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It s like Rainbow Rowell writes in peanut butter and stolen moments and lazy eyelash wishes That s the best and only way I can describe it It s 433 pages of a guaranteed good day.I m so jealous of you guys right now, it s crazy Because I can t read this book for the first time again.So when you finish it, and you re just sitting there all thoughtful and wordless grinning like an 8th grader with prom tickets You re not alone This book s about the good ol college experience ahem It s like Rainbow Rowell writes in peanut butter and stolen moments and lazy eyelash wishes That s the best and only way I can describe it It s 433 pages of a guaranteed good day.I m so jealous of you guys right now, it s crazy Because I can t read this book for the first time again.So when you finish it, and you re just sitting there all thoughtful and wordless grinning like an 8th grader with prom tickets You re not alone This book s about the good ol college experience ahem The Realistic Kind Butimportantly, it s about Cath Avery s college experience and all the life lessons in between.Cath is such a phenomenal character Because she s both tough and endearing Plus, she has this super quick and snarky wit that s freaking hilarious in every way possible And she s kind of this cool eccentric, totally awkward girl I mean, she writes fan fiction and she s famous but anonymous for it, people make her nervous which is where that snarky wit of hers comes in , and she has a twin sister who s also her best friend and is Cath s total opposite.But I think my favorite thing about Cath is that she s so damn relatable She worries about the same things you and I do like, Good god what happens when and if I m late to class Should I knock Just walk right in and give the professor my coffee and pretend that s why I was late in the first place Should I bearcrawl my way to my seat and hope no one noticesJust random, stupid things like that but that totally make a difference when you re in the moment, know what I mean And she s always been so codependent on her fanfiction stories and on her very independent twin sister that she gets to college and finds out that she can t be that way any She has to learn to speak up for herself, and to be that awkward girl, and to be totally okay with it So in a way, this book s about first experiences the good and the bad and seeing it through the eyes of an awesome awkward totally kickass girl who s both the girl she was and the girl she s going to be You re also going to meet these completely hilarious and awesome characters who aren t just characters, they re people full of character Like Reagan, Cath s dorm roomieShe did everything so forcefully She swung their door open she slammed it shut She was bigger than Cath, a little taller and lotbuxom seriously, buxom She just seemed bigger On the inside, tooWren, her sisterWren had always been the Social One The Friendly One The one who got invited to quinceaneras and birthday parties But before in junior high and high school everyone knew that if you invited Wren, you got Cath They were a package deal, even at dances There were three years worth of photos, taken at every homecoming, of Cath and Wren standing with their dates under an archway of balloons or in front of a glittery curtain.They were a package deal, period Since always Cath s single parent dadDad Hey, Cath Dad Why haven t you called me I left you a million messages You left me too many messages You shouldn t be calling me or even thinking about me You re in college now Move on It s just school, Dad It s not like we have irreconcilable differences Honey, I ve watched a lot of 90210 The parents weren t even on the show once Brandon and Brenda went to college This is your time you re supposed to be going to frat parties and getting back together with Dylan Why does everyone want me to go to frat parties Who wants you to go to frat parties I was just kidding Don t hang out with frat guys, Cath, they re terrible All they do is get drunk and watch 90210And there s Levi.Levi s definitely my runner up for favorite character He s not the hottest guy on campus and he s not all broody and oozing sex appeal He s the guy you want to come home to when there are puddles rivering through the sidewalks, and he s the cute guy you want to call when you ve just had the best two minutes of your life and you want to tell someone, and he s the cute and amazing guy you want to walk you home late at night and who s going to open your doors for you and make you laugh when your lower lip s trembling from trying to hold a bad day in Levi s just that guy who every girl is going to meet, has already met, and wants to meet Does that make sense He s realistic, because he s completely imperfect and is perfect in the ways that matter Especially for Cath They go from being acquaintances, to friends, and turn into something inseparable And these two banter the entire way through that s going to make you laugh and keep you laughingtalking about Wren, her twin sister, and Wren s boyfriend Maybe we should go on lots of double dates, Cath said, and then we can get married on the same day in a double ceremony, in matching dresses, and the four of us will light the unity candle all at the same time Pfft, Levi said, I m picking out my own dressThe way these two characters intertwine with each other and evolve towards each other in the book is where the story really is Because they go from bantering friends to two people who become solid in each other s lives Their relationship is sweet, funny, comfortable, and comforting All in one And there s just this overall warmth about them when they re together on the page So we re barely in September and I m already thinking about going ahead and giving this book the Best Book of the Year award And I think I m going to Because books like this don t come around too often and I d be lucky to read a book like this in the next five years.Fucking amazing IDK WHAT TO SAY OTHER THAN I LOVED IT IT WAS SO GOOD GO READ IT IF YOU HAVEN T. It s time for Rainbow Rowell and I to break up.I didn t want to admit it, but after reading all of her books now, I can safely say her writing style just isn t for me It s like that time I cheerfully broke up with Cassandra Clare, though, admittedly, over different reasons But this time it hurts It wounds me to realize that I can t join in with all my friends, ride the Rainbow iz Queen bandwagon, roll around in a meadow of flowers that magically whispers witty Rainbow Rowell