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Fangirl: A Novel Hardcover – September 10, 2013
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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."
Best Books of the Month: Teen & Young Adult, September 2013: At first glance Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl has a lot in common with Eleanor & Park: idiosyncratic girl with troubled family meets good, normal boy and falls in love for the first time. But this is why Rowell is so talented--from the same basic ingredients she can create something new and special. In Fangirl, quirky introvert, Cath, is safe within the immensely popular Simon Snow (think Harry Potter) fan-fiction blog she writes with her twin sister, but college turns her life upside down, leaving her feeling like an awkward outsider. When she writes, Cath knows exactly what her characters should say to each other, but when it comes to forging real-life friendships, much less a romance, she hasn’t a clue. An immensely satisfying coming-of-age novel, Fangirl deftly captures the experience of discovering your true voice and clumsy, vulnerable, remarkable, first love. --Seira Wilson
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I adore Cath, and her shy, fanfiction loving nature . She is sweet, caring, messed up just a little (aren’t we all), and completely absorbed in her writing. She was such a well written character, she almost seemed alive. I loved that she wrote fanfiction, and was this big writer in that world, though she is shy by nature. Being a big fan of fanfiction, I loved this aspect of the book. I love how much of a fangirl she is of the Simon Snow series (which is a clear parody of Harry Potter). It reminded me of the times I stood in line with my friends at midnight waiting for the next book or movie to release. Those were amazing times.
Then there was Levi, who I wish was real so that I could date him. ::I really do though:: He was so sweet and concerned about Cath when she went out, and was always there for her if she needed a ride home to rescue her dad, or save her sister. There were times that you wanted to smack him upside the head and ask him just what the heck he was doing? Was he trying to ruin his chances with Cath? but those were few and far between. I will say that Cath’s twin sister, Wren, upset me for most of the book in her selfishness to not want to be roommates, to not want to really ever hang out with her, and many other things;even though that made me sad, I understood where it was coming from, and interesting to see how that relationship would play out. Cath’s dad I just love, and feel sorry for all at the same time. After his wife up and leaves the family when the girls are in third grade, the girls struggle through life together with their slightly fragile father, who sometimes breaks down. The other characters in the book were some of my favorites as well, namely Reagan. Boy, was she a hoot! Sarcastic, slightly mean, but still caring, she was the perfect roommate to bring Cath out of her shell.
I thought it was interesting that Rowell included paragraph’s from Cath’s fanfiction, letting the reader get into her head a little bit through them. It was an aspect I found interesting, after I realized what they actually were. They threw me for a loop the first time I came across one at the end of the first chapter.
There’s not really anything negative I can say about this book. I throughly enjoyed the book and would recommended it to any person out there who is a fangirl or boy, who loves fanfiction, or who just loves to read a well written book full of characters that you can fall in love with.
Cath is a pretty intense introvert. It’s almost a little stressful to read. At the beginning, that is. This book really shows a lot of change and growth in Cath’s life and within Cath herself. It’s beautiful and I believe that it might help give others hope. I certainly changed an incredible amount in college despite my introverted fears of being this quiet little awkward nobody for the rest of my life. Friendships were formed, experiences were had, and memories were made. Life can be intoxicating that way, like sometimes you don’t even realize how much you’ve done or how far you’ve gone or who’s become a part of your life until it’s over.
Truly Rowell does a good job conveying the ups and downs of that first year in college. It’s different for everyone but some bits are the same throughout. I dunno, but I do know that this really turned out to be a cute read. Cath’s first semester was sort of rough, but mine was too. Her spring semester really carried her uphill with a whole flurry of change and accomplishment. Spring semesters are always better, for whatever reason they just are. So if you decide to read this book and are starting to get antsy over the dark divots in Cath’s first semester in college I urge you to stick it out. That second semester makes Cath fighting through her fear of college totally worth it, both for her as the protagonist and for me as the reader.
This book is cute, raw, dynamic, and real. FANGIRL is a delightful journal through freshman year at college. Flowing with introverted fears, heart-wrenching challenges, gut-clenching choices, snort-inducing humor, and gentle romance, this story unfolds a truthful telling of a fangirl’s experience…as slated by Cath.
Read my FULL review here: [...]
This story is about Cath and she's about to go off to college wit her twin however her twin Wren wants to do her own thing without her. Now Cath is alone and doesn't know what to do with herself. From the first page to the last one you see such a growth in Cath where she went from being dependent to standing up for herself. And I believe that was thanks to Levi and Reagan.
Both character brought Cath out of her comfort zone, and showed her how to enjoy college more. Especially Levi he is a talker and all around happy guy, but he is a great character. My favorite scene is the the Outsider read all nighter. This is when things changed and over my favorite book to was just a bonus.
Rainbow Rowell sure know how to write a coming of age book even if two more chapters would have been awesome. However I loved this book and will be reading it again and again.
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