Fangirl – Not a (complete) fan

I think this was a decent contemporary YA read, but not the most engaging for someone who feels removed from that age bracket.


  • Enjoy character-driven books
  • Like YA voice
  • Enjoy college settings, esp dorm rooms and libraries and the occasional frat party
  • Are in the mood for a bookish main character

TitleFangirl | Author: Rainbow RowellRating: 3/5

#Fangirl was mediocre. With the hype, I expected more, but it fell short for me. The problem wasn’t the book, though; it’s more me. The voice was too young and I’m too far removed from the main character, Cath’s, stage of life that her behavior and the setting (college) were too boring.

The writing was fine, though, and if I were age-wise in the target demographic, I’d have likely enjoyed it more.

But I was fed up and bored of the fanfiction component. And though I enjoyed it at first, I later felt tempted to skip over those excerpts.

I did think the main character was too childish and silly, but that’s likely because she’s still 18 and transitioning to a new stage of her life: freshman year of college.

But the book is what you’d expect of a bookish, introverted, socially awkward girl trying to figure out college. I thought she made stupid decisions, like not do her final project because she was too busy writing fanfic (though I think she eventually does, but only after wasting a ton of time). And I thought the romance with her new beau was so ridiculous and made me cringe – but only because I’ m much older than an 18 year old.

Her twin sister Wren is a mess – and I don’t understand why. She gets drunk to the point of being dumped at the hospital, she shuns her twin sister like the plague, and is an overall b****. I didn’t get it.

The mom is another mess – and I don’t understand her, either. But I don’t think anyone does, and that’s the point.

The dad has bipolar disorder and is trying to live the best he can for his daughters and himself. He was likely my favorite character because though he was dealt a hard hand, he tries to make the best of it. He was the most mature and reasonable character.

I think #Fangirl decent contemporary YA read, but not the most engaging for someone who feels removed from that age bracket.

6 thoughts on “Fangirl – Not a (complete) fan

  1. Julie Anna's Books says:

    I felt the same way (even though I’m fairly close in age to Cath). I thought there were several times where her behavior was very indicative of someone dealing with anxiety, but there were other times where I felt like her behavior still didn’t make sense for her age. I gave this 3 stars too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Reading Between the Dunes says:

      Agreed – she seemed too immature for me, though I think she matured a bit by the end, at least. And, granted, her whole world upended (her sister not hanging with her, worry for her father, the mother thing) so it makes sense in a way that she wouldn’t have a grip on things, at least not immediately.

      Liked by 1 person

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