quotes and feast It s time for Rainbow Rowell and I to break up.I didn t want to admit it, but after reading all of her books now, I can safely say her writing style just isn t for me It s like that time I cheerfully broke up with Cassandra Clare, though, admittedly, over different reasons But this time it hurts It wounds me to realize that I can t join in with all my friends, ride the Rainbow iz Queen bandwagon, roll around in a meadow of flowers that magically whispers witty Rainbow Rowell quotes and feast at the Fangirl banquet I know it may seem foolish to be disappointed I mean, what can a person physically do No book can be universally loved and I did give it the good old college try.Here s the thing For all intents and purposes, I should have loved Fangirl The strange thing about my reading experience with Fangirl is that I actually deeply connected with all of the characters on a personal level As a person who suffers from anxiety and has dealt with a father who was admitted to a mental hospital when I was a teen, I sympathized with Cath I remembered those feelings of craving independence from my sibling as Wren did I understand having an intense passion for a fandom and being at midnight parties, waiting for the next book in your favorite series I even connected with Laura s inability to handle life as a mom In a lot of ways, quite a few of the experiences these characters dealt with, I have dealt with For that reason alone, I gave this book an extra star Unfortunately, that was not enough for me.Rainbow Rowell lives and breathes characters They are fluid, realistic for the most part Eleanor Park excluded , memorable, flawed, and relatable These aren t the type of characters that stay on the page They shout, scream and jump out at you because Rowell is just that good But it s also her flaw because that s all she writes, characters In fact, many times it feels like her stories have neither a beginning or an ending, with the reader viewing a piece of a character s life through a small window of time So I m convinced that Rowell can t plot her way out of a brown paper bag.I know that might anger some of you, but hear me out.Fangirl is a very character driven novel and doesn t actually have a plot Rowell s created these characters, placed them in situations and forced them to react to said situations She s great at that But where does the book go from there Which direction are the characters moving What are they moving towards What s the goal of the novel These are some questions I ve asked myself through every one of her books And I often feel like I m floundering around in her prose like someone who s gone swimming in the ocean drunk Everything around these characters is static Only they move from point A to point B to further the story along Because of this, if you don t happen to fall in love with the characters early on, the story doesn t work Rainbow Rowell s characters ARE her stories.One thing positive that came out of reading all of Rowell s books is that, I ve learned that I am not the character driven sort of reader I mof a reader that needs a strong plot to see me to the end of the book I can deal with unlikable characters or characters that have issues if the plot can save the day I have the patience of a fruit fly and if I m expected to sit around reading about a character who is waiting for something to happen to them, then forget it You ve lost me as a reader.The second issue I had with Fangirl was Rowell, once again, tip toeing around elephants in her stories Her novels are so focused on her characters that she never addresses things that feel essential to the plot With Fangirl is was the slash fic and how it relates to fandom With Landline it was the magical phone With Eleanor and Park it was race and Park s self acceptance It s the same formula for each of her books over and over again.Step 1 Develop characters for half the book Step 2 Introduce something heavy to center my quirky characters around something.Step 3 End the book without tying up loose ends because they served my purpose and Honey Rainbow don t care.It s the most frustrating thing about her books It s like she dances around the heavy stuff on purpose There is almost always something that feels deliberately left out, basically anything that could remotely make the storyinteresting Which leads me to my third pointFangirl is boring While I could relate to Cath, she is the dullest person to read about ever The only scenes that she showed life with was either with her dad or Levi when she suddenly had a personality and wanted to be witty Those scenes were the best in the book and what kept me reading But they were few and far between and I started to question why this book was over 400 pages Not even the fan fiction or cute romance could save this book.And let s talk about this Simon and Baz fan fiction Clearly it is a homage to Harry Potter, yet, Harry Potter happens to exist in the same universe as Simon Snow No, I don t buy that That s a plotberg if I ever saw one The fan fiction sections in the novel really didn t do much for me This isn t because it wasn t good, but because it didn t have enough page time for me to attempt to connect with the Simon and Baz I did feel like bashing my head in when Cath would read Levi the long sections of her fic, so I guess they did spawn some type of emotional reaction in me, albeit, not a positive one Also, did Cath ever finish her fic Rowell wrote so much about Simon and Baz and just completely left that open AGAIN FRUSTRATING.Side note I m really curious to see how Rowell manages to write Carry On, Cath s fan fiction of Simon Snow, without people directly comparing it to Harry Potter I mean, essentially it s Draco Harry fic But since monetizing fan fiction is now a thing, cough Cassandra Clare, E.L James cough who am I to stop her To conclude, Fangirl ultimately let me down, but I m not entirely disappointed that I read it I learned something about myself as a reader and I did gain a few good laughs from the clever banter I wouldn t call this a terrible book, and hey, it was better than Eleanor and Park So there s always that.I m such a goddamn hipster, I swear More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuddlebuggery Real life was something happening in her peripheral visionI enjoyed Fangirl Though the way I feel about it is almost exactly how I feel about Eleanor Park They are both cute books with complex, well developed characters, and yet I feel like something is missing that just holds both books back from