I’m frankly not too sure what to make out of this book. It’s a nice read, though it gets a bit lengthy towards the middle.
The characters are brilliant, and the relationships between them seem very real and honest and also relatable. The protagonist is kind of a clumsy outcast, who isn’t the best at human interactions and who struggles to find her place in this world. Her main focus lies on her fanfiction-writing, which apparently consumes most of her time. I’ve never written fanfic, but whilst reading Fangirl I thought every now and then how people who really do write stories about their favorite characters feel about Cath. I mean, the book kinda makes it look like she cannot handle the real world because she’s stuck in her virtual one, but then I think a lot of people cannot handle this world and they most certainly do not all write fanfiction. So what I want to say is, that I could imagine some fanboys/girls not being too happy with how their lifestyle is displayed in this book.
Anyway, there’s only one thing that really freaked me out about this book and that’s how “The World of Mages” so relies on the Harry Potter Series. I mean, come on, an orphan who somehow lands in a world full of magic (at the fucking age of eleven!!) who surprisingly turns out to be “The Chosen One” who has to defeat the greatest danger for the magical world? I’m sorry but that simply did not work for me. The story could have been really good, I quite liked the style but not with that many similarities to one of the biggest literary accomplishments of our time.
So, sorry about that little rant, but I had to get this off my chest 🙂
Anyway, back to Fangirl. As I mentioned before I really did like the characters. I loved the relationship between Cath and Wren, how they had to give each other a bit of distance before finding back to each other in the end. Also, I thought their bipolar dad was great, you could almost see the love he has for his girls seeping through the pages. And Reagan, she’s awesome, just the right roommate for a girl like Cath, who needs a bit of instruction every now and then without being too motherly. Levi, of course, is great too, I mean who wouldn’t love to have a boyfriend who works at Starbucks? And then, there’s this thing with the twins Mom. I was quite impressed with Wren to try to let her Mom be part of her life again, it seemed to be a very mature and grown-up gesture to do. Also, I really loved what Wren said to Cath in their kitchen when Cath is making breakfast and the two of them start to fight about how their Mom abandoned them: “… Fuck that, