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October 7, 2014

Review: Fangirl by @RainbowRowell

First Chapter, First Paragraph is a weekly meme hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea

FangirlFirst Chapter, First Paragraph

There was a boy in her room.
Cath looked up at the number painted on the door, then down at the room assignment in her hand.
Pound Hall, 913.
This was definitely room 913, but maybe it wasn't Pound Hall - all these dormitories looked alike, like public housing towers for the elderly  Maybe Cath should try to catch her dad before he brought up the rest of her boxes.
"You must be Cather", the boy said, grinning and holding out his hand.
"Cath," She said, feeling a panicky jump in her stomach. She ignored his hand. (She was holding a box anyway, what did he expect from her?)
This was a mistake - this had to be a mistake. She knew that Pound was a co-ed dorm... Is there such a thing as co-ed rooms?

The Review

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell has been on my to read list for a long time. I had been approved for a Netgalley ARC when the book first came out, but this was before I knew to check archive dates and the galley expired before I got to it. Every time I went into a book store or the library I was drawn to it, but there were too many books in my review pile. So I was super excited to see it listed at the digital download library as an audio book AND it was available for immediate download. SCORE!

I figured Fangirl could go one of two was - be corny and mock fandoms or be really cute and poke fun at the sometimes over the top fanaticism. I'm happy to report it was the latter. I giggled through the whole story. Rowell crafted some great lines and if I hadn't been listening to the audio book I would have a long list of witty lines to share with you. And they were delivered wonderfully by the narrator Rebecca Lowman.

Fangirl took me back to my own college days. Cath and Wren are twins (their mother didn't know she was having twins and only had picked out one name) who are starting college. Though they are identical they are like opposite sides of the same coin. At first I thought Cath was just an introvert, but she is almost debilitatingly so. She didn't even know where the dining hall was for her own dorm community and was too shy to even ask her roommate. She found it only because her roommate thought she had an eating disorder and forced her to the dining hall. By the way, I loved Reagan. And I want my own Levi. He's so sweet and doesn't love Cath despite her weirdness (her word) but because of it.

I hated when the end of the story came. I wasn't ready for it to end. I want more of Cath and Wren and Levi and Reagan. Is there going to be a sequel?

I think I would rate Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell as one of my top 5 favorite coming of age stories. It was made all the better because it incorporated all the fun cliches and hit just the right tone for poking fun at fan fiction and fandoms (in the way that only members of a fandom can poke fun at one another and not be hurtful). If you are part of a fanfic fandom and can't laugh at yourself, then you might want to skip this book. But really it is just kind of tongue in cheek comedy. And it was just a bonus. The best parts were the developing relationship between Cath and Levi. This relationship is also why I want a sequel. I'm just not ready to say goodbye to this adorable couple. Hmm... I wonder if there is a fandom for Fangirl....

If you are looking for a fun, light read then look no further than Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. It should be on every girl's reading list.

Buy Fangirl at Amazon

Book info:
Available formats: ebook, audio, print (448 pages)
Published: September 2013 by Listening Library ISBN13: 9780804121316
Genres: humor, coming of age, chicklit, romance
Audience: New adult
Source: Digital Library
Listened: October 2014

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the above link.


  1. I have Fangirl on Sparky, my Kindle, and downloaded it after reading and loving two of the author's books, Attachments and Landline. But they were adult books, and the YA aspect of this one gave me pause. But now I'm moving it up on the list.

    Here's mine: “THE BOOKSELLER”

    1. I didn't really think it read like a YA novel. The main character is a college kid who is learning to be an adult and all the mistakes and awkwardness that comes with that stage. But there is a good message of being true to yourself and what is truly important doesn't change with age.

  2. Good opener -- made me smile. I haven't read this one yet!

  3. I love Rainbow Rowell. Attachments is my favorite of her books, but I enjoyed this, too. My book this week is Don't Let Go

  4. I haven't read Rainbow Rowell, but hear lots about her and need to give her a try. Is this book where the expression "fangirling" came from?

    Here's Mine:

    1. I think the term fangirling was around before the book. I suspect that is why she used it as the title.

  5. I enjoy coming-of-age stories, and this sounds like a delightful one. I've heard good things about it.
    My Tuesday post features SAVING SHELBY SUMMERS.

  6. I recently enjoyed Eleanor & Park on audio. This sounds like another good one!

  7. I am glad you enjoyed this one. I have been curious about it and do want to read it at some point.

  8. Rainbow Rowell is on my list of must-try authors, and I have copy of Landline sitting patiently in one of my reading piles . . .

  9. I like that intro a lot and hope to read this one soon. Thanks for joining us this week and hope you become a regular.

  10. I loved this book. I listened on audio.

  11. I've read Eleanor and Park and liked it and have heard good things about this book too. Enjoy your book and Have a nice week! kelley—the road goes ever ever on