being truly memorable.Rowell writes quirky, detailed characters that are different and honest I liked the antisocial, awkward and weird Cath I thought her story both as a popular fanficReal life was something happening in her peripheral visionI enjoyed Fangirl Though the way I feel about it is almost exactly how I feel about Eleanor Park They are both cute books with complex, well developed characters, and yet I feel like something is missing that just holds both books back from being truly memorable.Rowell writes quirky, detailed characters that are different and honest I liked the antisocial, awkward and weird Cath I thought her story both as a popular fanfic writer and as a new college student seemed very unique and it was, for the most part, enjoyable, funny and occasionally moving I have my own history of social awkwardness so I related to a lot of the strange and hilarious things she did.Some readers didn t like Cath s desire to hole up in her room and eat protein bars because she wanted to avoid the awkwardness of the cafeteria, but this wasn t an issue for me Unfortunately, I get these little things that plague us socially awkward people I actually found it quite endearing.And, unlike some other readers, I enjoyed the fanfiction aspect I ve never been much of a fanfic reader writer myself, but I have been the kind of person who has been completely obsessed with a fandom, and I have never read a book that has done anything quite like this one Props for creativity.So yes, I like the characters, and yes, I like the dialogue, but I feel there is something lacking in the plot story arc of the two Rowell books I ve read I guess they are introspective coming of age books that don t really have much of a story, and I tend to feel like not much has happened or been achieved by the novel s close.It s odd, though, because I often enjoy character driven stories For some reason, with Rowell, it never seems to be enough I quite like her books while I m reading them, but I get the impression that in a month s time, I won t be able to name a single character from this book.Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube Pinterest Reread October 2015 AHHHHH I felt all the love for this book that I felt the first time plusI love everything about this book and I want to reread it again immediately DOriginal review from December 2013 Fangirl was so cute and relatable I loved every single character and their relationships with each other Rainbow Rowell s writing style is wonderful and I can t wait to readbooks from her 6 Stars I loved this story to infinity and beyondMy favorite types of books are the ones that speak to you directly to the reader The ones that resonate so deeply within your psyche that you feel as though you re actually learning things about yourself in the process.That is exactly what I experienced while reading Fangirl If you were to judge by the cover and blurb alone, you may think this story is nothing but a quirky, fun read about an interesting girl addicted to writing fanfic But 6 Stars I loved this story to infinity and beyondMy favorite types of books are the ones that speak to you directly to the reader The ones that resonate so deeply within your psyche that you feel as though you re actually learning things about yourself in the process.That is exactly what I experienced while reading Fangirl If you were to judge by the cover and blurb alone, you may think this story is nothing but a quirky, fun read about an interesting girl addicted to writing fanfic But I persuade you to take a peek inside, because it s really so much There is nothing over the top about this plot no heavy drama infiltrating these pages This story thrives in its delicate simplicity and offers power through its unique relatibility Whether you find yourself in the insecure girl who s afraid of life the happy go lucky guy always ready with a smile the self centered sister the deceitful friend the emotionally disabled dad the outspoken, honest roommate the talented but uncertain writer the intellectual or the one who falls short the life of the party or the one hiding in the shadows there are bits and pieces of everyone scattered throughout this story representing all the highs and lows that make us exactly who we are Cath is an introvert whose discomfort with social settings leaves her dwelling in the backdrop of real life She has become at ease hiding within her fanfic stories a world that holds her captive and lives on through her writings Her insecurities equally broke and warmed my heart I loved the way fan fiction was explored and dissected really presenting a good feel of its valueSometimes writing is running downhill, your fingers jerking behind you on the keyboard the way your legs do when they can t keep up with gravity Levi is the lovable guy who lights up a room with kind words and a perpetual smile His character was genuine and honest, and won me over instantly He is the first person Cath meets as she reluctantly moves into her dorm to begin her first year of college, and his charm became contagious The relationship between Cath and Levi was gentle and slow building Levi initially gave off subtle and sweet hints of his interest, and I liked that you didn t see this relationship forming from a mile away It wasabout their solid bond than a steamy connection, and was a refreshingly honest portrayal of a young relationship And here s where the story skyrockets to that unreachable 6th star The writing It was genius Clever and unique and so entirely captivating that heaps of drama weren t present OR needed It was fluid and natural, allowing every situation to become relatable The dialogue was witty and funny, with an effortless feel There were pockets of insight that were never in your face, but hiddenwaiting for the right moment to present itself, and I LOVED ITAnd sometimes you held somebody s hand just to prove that you were still alive, and that another human being was there to testify to that factAlthough this story seems like a fun read and it certainly was there was a distinct and subtle coating of sadness Nothing major, or heartbreaking just the raw honesty of life creeping up to sideswipe you Broken families feelings of not being good enough, smart enough, pretty enough it all became so emotional and life like Fangirl definitely breaks the mold and doesn t display the standard rise and fall outline It was steadywith random bumps in the road like life No dramatic peaks or disastrous downhill plummets for emphasis It was easy And that was the beauty