♥ 4.5 STARS. ♥
Fangirl was such a refreshing and wonderful story! It's both a coming of age story about a girl starting a new life in college, as well as a friend to lovers story. From the moment I started reading it, Rainbow Rowell managed to suck me into the world of Cath, Levi, Simon Snow and all the other equally unique side characters. The author's easyflowing writing style made it seem as a very simple story at the time I was reading it, but looking back at it as a whole the story managed to convey a very true and important message about life, love and friendship.
♦ Cath ♦
"I don't trust anybody. Not anybody. And the more I care about somebody, the more I am sure they're going to get tired of me and take off."
Eighteen year old Cath and her twin sister Wren have close their entire life. Although they are very different, with Cath being shy, introvert and little socially awkward and Wren being the exact opposite, they have always had one passion in common: reading, re-reading and obsessing over Simon Snow stories.
"Loving Simon isn't something someone does alone or once a year at a convention - for thousands of fans of all ages, loving Simon Snow is nothing less than a life style."
Now, when the sisters start college, Wren is ready to move on from her Simon Snow obsession and start a new adventure. She's convinced they need to meet new people and decides it's best they not room together. Cath, on the other hand, remains a die hard Simon Snow fan. She much rather spends her time with fictional characters and internet friends than venturing herself in the unknown college world. But college and the new people she meets also make her realize there might be more to life than being solely focused on everything Simon.
♦ Levi ♦
"You give away nice like it doesn't cost you anything.”
At first, Cath is adverse to getting to know Levi, or any other new person for that matter. She's content just to live in her own protectieve bubble, while reading and writing about her number one passion: Simon Snow. As a very popular fanfiction writer, Cath has thousands of followers on the internet who anxiously await her newest fanfiction entries. She spends almost all of her free time locked up in her room, typing behind her computer. Her new roommate Raegan feels sorry for her and decides to become her friend and forces her to go out more.
“I feel sorry for you, and I'm going to be your friend.""I don't want to be your friend," Cath said as sternly as she could. "I like that we're not friends.""Me, too. I'm sorry you ruined it by being so pathetic.”
At the same time Cath starts to spend more and more time with the always smiling and helpful, not to mention very goodlooking, Levi. During the first half of the book Cath assumes Levi is Raegan's boyfriend since he spends so much time in their room. But after she finds out they've been broken up for over three years, she allows herself to acknowledge the feelings she has for him. Levi thinks her Simon obsession is adoringly cute and he supports her writing but he also makes her want to push her boundaries and experience the real college life.
“What's the plan?' she asked.He grinned. 'My plan is to do things that make you want to hang out with me again tomorrow. What's your plan?''I'm going to try not to make an ass of myself.'He grinned. 'So we're all set.”
Cath is an easy to relate to character and her geekiness makes her all the more unique and fun to read about, while Levi is the perfect, sweet and swoonworthy male lead. Their romance was slow building and adoringly awkward at times which made me all the more curious to find out how their relationship would develop. In the end, it was especially Levi's understanding and kind personality that made me root for their happily ever after.
“It's okay if you're crazy," he said softly."You don't even know-""I don't have to know," he said. "I'm rooting for you.” ♥
All in all, Fangirl was a highly surprising read that will definitely stay with me for a very long time. It's not the kind of story that will blow you away with sexy scenes or dramafilled situations; on the contrary, it's more the kind of story that will blow you away with its simplicity and meaningful conversations. It was my first book by this author and I'm already looking forward to reading more of her work in the future!
If you're looking for a refreshing standalone novel that will leave you with a happy smile after you've finished reading it, Fangirl is the perfect book for you!