Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell- Review

I have had this book on my radar for a long time, I added it to my TBR back when it was first released and I remember it was surrounded by a lot of hype. I am going through a bit of a reading slump at the moment and unsure of what to read I picked up Fangirl, it had been on my shelf so long it seemed about time I gave it a go.


Fangirl is the story of Cath and her twin sister Wren, they are off to university for the first time and while Wren is out and about making new friends, experiencing life Cath locks herself in her room with only her moody room -mate and her Simon Snow Fanfiction (aka Harry Potter) for company.

On one hand,  I liked Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell is great at creating characters who you really feel are real. On the other, I hated it, more I hated Cath. When I’m reading a book, any book I love to have a main character to root for, to recognise part of myself in them, or just like them in some way will do. I found Cath so hard to relate to, she is at university away from home for the first time and what?

Nothing, she doesn’t go to parties, make friends, or talk about boys (or girls) instead she is the ultimate Fangirl and quite afraid of real life, anything that isn’t her Fanfiction. Although I’m not Cath’s biggest fan her character gives a voice to the writing of Fanfiction which can only be a positive thing. After all, there are real books out there that started as fanfiction (I’m looking at you  Fifty Shades of Grey).

fifty shades

Overall Fangirl is a well written humorous book, with a cute love interest, who wouldn’t love Levi?


But for me it was a bit of a non-starter, I skipped most of the Carry On sections of the book and found Cath a bit of a bore.

I know this is a well-loved book but we can’t all Fangirl over the same things now, can we?

Paint and Butterflies Rating 2/5 Stars

Happy reading everyone!

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Come Find Me!




Watt Pad

8 thoughts on “Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell- Review

  1. Eve Messenger

    Fangirl wasn’t one of my favorite reads. The Carry On passages were especially frustrating–I kept waiting for them to reveal culminate into something bigger and/or reveal truths about Cath’s character. Like you, I am grateful to Fangirl for giving us sweet, handsome, adorable, loyal Levi. I adore that guy.

  2. maggiederrick

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked this book up in a store only to leave without it. I’ve always wanted to read it, yet I’ve never quite found myself in the right mood.

    I’m sure I’ll get around to it eventually though. As opposed to yourself, it sounds like I’d likely see quite a bit of myself (or at least a younger version of myself) in Cath. I’ve never been anywhere near her levels of obsession, but I spent most of high school preferring to spend time in the fan-communities that sprung up around the stories, music and shows I loved. Even all these years later I still get a lot of joy out of fandom!

    I think it’s interesting that your strong response to Cath impacted your ability to enjoy the book that much. Was it simply just that you didn’t find her relatable or was there more to it than that? Isn’t it amazing what a difference it makes when you can’t emotionally connect to a main character?

    What would you say was the primary conflict/objective that drove the story?

    1. Chloe McKay Post author

      It was definitely Cath that made the story negative for me it wasn’t that she was a fangirl I loved that about her because I have definitely been there especially as a teen (and still do geek out sometimes). But it was more her resistance to experience life outside of the fictional world that was problematic for me. It was a real struggle for her character and it drove me nuts. The Primary conflict in the story is between Cath and her twin sister Wren and the down turn their relationship takes after coming to university. Also, their absent mother wants to come back into the picture and that only adds to the on-going strain on their relationship.

  3. mensrea3

    While reading Fangirl I kept thinking that it wouldn’t be surprising if Cath doesn’t feel relatable to a lot of readers and so, after reading your review, I completely understand your feelings about Cath and her behaviour.
    To me, Cath was a much relatable character and I found Rainbow Rowell’s exploration of an 18-year-old girl with probable Generalised Anxiety Disorder quite interesting! 🙂


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