of it And then it just ended No climactic finale or highly distinctive finish There was a certain amount of closure, but the story felt like it was still moving even after the last page was swiped As if it continuesjust like Cath s fanfic.And I hope it does Book Stats Genre Category YA NA Romance Romance Slow burn Friendship first Drama free Characters Relatable and distinctive Plot Centers on a college introvert who writes fanfic coming out of her shell Writing Witty, fluid, unique, gripping POV 3rd Person Perspective Cliffhanger None Standalone .READ E-PUB ☲ Fangirl ⚑ A love story about opening your heart by Rainbow Rowell, the New York Times bestselling author of Eleanor ParkSpecial collector s edition with limited edition Emergency Dance Party print, coloured edges and ribbon markerCath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together Now they re off to university and Wren s decided she doesn t want to be one half of a pair any she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose It s not so easy for Cath She s horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far intense than anything she s experienced in real lifeWithout Wren, Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone She s got a surly room mate 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 aloneNow Cath has to decide whether she s ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she s realizing that there s to learn about love than she ever thought possible 4.2 5 Stars To really be a nerd, she d decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl I honestly adored this book I adored the complex characters, the fandom aspect, the writing, the setting, the romance This book was a true delight I got a bit confused, at first, with the narration of this book being in third person, while most books of this genre are written in first person, but fan fics are always written in third person I hope Rainbow 4.2 5 Stars To really be a nerd, she d decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl I honestly adored this book I adored the complex characters, the fandom aspect, the writing, the setting, the romance This book was a true delight I got a bit confused, at first, with the narration of this book being in third person, while most books of this genre are written in first person, but fan fics are always written in third person I hope Rainbow did this on purpose, as she said in her interview at the end of my copy of the book that she read lots of fanfics before writing this book Fingers crossed.We start off with Cath A character with social anxiety, a fangirl, a writer, a loner, a character which at the beginning of the book was exactly like I was at her age And then progressed as a person, made friends, got a boyfriend all that with keeping her true identity as a fangirl Something I did, too I feel like the author kind of forgot about Cath s social anxiety after the middle of the book I don t know if it was intentional It probably was But you don t just get rid of social anxiety like that It gets better but it s an on going battle.I have been a fangirl all my life Even before I knew about fandom I discovered the concept of fandoms in 2012 when I made my Tumblr blog Fanfics, GIFs, fan arts, OTPs e.t.c have been a part of me I have had a very successful blog on Tumblr, been making GIFs for years for multiple fandoms I have loved and have always been keeping it a secret Just as Cath did with her fan fiction persona I so related to that I wanted to scream And like Cath, after years, I found the right people to share my blog with, my love for fandoms, this world that was always been for myself and people online that I knew And I m so glad we both found people who didn t judge us for this, joined us or didn t understand it but are always there for us And it makes me even prouder to be a geek than I was before.We re moving on to Simon Snow A hymn to Harry Potter and J K Rowling and Hogwarts The books and movie series the sisters were in love with since always Something I related to so much too I think if I read the book back then when it first got published I would relate to it evenIt was the start of my fandom life and now I have grown a tiny bit out of it because of how life is and I was head on invested in everything back then I m still in fandom, but a tiny bit from afar now I still make GIFs though and read fics.I think Baz was supposed to be Draco Call me stupid if I didn t find that obvious but it came to me after a while Like how Baz called Simon Snow and not Simon Like Draco called Harry Potter Or how Simon was trying to discover something sneaky Baz was doing and had an obsession with him Like Harry in book six with Draco I had never shipped Drarry but I totally ship Simon and Baz Rainbow made them their own characters and the world her own It wasn t just Harry Potter but it was inspired by it and it became somethingThat s why the author continued and made a whole book out of this world Cause it felt so muchspecial.Now let s talk about some real life important issues the author tackled Social anxiety, bi polar depression and alcoholism I can t exactly say she handled them amazingly but I m glad she added them She didn t make her novel a flat out fluffy contemporary romance about a girl who likes a book series, writes fan fiction and is going off to college to new adventures She added depth and I think the book would be much less without those aspects And now drum roll THE ROMANCE THE FUCKING ROMANCE I WANT A LEVI CAN SOMEONE BUY ME A LEVI At first I shipped Cath and Nick Like come on, you all did Before he became a massive bitch ass fuckward He was nice and they were both writers who worked together on a piece and that s only what united them I didn t feel a spark between them or anything but it was the safest thing to ship I always have to ship something guys, I M A FANGIRL GODDAMMIT And then LEVI Reagan s boyfriend out of many The always smiling Levi who lets Cath read him fanfiction and get invested in her world This little puppy who fell in love but didn t know what to do about it I just loved him so fucking much YOU GO GIRL I loved the humor of this book too Some one liners were hilarious Their dad was hilarious FUCKING KELLY Also why so many names in this book that are mostly used for men used for women I always got confused I remember this line that I laughed so hard about for some reason Are you Cody or are you Zack Definitely Cath is Cody and Zack is Wren And Cody was always my favorite Also, the most amazing reference to the