Audiobook Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Posted on 08/20/2014 in Book Review / 4 Comments

Audiobook Review: Fangirl by Rainbow RowellFangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Published by MacMillan, St. Martin's Press on September 10, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon

In Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, 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? Open her heart to someone? Or will she just go on living inside somebody else’s fiction?

When I find an author I like, I tend to devour everything he or she has ever written. And then, with authors that I absolutely love (here’s to you, Stephen King and Karen Marie Moning), I read and re-read, and read again. So when I read Eleanor & Park a couple of months ago, and loved it, I knew I had to read everything by Rainbow Rowell.  I was excited when I got an email from the library telling me that the audiobook of Fangirl was ready for me to download. I immediately liked Cather. She was quirky and nerdy, but in a completely good way.  She and her twin, Wren (their mother wasn’t expecting twins and only had one name picked out – so she split it between them) are going off to college, and Wren is pulling away – she got a drastic haircut, doesn’t want to be roommates, and is basically a complete jerk to Cath for a large portion of the book.  I thought Cath cut her way too much slack most of the time.  Although Cath feels very alone, she has millions of online fans – she is an extremely popular writer of Simon Snow (a very  Harry Potter-esque story) fan fiction. I’ve never been into fan fic – I’ve never read any, and to be honest, never had a desire to. But I can definitely understand how someone can get so wrapped up in a world, and how they can love the characters so much that they want to create new stories for them.  Simon Snow is another thing that Wren has now outgrown, but Cath is determined to finish her version of the story before the final book in the series comes out. Lucky for her, Cath’s roommate, Reagan, was awesome. Sarcastic and blunt, she was exactly the kind of friend that Cath needed. A little intimidating, a little pushy, but a perfect match for the quiet and inexperienced Cather. And Levi…where do I start with Levi?! Optimistic and sweet, I liked Levi from the beginning.  His upbeat personality and sense of humor made him someone I would definitely be friends with. There were so many things that I loved about the way this story played out (although I was frustrated with Cath a few times), but I don’t want to spoil anything. I loved watching Cath on her journey through her Freshman year of college. I definitely gained worlds of knowledge and life experience in that one year, and even though our experiences were vastly different, I enjoyed watching Cath grow. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is a great book, at least in the opinion of this self-proclaimed nerd. It had been awhile since I had listened to an audiobook, and I enjoyed it. The narrators, Rebecca Lowman and Maxwell Caulfield, were great. Rebecca did a great job of differentiating between voices without being overly dramatic. Maxwell narrated the Simon Snow passages that prefaced the chapters. I enjoyed these glimpses into the fictional series, and his voice and accent were perfect for it.  So far, I’m two for two with Rainbow Rowell. I think I’ll skip Landline based on Jennifer’s review, but I look forward to reading all of her other books and discovering more awesomely nerdy characters.

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Jessica’s addiction to books began at age 4, going on weekly trips to the library with her mom. After being a young fan of Sweet Valley High and The Baby-Sitters Club, she discovered the thrill of reading a book that made her want to leave the light on and check under the bed. Her all-time favorite author is Stephen King, but she will read just about anything! Jessica never leaves home without her e-reader, and considers it the best gift she ever received. Her other hobbies include running and going to Disney World as often as possible.


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4 responses to “Audiobook Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

  1. EM @ Books and Iced Coffee

    I really enjoyed reading Fangirl and by the looks of it, the audiobook seems like something worthy of my time 🙂 I absolutely enjoyed reading about the characters! Cath was so relatable to me as I used to be so active in writing HP fan fiction (no lie!)This book brought back so many good memories! And I, too, enjoyed seeing her character develop throughout the book. I think Rainbow Rowell did a spectacular job with it. I’m looking forward to reading more of her books, esp Eleanor and Park, since it is the book pick of the month for my reading group 😀 (You should join us sometime!!!)
    EM @ Books and Iced Coffee’s latest thoughts >> Book Review: Battle of the Labyrinth By Rick Riordan

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