Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Contemporary YA
Date Read: 16/10/2015 – 20/10/2015
I read this book as a former fangirl. I am not invested in fandom to the degree I was even a couple of years ago. And I’m okay with that. But I think it probably did taint my reading experience a bit. As I said in my review of The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl, I don’t read a lot of contemporary YA fiction, but this one is so well-known, I decided to give it a go when I saw it on a display at the library. Unfortunately, for me it fellt a bit flat.
The main character, Cath, and her twin sister Wren, are Simon Snow fangirls. They’re also starting college, and to Cath’s great horror, starting to drift apart a little. Having to deal with life on her own for the first time ever, Cath navigates classes, boys, and a mentally ill father without her sister by her side. But at least Simon Snow fandom is always there for her.
It was cute. I’ll give it that. But my main issue was I never felt like the fandom aspect rang true. I felt like it looked at fandom through the same lens that The Big Bang Theory looks at nerds. That’s a bit harsh, and I certainly didn’t have the same issues about Fangirl as I have about TBBT, but it did feel a bit outside-looking-in.
There was also the issue that Cath only ever seemed to go through fairly superficial character development, and the side characters didn’t seem to have any. Levi, the main love interest, was basically just Amazing and Perfect, Wren was a typical party girl… I guess this is probably all pretty standard for YA, but as someone who doesn’t read a lot of contemporary, it stood out. Add to this the fact that some pretty loose ends were never tied up at the end, and I really couldn’t bring myself to give this more than 2.5 stars.