Harry Potter movies When Cath, Wren and their dad were watching the fourth installment of Simon Snow and Cath was thinking All the boys had longer hair in this one I FUCKING LOST IT Everyone had longer, ugly fucking hair in Goblet of Fire for some reason no one will ever understand.This book made me hate and love characters with a burning passion And I always love to do that Love list CathLeviReaganTheir dadThe professorHate list Fuckward NickWrenTheir absent motherAbelYes, Wren is on the hate list Her redemption at the end didn t convince me I hated the way she treated Cath like everything was her fault, like she had to be like her to live a good 18 year old college life You d expect Reagan to be the hated character but she wasn t She was loyal and a good friend to Cath, despite her harsh tone sometimes But Wren was selfish and only wanted to live her life despite everything And then she got a huge ass slap in the face I so wanted their dad to not let her finish school but it wasn t going to happen.To conclude everything, I think this book was solid It did some things wrong but it did most things right I will read Carry on next to delve into the world of Simon and Baz I m really excited about this, to be honest An alternative version of Harry Potter, the fucking King of books, is always something I love to read Till the next one K BYE Such a difficult review to write Some parts of this book were well written But, at the end, it all boils down to one thing The main message was so wrong Before I go on, let me make one thing clear I m not giving this book three stars because I hated the message it was trying to push I always do my best to rate books objectively, based on the quality of writing, plot structure, characterization, etc I may not always succeed in separating my own enjoyment from my rating, but I try I am Such a difficult review to write Some parts of this book were well written But, at the end, it all boils down to one thing The main message was so wrong Before I go on, let me make one thing clear I m not giving this book three stars because I hated the message it was trying to push I always do my best to rate books objectively, based on the quality of writing, plot structure, characterization, etc I may not always succeed in separating my own enjoyment from my rating, but I try I am giving Fangirl three stars because I think it wasn t well researched, and the characters were not always consistent However, in this review I ll start with something else.Since this is a super long review, even for me, I ll divide it into 3 parts, and you can read whatever you like Part 1 Presenting fanfiction as training wheels for real writing The book pushes the message that people write fanfiction because it is easier and safer, and some bravery is all that keeps them from the real deal, which will be muchsatisfying The author fails to understand that for most people fanfiction is a hobby, not a step towards being a professional author Some people enjoy writing fanfiction, but have no passion for creating original writing, and there is nothing wrong with that Fanfiction isabout being a part of fandom and sharing your love with others than it is about writing.Part 2 Fandom in this book Ugh I can t decide if it s an unrealistic representation or a complete lack of representation The author doesn t seem to understand that the fanfiction community is a COMMUNITY and people are actually interacting and sharing their passion.Part 3 Non fandom stuff Mostly well written, especially Cath s struggles with mental illness But first, some background is in order When I first heard about this book, I thought it would be The One I thought that finally someone is telling this story the story I so much wanted to hear Those of you who ve read my guest post at Lavender Prose already know my dark secret I started out as a Lord of the Rings fanfiction writer During those years, I had various ideas for original novels, but was never passionate enough to write anythingthan a short story There was just one idea I planned to revisit one day.I considered writing a book about a fanfiction writer There was SO MUCH to write about The incredible and unique community All the different people you meet and everything you learn from them All the support you get All the ways it makes you grow All the miraculous ways in which this changes your real life, and all of them for the better All the crazy adventures you get into You may not think fandom gets you into real life adventures, but, guys, I randomly went to Malaysia by myself when I was 21 because of my involvement in the community, and now I keep going back Long story, but this is just one of the hundreds of examples I can list When I heard this book was coming out, I was incredibly excited I had always wanted to write this story, and I thought, Yay, someone else wrote it already Can t wait to read it But, for various reasons, I couldn t get my hands on the book right away And then, years later, I started seeing reviews Most of them said one thing This wasn t a book about fanfiction writers This wasn t a book about fandom This wasn t a book about the community It was a generic, coming of age story.Now I ve read the book and know this is all true But I could have lived with it I was prepared for it, so it wasn t a disappointment What put me off were some terrible ideas this book was trying to push.Part 1 Presenting fanfiction as training wheels for real writing The book, through the character of Professor Piper, is trying to tell us that original fiction is the real deal It s braver, it s harder, it takeseffort, but with a higher payoff, and every writer should strive towards it Fanfiction is something girls do in high school and then grow out of it.And here, Cath s argument is absolutely spot on She doesn t want to write original fiction She is not passionate about it It doesn t make her happy She s not made for this She is extremely passionate about a specific fictional world, and she wants to keep playing in it, and she doesn t see the point in doing something she doesn t like and something she doesn t plan to do for a living.YES Professor Piper has an argument against this you don t make money out of fanfiction Well duh It s a hobby You don t make money out of knitting, or bird watching, or stamp collecting, or hiking, or reading you do it because you like it and you want to And, again, Cath has the perfect argument it s not like most people make money out of original writing.I liked Cath during this discussion She was level headed