Friday, January 10, 2014

Audiobook Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Completed: January 7, 2014
Length: 12 Hours, 48 Mins (433 Pages)
Narrated By: Rebecca Lowman and Maxwell Caulfield

Synopsis from Audible:
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?
In 2013 I read Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I started seeing it around the blogosphere, was having a hard time reading anything, and thought I would splurge and take a chance on it. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it and it made my Best of list for 2013. This meant I was going to have to try Rowell's other books. Fangirl sounded like a 'me' book, so I went with that one next.

I haven't used this reviewing method in years and thought I would dust it off:

Fiction or non-fiction? Genre?: Fiction. I don't know, I would say Young Adult, but I guess there is also something called New Adult now. Contemporary whichever one it is.

What Lead You to Pick Up This Book?: Well, like I said above I really liked Eleanor & Park, but also I started seeing this one around everyone and was hoping to make it my last read of 2013, but my audiobook before it was a chunkster and took longer than I planned.

Summarize the Plot: Well, the book mostly centres around Cath. She is in her first year of university and dealing with many changes. She is a twin and is used to always having her sister around, but her sister, Wren, decides she wants her freedom this year. This means she now has to deal with a room-mate, a new school, etc. all on her own. She is also obsessed with Simon Snow, which is the major fandom in Rowell's world. She writes a very popular fan fiction called "Carry On" re-imagining the relationships and storyline of the popular series. This book details what it is like to strike out on your own, but also has those connections that keep you grounded.

What Did You Like Most About The Book? I don't even know what it was that called to me with this book... The characters all come to life on the page. Cath loves fantasy novels and doesn't know how to 'think' in the real world. She is a writer that I would read. I liked the relationships presented in this book. It actually covers a lot: boyfriend/girlfriend, boyfriend/boyfriend, sisters, friends, mother/daughter, father/daughter... Honestly, a lot happens in this book. I could go on and on.

What Did You Like Least? There was nothing that really jumped out at me. I don't think the book was necessarily perfect, but it worked and I have no major complaint.

What Did You Think of The Writing Style? Rainbow Rowell is an awesome writer. She is engaging, witty, and her words definitely fly off the page. She can make what doesn't seem like it should be a page turner a page turner.

What Did You Think of the Main Character? I loved Cath. She was a flawed character, written really well, and I loved her for who she was. This was in many ways a bit of a coming of age novel and I enjoyed watching Cath grow through the novel.

What Did You Think of the Ending? I loved it. I think it summed up the novel very well. I was sad to see the story end, but I can't complain about how it ended.

Strongly recommended! (So much so that I bought the paperback just so I can reread it!)

Thoughts on the Audio: I really liked Rebecca Lowman's narration. It really felt like she was telling you a story and had a very listenable voice. I believe she narrates all of Rowell's books, so I predict I will be listening to the others even though I own them in paperback.


  1. I absolutely adored this one on audio, too.

  2. I read this one but I'd love to listen to the audio. Maxwell Caulfield!

  3. I love Rowell too! I liked this book a lot but liked Eleanor and Park even more.

  4. I haven't read either yet, though I want to, and it makes me feel like my boat is out at sea far away from the reading boats of everyone else....sigh.

  5. I MUST start reading Rowell. I'm so behind.

  6. I've only read one by Rowell, but I really liked it. Still have Eleanor and Park on my list, but I'm adding Fangirl!

  7. Ugh! Another author that I've been meaning to try but haven't yet. And another author that I saw all over the best of lists for last year. I definitely need to put this book on hold as well :)

  8. LOL! There have been several books where I've enjoyed the audio so much that I bought the book. Ha! I think I'll probably get this one when I build up a few more audible credits. It is a lot longer than Eleanor & Park, though!

  9. Yay, so glad to hear you enjoyed this one so much! I still need to read it but sort of didn't want to read it so soon after E&P.

  10. Anonymous8:33 PM

    Glad you liked this one! I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

  11. I can't wait to read this one! I don't expect it to knock my socks off the way Eleanor and Park did, but I'm still excited for it.

  12. I've seen mostly good reviews about this one, and am glad you enjoyed it.


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