Friday 28 October 2016

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more - she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she's experienced in real life.
Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. She's got a surly room-mate 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.
Now Cath has to decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she's realizing that there's more to learn about love than she ever thought possible . . .
A love story about opening your heart by Rainbow Rowell, the New York Times bestselling author ofEleanor & Park.
Fangirl now comes with special bonus material; the first chapter from Rainbow's irresistible novel Carry On.

Review: I know I am late to the party with this one but i had actually bought two copies of this already so it's not all bad! I ended up getting the audiobook of this one so it would finally force me to read it after having bought the paperback and a collectors edition and having some of the children that i teach read it and tell me how good it is, some of them came to me to borrow it for a re-read and then bought it themselves so I had testament that I should be reading it, and so should you!

So I love the idea of twins going off to university but not sharing a room and trying to make their own way in the world. I also love the idea of someone taking a writing class and someone being a secret fan-fiction writer. Basically the premise behind this book was extremely attractive to me and I want dispaointed. This book also featured the feelings you get when you first go off to university. Not wanting to hang out in the communal eating areas, not knowing who to sit with and what happens when someone tells you there's something wrong with what you've always been good with. This books also deals with the issues of mental health and alcoholism and so it really has It all in one package! 

The characters in this book include the twins I have already mentioned wren (awesome name!) and cath. They are great characters, very relatable and very likeable. They don't come off as too similar on the page so it would be interesting to see whether they were very similar if they were real and I met them... We also have a couple of love interests in the book, one works in a library and one works at Starbucks, I have no idea how I would choose between these two, seemingly perfect, guys, how awesome are both those jobs! We also have Caths and Wrens respective roommates and their parents. I thought it was interesting that the parents exist as their own separate entities in this novel, not just as the girls' parents. It was an interesting choice but definitely one I approve of. 

The structure of this book is a chapter about Cath and her time at university preceded and proceeded by a chapter of either an extract from Simon Snow or an extract of Simon Snow Fanfiction. I have to admit that I wasn't a massive fan of these extracts and didn't feel that they linked the storyline very well. I might have preferred if they were linked to the same issues that Cath was dealing with. They sometimes did but it would have felt a little more cohesive if this were always the case. The great thing for me was knowing that Carry On, Cath's fan fiction about Simon is out as a whole book so I could get to read it afterwards (I'm reading it now!) and so I did switch off a little during the non-cath based chapters. 

I also really connected with the setting. This book is set in Nebraska and I just literally went to Nebraska for the first time a week before I started this book. I could picture the landscape and the characteristics and Cath and Wren and co resonated with me more deeply because I knew where they were coming from and what it was like there. I love when a book has a real setting that I can actually visit! 

Overall I'm glad I finally got round to reading this book, I don't regret leaving it so long though because I don't feel I was affected by the initial hype that came when this books was first released. I like that fact that I can read the spin off Carry On and I know that my opinions in this review are not affected by any hype other than the popularity this book has had with my pupils. I listened to this book on audiobook but i do love my special edition hardback so I'll let you choose for yourself what format you want to read this book in, just know that you should be adding it to your TBR regardless if you haven't already! 

To grab yourself a copy, just click here!

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