and knew what she wanted And then, she ends up discovering herself and writing her original story, and the book makes it look like Professor Piper was right.UGH It reminds me of a post on fanfiction I read years ago on George R R Martin s Not a Blog While overall well written, I found it poorly informed Among other things, he calls fanfiction lazy writing and bad practice While it s debatable whether it s either of these, that s not the point here The point is, what is the context here Lazy compared to what It s a hobby, not a job, and we should compare it to watching TV, not to writing novels authors get paid for Bad practice for what It s not like every single person on the planet wants to be a published author and is writing fanfiction to practice for the real thing People don t write fanfiction to practice and learn They write to have fun.Let me say it again fanfiction writers are not all high school girls who either give it up when they grow up, or use it as a stepping stone to real writing Some of them are in high school, and some do give it up, while others move to original writing, but that s just one small part of fandom Fanfiction a hobby that people of all ages and walks of life can practice, and it is unrelated to what you do for a living I ve known fanfiction writers, women and men, of all ages, including quite a few in their 50s, 60s, and 70s And for all of them, it s a leisure activity on top of an already rich life and an often unrelated and fulfilling career University professors, elementary school teachers, nuclear physicists, architects, doctors, investment bankers, linguists, archeologists, lawyers, pet stylists I know at least one fanfiction writer from each of these fields They don t write original novels not because they can t guys, some of these writers are sooo good, they could write anything but because there is no point They don t want to write original fiction, and it can t really replace their other career, so why do it When choosing a career path, I see three main questions to consider 1 Are you good at it 2 Are you passionate about it 3 Do you have good chances for a secure job that will place bread on the table If at least two of these are satisfied, you can push through the third But in Cath s case, the professor is pushing her to pursue fiction writing just because she s good at it although she doesn t care about it and is unlikely to have an income out of it And that doesn t make any sense.Not everyone wants to publish their own original books I realize that I m reinforcing the stereotype here I started by writing fanfiction and am now publishing my own novels But not everyone wants this, and it doesn t mean they are wrong.Also, I have to say that of course Cath had to write the story She was being spoilt and irresponsible in refusing and endangering her grades and scholarship You don t want to do it So what No one can go through studies and work only doing work they WANT to do Sometimes we do things we don t enjoy because they need to be done, and running away from this would be childish So I m happy Cath wrote the story, but I m unhappy the text presented it like she had it in her to do the brave, hard, real thing.Part 2 Fandom in this book The thing that bugged me the most is that Cath is supposed to be this popular author with many readers who send her letter and comments, and yet we never see her interact with online friends She doesn t even seem to talk to her beta, which is just insane How did she choose this beta reader in the first place Weren t they talking before Did Cath select her based on a CV and kept their relationship only business The most egregious exampleI m going to take on Cath s voice here and say, There are not many opportunities to use the word egregious, but this is one of themis when Cath is upset about her F and the professor s words about fanfictionAnd, seriously, what was she thinking The professor s reaction was too much, but WHAT was Cath thinking exactly She doesn t seem like the type of person to go around submitting fanfiction for creative writing assignments, and this is one of the several examples in this book when someone does something very out of character to push the plot forwardCath is upset that the professor doesn t understand what fanfiction is and wants to talk to Wren about it, but Wren is unavailable And this means she has no one to talk to, and the only possible solution is to throw a one person dance party Are You Kidding Me She has no one to talk to She has thousands of readers, and she has NO ONE to talk to about this She has this huge support network that she can share every problem with, and this specific problem is exactly what they know best and what they could help with Cath feels the need to discuss it, and she never shares it with any of her online friends who we are told exist, but it s really hard to believe And this shows the author s complete lack of understanding of how the fanfiction community works It s not a distant author and many readers asking questions related to the story and getting answers It is people interacting Sharing joy and sorrow Fangirling together Helping each other Supporting each other.The other thing that bugged me is Cath not reading other writers Simon Baz stories What It is explained in the text, but the explanation is eveninsane she doesn t want to be subconsciously influenced by other writers Again, what This is something professional writers often do But it is not what fanfiction writers do Fanfiction writing isabout being a fan than about writing It s about sharing Often, the writers whose stories you read are also reading yours Often, your sets of readers overlap Often, you will make small nods to their works in your tales, and they ll make references to yours And readers will recognize all these because they are reading your stories as well as the other authors And it s beautiful It creates this collective consciousness, this folklore of sorts, where everyone adds to the storytelling and everyone benefits And this is how the concept of fanon comes to life But we see none of this here Instead, we see Cath viewing her readers as fans or hits, but never as actual friends with whom she shares a great passion and with whom she can talk for hours.Okay, so the author has no understanding of how the fanfiction community works But does she at least present an accurate picture of what fanfiction is Kiiiiiind of She does get some parts right, and I like it that she tries to be respectful, but the picture painted here is very narrow