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Fangirl: A Novel Hardcover – September 10, 2013
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Against the backdrop of an ancient battle between the forces of Light and the forces of Darkness, Aidan struggles to control the newly awakened and enigmatic powers that seem to be his only hope for rescuing Ava, his little sister, trapped somewhere beyond the Veil. Paperback | Kindle book | See more for Teen and Young Adult readers
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Rainbow Rowell's Playlist
Fangirl is a coming-of-age novel that is smart, funny, and genuine. Fangirl takes place during Cather Avery's first year of college, learning who she is when stripped down to just Cath--not the twins Cath & Wren and not Magicath, her fan fiction pen name.
Through all the changes, both difficult and thrilling, one part of her old life still makes as much sense in her dorm room as it did in her childhood bedroom--the Emergency Kanye Party. When the going gets tough in this story, the tough crank up Kanye West, sing out loud and dance until they feel better. Check out Rowell's Fangirl playlist below to see what other music played a part in this story.
"I Wonder" – Kanye West: So Cath, the main character of Fangirl has a Kanye West thing; he's sort of her Patronus. This song lays out how lost Cath is at the beginning of the book. "You ever wonder what it all really mean? You wonder if you'll ever find your dreams?"
"Cath" – Death Cab for Cutie: I think this song might be the reason I chose the name "Cath." The lyrics don't fit my Cath, but the feelings do. More loss, more lost.
"Heaven's on Fire" – The Radio Dept.: I use songs to help me get into the right mood and frame of mind when I'm writing a scene. This song, for me, is Cath's first few weeks of college – when she feels all caught up, and completely overwhelmed, by the activity. When she's overdosing on new and other.
"Paranoid" – Kanye West feat. Mr. Hudson: When things hit bottom for Cath, she throws herself an Emergency Kanye Dance Party. I can see her jumping on her bed to this song. "You worry bout the wrong things, the wrong things."
"American Boy" – Estelle feat. Kanye West: Required listening for every Emergency Kanye Dance Party. Plus, it's happy and bouncy, so that reminds me of Cath's friend Levi, who joins the party.
"Brandy Alexander" – Feist: When Cath finally falls in love, she almost resents how easy it is. She resents that she can't help it. This song is so sweet and seductive and irresistible – which is exactly how Cath sees the guy she's falling for.
"I See You, You See Me" – The Magic Numbers: This is another reluctant love song – about two people who sort of back into love. When it gets to "This is not what I'm like, this is not what I do" – I think of Cath and the way she tries to reject her feelings. Like she's allergic to them.
"Love Letters" – Jude: There's a part of the book when just about everybody regrets their behavior. "Love Letters" feels like regret to me – but also hope. There's so much longing in Jude's voice.
"Samson" – Regina Spektor: One of the love stories in the book is between Cath and her twin sister, Wren. Cath feels abandoned by Wren. Now that they're at college, Wren would rather party than hang out with her twin. But Cath is still so devoted to Wren, and worried about her. "You are my sweetest downfall. I loved you first."
"Landslide" – Fleetwood Mac: Every book I write has "Landslide" on its soundtrack, and always at the same point in the story – the part where the main character does whatever he or she has to do to grow and change. I play "Landslide" in my head whenever my life is changing in a big way.
"Hymn for Her" – The Magic Numbers: This is my happy-ending song for Cath. I'm not exactly sure what the lyrics mean, but I love how gentle and cautious it is, especially at the beginning. It's so reassuring for a love song. "It won't hurt to find love in the wrong place. I've been hurt before, but all the scars have rearranged."
More About the Author
When she's not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don't really matter in the big scheme of things.
She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.
Top Customer Reviews
You've read 30.5 books this year about fictional girls having the same college experience, like they are in some sort of perverted episode of the Twilight Zone. They have all been raped, abused, or raised by wealthy parents who do not care about them and keep them from the one they love, but its ok because after one roll in the hay with the reformed bad boy, these girls have life figured out. They get over their past, they stand up to their parents, they pass the test and save the day.
And you're just over it.
Yeah? Me too.
And that is probably why I loved Fangirl and Cath so much. Because her college experience did not read like a Teen Harlequin novel. It read like my life.
