#BTBBC: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell Book Review

I read this book before but I got tired twenty pages after and then abandoned it on my phone for the last few months that have passed. Now last month (July), the exclusive collector's edition got me interested, since it was pink and idk what got into me and bought it on B&N. Right after I got the package, I found myself just staring at it for a few weeks and then came the book club that I recently joined, the Back to Backlist Book Club (#BTBBC), and the book of the month [August] was Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. It was a votation and I voted for the book mainly because it was convenient for me since I have a copy of my own and so after the votation period, it was announced that the book of the month was Fangirl and I was psyched! IDK why. :\

So anyway, that got me into finally finishing the book that I have abandoned a long time ago.

Fangirl is a cutesy story about a fangirl, obviously, who is obsessed about Simon and Baz, a fictional character from the famous Simon Snow series by Gemma T. Leslie which is somewhat similar to the Harry Potter series in real life. Cath is our ultimate fangirl in the book, who writes fan fiction and her stories are famous in the online community. She enters college and tries so hard not to entertain people and just focus on her fan fic and then go to classes and that was probably her plan until her room mate just can't take it anymore and then they became friends and then a lot has happened and then she has this mom problem, dad problem, twin problem, fiction writing problem, Nick problem, plagiarism problem, boy problem and basically every problem that stacks up until you don't know which one to knock out first.

Okay, so basically that was the story, I hope I made a good description of the book but I'm not so good with that so just bear with me, wormiees.

Reading the book for the second time, I still found myself bored with the fanfic part. I mean, for the first few chapters, I was reading it, but then as I go on, I found myself not really caring at all about what Simon Snow is doing or not doing or anything so I just skipped it all the way to the end! I mean, every end of the chapter, there is a Simon Snow related page that has nothing to do with the chapter, and it's just there, you know? It's not like I won't make it through the book without reading it. I guess it's just for effect. But anyway, I did not read all of those after chapter Simon-related paragraphs, just so you know.

I feel like there is a lot of missing links in this book, even unsolved problems, I guess.

First is the issue about Abel. Um, that's it? It wasn't even elaborated in the book, even for just a few paragraph about Cath and Abel's real (or unreal for that matter) relationship. What the hell is what-you-and-Abel-have-isn't-real-it's-an-end-table-bla-bla pep talk all about? Don't you think we deserve a glimpse of what that end table is all about? Like 3 or 4 or whatever years is short enough to ignore for all of them? Even if it's a dead end between Abel and Cath, the friendship was still built you know? It's not just okay-it's-over-between-us kind of thing. Please? What, he's just a filler? He's just there to add some spice to the story? Which ended up not adding any flavor to the mix after all, by the way.

*calm down*

What I am saying here is, Abel and Cath are friends. It's not something that they can just throw out the window. They could have wrap all the loose ends nicely at the end of the book. It's just that, this book felt like there were a lot of unresolved problems that were just abandoned after it was laid out in front of us. Cath found Levi, and Abel found another girl, they both know what they had wasn't real, so there should be something in there you know? Like "hey, we both know it's freaking end table but you are still my friend and we should not waste our friendship over finding the real thing for both of us" kind of thing.

Next is the mother problem.

I think that this book has a lot of problems in it. Real life problems but somehow it chooses to ignore the reality and focused more on the teenage problem that are a bit shallow. Forgive me, yes I think this is a struggle for some young adults--facing the reality of growing up and leaving the comforts of being young behind but let's face it, Rainbow Rowell threw in bunch of serious problems in this book but she chose to ignore those and resolved the ones that I think she thinks are more suitable for young adult readers, but come to think of it, many young adult readers experience family problems and resolving these problems in this book doesn't change the fact that the intended audience is for young adults. It is deep, it is serious,but readers find comfort in what they read, and readers find solace and companion in a book that understands them and not the other way around.

Wren, Cath's identical twin sister, is broken. So is Cath. But Wren has a different way of venting out the problems that she chooses to ignore in her crumbling teenage life. It all started with their mother, of course. Their freaking mother who can't handle the life of being a mother; their freaking mother who did not take the responsibility of being a freaking mother of two growing beautiful twins because she's not freaking ready to be a F*CKING mother! *okay, calm down*

Back to the mother problem. It wasn't resolved. It was just a passing thing in this book. She's just a passing conflict that is not worthy enough to be resolved in the book. Wren wants to welcome her back into her life just to fill a hole in her heart that only her mother could fill. Not the alcohol, not the boys, not anything or anyone else but the mother only. Cath didn't want her and I understand because the mother didn't want them so that's just it, no question about that. We may have different opinions about it but yeah, it's Cath's decision and I totes understand her.