First of all, if you read this book, you might think all fanfiction is slash, or, at least, shipping While this is the case for some stories, there are numerous other possibilities Also, I didn t like it when Cath explains Levi what fanfiction is, and says in her world she can make Agatha evil Well, she can, but writing completely different characters and giving them canon names is really not the point of fanfiction You can have out of character stories, but they should be labeled as such The majority of tales strive to keep everyone in characters and tell stories of the past, the future, and anything in between, but keep each character as close to their canon version as possible.Also, many authors crate original characters antagonists or friends who interact with the main cast, or even entire casts of original characters in a given fictional world And this concept doesn t seem to exist in this book.Part 3 Non fandom stuff If we scrap the fanfiction element, a large part of this book was well written For starters, the characters and interactions between them are great though it might have been nice to see what exactly Levi likes about Cath.Also, it paints this vivid picture of the quintessential US college, which is so different from higher education institutions in most places in the world, in good, bad, and crazy ways campus life, the large selection of classes and freedom to experiment with your major, the complete lack of public transport or biking culture and everyone driving often trucks to get around, rooming with randomly assigned people, sororities and fraternities, this messed up all or nothing relationship with alcohol that has led to so many hospitalized kids, professors being extremely nice to the students, etc, etc, etc If you ve never seen it, this book will help you visualize it, and if you have, it will look familiar.At some points, Cath s struggles with anxiety were brilliantly described Cath not going to the dining hall for months because she doesn t know how to behave in a new environment is great My favorite part was when Cath is looking for Professor Piper s office, while at the same time she hopes she won t find it, so that she can later tell herself that she tried and got halfway Really well written.But often it all falls apart The professor is returning their unreliable narrator assignments, and she doesn t give back Cath s Instead, she asks her to come to her office after class And how does Cath react, as person with an established long list of anxieties Does she panic that something s wrong Does she think the professor hated her story None of that She thinks the professor wants to offer her a place in her super advanced class that only a few are allowed to attend.Seriously That s how a person suffering from neurosis reacts This goes contrary to everything established about Cath s character in the rest of the book It s painfully obvious Cath is acting the way the plot needs her to act, so that she is later surprised when she sees the F But she is the only one surprised.Another thing that bugged me about this Fiction Writing class is how the professor never gives Cath any criticism It s all about how amazing Cath is and how the professor absolute can t wait for what she comes up with But how exactly is she supposed to learn It s hard to say if I would recommend this book As a coming of age story, it s pretty decent, and the representation of mental health issues is mostly well done If you re not a part of fandom and don t care about a realistic representation, you might enjoy it.Let s end with a nice quoteWhy are you reading that Wren had asked when she noticed What Something without a dragon or an elf on the coverI wondered the same a few times while I read this book Perhaps I wasn t in the mood for this genre Time for some fantasy WARNING This review is long even for me and if you liked the book, you probably shouldn t bother with it And yes, before you ask, the titles do refer to fangirling lore 1 My Body is ReadyI was quite excited to read Fangirl, at first Trusted GR friends have loved this book, and I thought it would actually be a bit about the fangirling life which I have been living fully for a year and a half, so I was like Oooh, my ELEMENT, yay Dear Got in Himmel, was I wrong Anyway Let the Gam WARNING This review is long even for me and if you liked the book, you probably shouldn t bother with it And yes, before you ask, the titles do refer to fangirling lore 1 My Body is ReadyI was quite excited to read Fangirl, at first Trusted GR friends have loved this book, and I thought it would actually be a bit about the fangirling life which I have been living fully for a year and a half, so I was like Oooh, my ELEMENT, yay Dear Got in Himmel, was I wrong Anyway Let the Games Reviewing begin 2 OMG You did NOT just GO THEREYou see, what s her name God, when I dislike the book I just can t remember main characters Cath was it supposedly fangirls over are a fictionalized version of Harry Potter It consists of 8 books revolving around a boy wizard chosen to defeatsomething Ring any bells This immediately annoyed me because everyone who s hasn t lived in a cave for the past 20 years knows about Harry Potter So to recreate an obvious copy of that for book purposes is weird to say the least Writing bits of said, um, copy is evenunnerving because who cares about teeny tiny excerpts of a non existing book which copies another one Adding other, fanfiction excerpts based upon this non existing copy of a book is just ridiculous And I was willing to let go of the obvious HP plagiarism if for copyright reasons the author couldn t include excerpts which were pointless but let s go with it or names or whatever But then the author confirmed what I was already thinking and I swear I wanted to throw my reader against the wall THISTHE MAGIC WORD IS PLEASE Well then Anyone who s read Harry Potter semi carefully knows that line EVERYONE And then in case people were still wondering this It s like hearing that Harry PotterImmediate reaction DUDE YOU DID NOT JUST GO THERE I WAS WILLING TO GIVE YOU THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT, THINKING YOU DIDN T DARE MENTION HP AND HERE WE GO OMFG YOU SUCK, YOU SUCK SO MUCH I CAN T EVEN DEAL RIGHT NOW This, by the way, is the opposite of fangirling Well it s fangirling, but negatively You know, in defense of something you love Seriously Whoever let this be a part of the book and let it be so atrociously done does not deserve to give anyone advice.3 What is air What is life To top all