"Look at you. You've got your s*** together, you're not scared of anything. I'm scared of everything. And I'm crazy. Like maybe you think I'm a little crazy, but I only ever let people see the tip of my crazy iceberg. Underneath this veneer of slightly crazy and mildly socially retarded, I'm a complete disaster." -- Cath, to her roomate Raegan
I loved that the angst in it was so subtle and yet I kept having these little electric waves of emotion roll through my chest on Cath's behalf: as she's navigating her classes... as she feels betrayed when her identical twin doesn't want to be her roommate and finds a new best friend... as she's struggling to feel comfortable in her own dorm room because she's living with a fairly intimidating (yet ultimately awesome) upperclassman named Reagan... as she reluctantly begins to interact with other people and learns the hard way that some can be trusted and some are just using you to get ahead... as she falls in love for the first time.Read more ›
Cath is starting college at the University of Nebraska, but she's not your typical freshman. She's nerdy and awkward and comes with bucketloads of social anxiety, and she'd much rather stay in her dorm room writing fanfiction than get drunk at a frat party. She's always depended on her twin sister for her social life, but Wren wants to have the hard-partying college experience and has refused to room with Cath, who gets stuck with an intimidating older student. Many of the elements here are common to coming-of-age stories--there's first love and family drama--but Fangirl is also about writing, and being a fan, and it encapsulates the experience of being a social misfit in college. Or at least, one experience of it: having a lot in common with Cath, I had to reconcile myself early on to the fact that there are differences (major differences) between her freshman experience and mine--but those are details; on an emotional level I found this story to be real and true.
This is a character-driven book, so I'll start with the characters. Cath is fantastically-realized, quirky, and fun, and there's so much that I love about Rowell's portrayal of her, but here's the most important thing: it's okay to be like Cath. Cath has a lot going for her--she's smart, witty, loyal and caring--and growing up means growing in her own direction, learning to handle new relationships and thrive in a new environment, not changing who she is. Cath doesn't get a makeover or become a wild child or give up fanfiction.Read more ›
But I didn't give "Fangirl" four stars just becuase it's about a subject close to my heart. It anything, I'm more critical because I know exactly what shipping is like. And this is a realistic picture. Our main character, Cath, is an introverted girl. She doesn't like dealing with new people and prefers the company of her identical twin sister, who shares a love for the fictional world of "Simon Snow" (think "Harry Potter). They ship Simon with his rival, Baz (think Draco/Harry, aka Drarry), and write fanfiction about it. But when it's time for college, Wren is ready to leave "Simon Snow" behind. Cath is decidedly not, and goes on writing her (very popular) fanfiction, "Carry On, Simon." Things in that world are an escape from the real one that includes: her increasingly distant and increasingly wild sister; an unstable single father back home; a mean roommate; and her roommate's ever-present, perpetually smiling boyfriend. Cath does well in her writing class (and teams up with a cute classmate to boot), but her true inspiration is Bazon (it isn't called by this name in the book, but it totally should've been).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this book. It's one of my favorite books of all time. It appeals to my own personal brand of crazy. Read morePublished 20 hours ago by Stephanie
I love Rainbow and all of her work. This novel was no exception. Cath was highly relatable to any socially awkward girl and was well written. Read morePublished 22 hours ago by Sarah Alarid
I've never found such a relatable book in my life until I read Fangirl. Rainbow Rowell is certainly a wonderful magician with her words and easy way of appealing to the young... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Elizabeth
I got this book as a suprise for my parents, and I dove into it not really knowing much about what it is about. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
I really wasn't sure where I'd fall with this one, but I really enjoyed it!
For some reason, what I'd read/heard about the book was that it was about a girl who was too... Read more
I thought this might be a fun, mindless, quick read. I enjoyed Eleanor & Park. But why did I ignore the fact that it’s basically all about a young E.L. James? Read morePublished 6 days ago by I Know What You Should Read
So many rave reviews about this book, so I thought I'd check it out. I'm attempting to get outside my typical reading material in 2016. Read morePublished 6 days ago by mcr
Read it after carry on and glad I did because I already knew baz and Simon and so it put me in the place of magicath's readers. Great story!Published 6 days ago by Heather Christy