Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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Goodreads Summary:
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?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

My Review

I have been meaning to read Fangirl since I discovered the title years ago when it first came out. I mean a book titled Fangirl? The very thing I epitomize, I had to get my hands on it! I bought it over the summer and here I am months later and I can’t believe I hadn’t read this little wonder sooner!

I related to Fangirl on almost a cellular level! Which might be kind of sad depending on how you look at it, I mean I am definitely not as socially awkward or introverted as Cath but I definitely felt like we were kindred  spirits when it came to certain characteristics. Rowell created a character who was so very aware of her vulnerablity but was still proud of who she was. She embraced her nerd on all platforms and was happy to show it. The story follows Cath as she enters college with her twin sister but must come to terms with the fact that her sister whom she’s shared everything with since birth is growing in a very different direction than she is. She is thrown into an atmosphere that is totally alien to her and she must adapt in the only way she knows how which is to further embrace her introversion.

Cath’s experiences and reactions were so heartfelt, and even though this story isn’t entirely fast paced, I found myself consumed by the content. The characters just felt so real, and the situations got to me. I had to make sure that Cath was going to be okay with so many new developments. I wanted to see her succeed, and most importantly, I wanted to see her relationships blossom. Fangirl is a beautiful coming of age story that spoke volumes to me and made me reflective. Rowell wrote so many amazing lines, that had me putting down the book to just contemplate what she said.

If you are looking for a lovely contemporary romance or college coming of age story, then I would most definitely recommend you reading Fangirl! Buy it on Amazon here!

Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

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Goodreads Summary:

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.


Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. 

My Review

I am so conflicted over this book!! I listened to it on audio, which is maybe weird for this genre, but oh well! This was also my first Rainbow Rowell read! I don’t really know how to feel about it, I can tell you how I felt immediately after reading it which was 100% pissed! However, now after some reflection/research I might have liked it a little more than I thought.

The story focuses on the perspective of Eleanor and Park as they first meet and encounter one another’s very differing lifestyles. Park lives an easy going life surrounded by parents who love him and friends who value his opinion. Eleanor lives in a poor house with her mother, many siblings and abusive stepdad. Everyone at school makes fun of her and she keeps to herself as much as possible. So when Park seems to pay particularly close attention to Eleanor, she is most certainly not ready for it, and before she knows it, her feelings grow from fascinated friendship to first love affection.

I felt so sad for Eleanor throughout the book! She had such spirit, yet she was constantly suppressed by the people around her! Her relationship with Park was adorable, I absolutely loved their interactions! And let me just say, that Rowell has quite the powerful narration up her sleeve with some epic lines that had me stopping to contemplate my role in the universe!

I wanted so badly for there to be a happy ending!! I was kind of disappointed…the ending was not quite unhappy but not quite happy either! It was super ambiguous which KILLED ME!!  I needed to see things work out in a natural order, but I guess I need to give Rowell props in being very realistic with the way things ended, which was in a way that was best for everyone, even if that was not necessarily best for the reader.

Eleanor & Park was definitely not what I expected, but I’m glad I read it. Give it a go if you’re looking for a sweet yet heart wrenching romance. Buy it on Amazon here!