that, the general writing isn t goodHis eyes were set so deep, it made everything he saidintense Say whatsince Wren drunked at herUm, again, whatHis lips were thin but dark, the same color as the inside of his mouthOMG WHAT IS THIS, THIS CALLS FOR THE OTTER exploitive I know, technically this exists, but it hurts my eyes IT S EXPLOI TATIVE lies down in order to recuperate The writing of the Simon Snow excerpts is terriblemy fair share of apple cheeked protagonismcause of death cringingShe knew she was lovely, and she shared it like a gift Every smile from Agatha was like waking up to a perfect sunny day Agatha knew it And she smiled at everyone who crossed her path, as if it were the most generous thing she could offersuddenly resuscitates because maybe I died in the Murder House from AHS and now I m haunting it with the rest of the ghosts Like Tate Oh Tate and dies AGAIN The writing of the Simon Snow Fanfiction parts is abysmalAnyway, it was totally forgivable because woodfoul and spiders and ratsIt is NOT OK to write in that manner in something you consider a book , this isn t Twitter Also, woodfoulSimon twisted his lips to one sideWhat How OMG.Also, for your pleasure, a bit of a recap of all the times eyes hair are mentioned in either SS or FF SS.Thingy 1 I can t be bothered to research the storyception names, sorry s hair eyes cold, grey eyes pearl grey eyes slick, black hair dark haired boy his smoky grey eyes his long face as grey as his eyes in the gloaming He flicked his black hair his grey eyes glintingThingy 2 s hair eyes Simon s caramel brown hair his eyes as wide and blue as the Eighth Sea it did nothing to dim his blue eyes or blunt his glare the thick fall of bronze hair partially trapped in his gogglesAnd other people s hair eyes girl with the red hair She had pigtails and old fashioned pointy spectacles Basically I don t know, maybe I m doing the whole life thing wrong Should I have started my review with Hi, I m Cecile with dark blonde but sometimes not so blonde but the tips are lighter hair with blue with hazel specks but sit depends on the lighting eyes and I ll be boring you reviewing this book No I still don t know if the quality of the FF writing in Fangirl is on purpose to show how bad fanfiction can be but considering the theme of the book I m betting the irony wouldn t go that far Unfortunately Which brings me to the next part 4 dying whale noise Naming this book Fangirl was ridiculous If you haven t ever fangirled over anything you re bound to find it stupid because you probably find fangirls annoying or don t even know what it refers too Or you just assume they re rabid 12 year old fans who obsess over boy band members actors, etc Which happens, but that s really not what fangirling is about.If you are in a fandom however, you will likely be insulted by this book and its misrepresentation of the whole process Which, you ll have guessed, is what happened to me I Am A Fangirl.I didn t think I d ever be, but then I read The Trilogy Oh wait, should I call it by some incredibly subtle code name Such as The Arena ParadoxThe Panem Diversion The Katniss ParadigmNo I am not just picking BBT episode titles at random and adding HG stuff to itAnyway I m a fangirl and I love it, being in the fandom has brought me a lot of wonderful moments and enabled me to meet amazing people who have become friends There s nothing quite like having a simultaneous meltdown with thousands of others because a trailer has just come out for the movie based upon one of your favorite books Especially when you ve stayed up most of the night to see it And you end up sobbing with everyone else because of all the perfection.This book, however, clearly has no idea of what it is to actually be in a fandom It is not, as it tries to make us believe writing fanfiction Some of the fans do that, true, but being a fangirl certainly CANNOT be defined by writing fanfiction Although I do read some, I tend to be very picky about it because no one ever comes close to writing as well as the author or staying perfectly canon and in character So I prefer Alternate Universe fics because it allowsdisgressions from the initial story and I mforgiving about it That being said, for an author to write a book heavily featuring fanfiction and establishing that that s basically all the fangirls do nope Especially considering how Fangirl is written The book parts as opposed to the FF parts are still terrible They read like fanfiction And it s awful 5 Don t even TOUCH meMoving on Another huge problem in this book was the main character Cath Or Cather seriously, how do you even pronounce that Never mind her being as na ve as as well, being super na ve the ridiculous metaphor Inspiration Gods are on vaycay apparently , I just couldn t stand her point of view on fanfiction I know it s the point of the book but regardless, after the whole Mortal Instruments debacle and fanfiction readers generally being all Yeah, this feels SO canon, it s like the author wrote it, OMG you re so talented I tend to balk whenever it comes up Anyway This just about killed meShe didn t get it She thought it was plagiarismCath, getting called out for submitting fanfiction as an assignment It IS plagirism, you idiot It s fine if you do it for your pleasure, but if you start submitting it for school assignments it can lead to other, despicable stuff, pretty fast I suggest you read about the Cassandra Clare debacle in case this isn t clear 6 sobbing flailing screechingNow I m rating this 1 because it annoyed me a lot but it sof a 1.5 how generous of me, right The second half of the book wasn t as bad In fact, if the first part had been dropped along with any mention of Simon Snow, fanfiction and Nowhere to be found Nick, and only the second half had remained, I might have gone up to 2.5 The romance part was really quite cute It got ruined, however, by the numerous descriptions of scratches head, tries to remember the name Levi, and his long face , feathery I know, I know, bear with me blonde hair and the general impression that he was so far from someone that would ever make me fangirl swoon, physically that I just couldn t ever add him to my Best Book Boyfriends list But it was still cute and fluffy And it explains why I finally decided to give Eleanor and Park a shot and I really liked that one So Not all is lost except my brain cells and inner voice, who s been screaming in all caps ever since the first Simon Snow sentence I guess.Anyway I m off to fangirl somein the true sense of the word about Catching Fire, Kthxbye