon starting this book I thought it would be a little like leftover Halloween candy- a sweet guilty pleasure, but one that left a bad taste in my mouth. However, it proved me wrong. The ending was satisfying and well crafted, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
What I loved: The characters were really delightful, and enlivened the story. I enjoyed reading the excerpts from the Simon Snow books as well, and I found the more ordinary exchanges between Cath and Levi, or Cath and Reagan touching.
What I didn’t like so much: The most romantic parts of the story don’t actually do much for me. While Rowell is excellent at lightly applying romance to normal interactions in an endearing and lovely way, when she tries to go whole hog and have a romance scene it feels flat and without feeling. This possibly because of the amount of time put into a gradual build-up; by the time you finally get there, it just can’t compare with your expectations.
This book reminded me of Harry Potter because: The Simon Snow series is obviously related to Harry Potter, as it uses so many similar plot elements and has similar worldwide fame. Interestingly enough, in Cath’s world the Simon Snow series coexists with Harry Potter- which seems somehow impossible to me.
Websites of Interest: Rainbow Rowell’s blog section about Fangirl. It doesn’t have much more than the back of the book does, but the rest of the blog is quite explore-able.