So I’m super excited to read all your thoughts and feelings on Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, which was out first book club book. Before we get into that and start talking spoilers, I thought I’d announce the book for the next month.
I’ve chosen Station 11 by Emily St. John Mandel. It’s a dystopian fiction novel set in the not too distant future during and after a pandemic has wiped out much of the world’s population and society as we know it collapses. The story focuses on Kirsten, a survivor who travels with a group who try to keep art and music alive in the post-pandemic ravaged world.
Apart from that, I know nothing about it except that it has excellent reviews and has been hugely successful.
I’m really looking forward to reading this, it’s been on my list for about 6 months!
Fangirl Review *spoilers below!*
I must start my review with a caveat – when I chose Fangirl I knew nothing about it and I had never read any other Rainbow Rowell novels. It may seem silly to run a book club with limited knowledge of my choices…but that’s the whole point really because I want to read along with everyone else and have my own organic responses to the story.
So here are my thoughts!
- Overall, I enjoyed it immensely and devoured it quickly, reading the whole lot in about 3-4 days.
- For some reason (no idea why!) before I started I thought it was set in the UK and it took me a few chapters to get my head around the Nebraska setting, but once I did I found it a refreshing location. Nice change from the usual Dublin, New York, London settings of typical chick lit.
- It was much more YA(young adult) than I thought, but this was no problem for me because I read a lot of that genre.
- I noticed a lot of people disliked the Fan Fiction / Simon & Baz stuff. I enjoyed it as a sideline because I am a long time Harry Potter fan and it interests me to see how others take on those stories and ideas.
- Further to this, I found the online / fan fiction element really enjoyable as it was current and interesting, especially to me as I can relate to “writing things on the internet” and spending time devoted to that. I can also relate to having an online persona.
- I found Cath (and Wren to some degree) very hard to like in the first half of the book.
- I felt the mental health issues element of the story, with their father and to a degree, with them, could have been explored more fully. It was glossed over a bit and probably not given the attention it deserved.
- I loved Levi, he was by far my fave. He is my latest fictional boyfriend. (He joins an illustrious club presided by Mr Darcy, of course.) I felt like Cath should have shown more interest in him and his life. She was a bit too bound up in herself and her writing.
- It’s chasteness was kind of irritating at times, I occasionally wanted to shout “OH JUST KISS HIM FOR GOODNESS SAKE!”
- I saw the Nick / plagiarism story line coming a mile away.
- I felt there wasn’t much of a resolution to the story, however real life isn’t like that and we know she ended up with Levi, repaired her relationship with Wren and completed an award winning piece of writing for her class. All things considered, the story line gently ties things up over the last few chapters rather than just right at the end.
- Overall, fun and light hearted but with a bit more depth than a usual college romance story.
Three stars! ***
Due to the huge online response (fan fiction!) towards the Simon & Baz story, Rainbow Rowell has just released a novel called Carry On which is their stand alone story, but her take on it, rather than continuing Cath’s fan fiction version of Carry On.
Over to you! I’d love to hear what you loved and hated about Fangirl! Comment away and give a star rating!