What I hate about the mother problem is that, as a character, she's disposable. Whether Wren wants her or not, or whether Cath could hate her or not, she's just a small character that can totally be erased in a single stroke. The only depth the mother gave into this story was the brokenness she instilled in her daughters' hearts. I don't really know, I just think I was looking for something more out of their mother problem. The last of her was in the hospital and all she said was she's not a part of all that and Cath gave her a chance. The only chance that she'll ever gonna get to be a part of Cath's life but she's just chicken about all of it. She just did not reach out as much as she needed to. If she really want to be a part of her children's life, she should be the one to make the huge effort and not the other way around.

I was disappointed, to be honest. The book was cute, the characters were cute everything that Rainbow Rowell does was cute but all of the cuteness ended there and as much as I want this book to be beautiful and memorable, it wasn't for me. I have a lot of issues with it and there were tons of problems compressed in a single book. There were parts that I enjoyed and there were a lot of good parts, no doubt to that so after venting out my issues, I'll go the good part now!

The gradual romance is the best thing ever. Levi is love but he was such a douche in a later scene that made my heart broken... shattered, but she made that up by being the funny guy that we all love and adore. Levi *heart heart heart* Okay, I love it okay? There was a lot of okay okay okay okay in this book that everytime I see one I would have to put a sticky note and write, "Okay? Okay." in it. Get it? Get it. :D Levi is so adorable Levi is just the coolest person to hang out with... in your bed... Oopsies, that doesn't sound right, right? But if you read the book, you'll probably know what I'm talking about. Yeah? Yeah.

Cath was a good character, not great, she's dull and boring. The only time she's alive is when Levi grins or when Reagan curses. But anyway, her story is not forced, it's not hurried and she's a special kind of misfit that we all relate to. College is not easy and weaving through crowds of people that is not your kind of crowd can be tiring so she tuned herself out and made herself her best companion but here comes my favorite character of all, Reagan, she saved Cath from being crazy and sick while being the coolest chick ever! Cath is a character that everyone can relate to. She's not one of the strong ones but she definitely represents a part of us fangirls at heart.

The only reason I gave the book a 3 (on goodreads) is because I enjoyed some parts even though  I questioned half of it, but it's cool and cute and the book (physically) was beautiful, so there's that. My actual rating was 2.9 sooo.Yeah. :)

The book was good because Rainbow is a good writer, adored by a lot of teenagers and young adults, no doubt. Her writing is easy to get into and her characters are weaved to be someone that is totally us in real life. And the scenes where Reagan and Levi are a part of? Damn, those are def the good ones! All in all, a good book that everyone loves (but not me :D), give it a try and tell me what you think about it.


  1. I've read this book last summer during my summer classes and I must say, there were instances that I was really disappointed and mad and hell yeah, you're right with the mother part. Her twins are already big and she still can't be a mother to them even in times that Cath's twin sister needed her the most and I hated Cath's twin sister because of being wasted all the time. I don't get it why other girls in reality are into those things but good thing, her boyfriend is nice. On the Levi part, I always smile from ear to ear every time I'm already reading his part with Cath. This line always hit me hard to the point that I used it as a caption on my picture, replaced Cath's name with my name of course. Hahaha. Here it goes, "Hey, Cath," Levi said, kicking her chair. She could hear the teasing in his voice. "Will you warn me when you take off your glasses?" :")

    1. I really thought I would love this book because a lot of people does. But damn, the mixed issues just ruined it for me.

      I don't remember that line but it sounds so cute! Omg!

    2. Maybe you should re-read the book so you will notice it again. Hahaha! :) I love that line since I wear glasses. Hihi :) *kilig*

  2. The book would have been promising. It's cute and all. But I totally agree with the fanfic part. Just... not my cup of tea. I have read all Rainbow Rowell books (this was actually the first) and Fangirl got my lowest rating. Sorry not sorry. I think, I may have skipped plenty Simon-Baz fanfics by Cath. Though I can extremely relate to her personality... because I'm somewhat like her. lol. And also Levi was plus. But that's about it.

    Good review by the way. Just discovered your blog thru PBB list. *winks*

    - Erika E. @ The Nocturnal Fey (http://thenocturnalfey.blogspot.com/)

    1. I wanted to skip the fanfic part but I just can't because I felt like there would be a connection to it with the next chapter. Have you noticed it? Though I was also inspired if maybe I could make my own fanfics too but nah, it was time consuming. :(

      Augustin Ra | http://augustinra.blogspot.com/

    2. @Augustin Ra, yeah. I only skipped those which I think are pretty irrelevant to the story. I'm just not really a fan of fan fics. Any fan fics. I've never tried reading one. I always stick to the original sorry. Dunno why, maybe just some pet peeves? Haha

    3. Tin, I also thought that there would be connection so I tried, for the sake of its essence on the book, to read it, but dropped it halfway. HAHAHAH

      Erika, me too. I want the orig. story and this is actually my first time reading fan fic and one that is broken down into single pages every chapter hahahaha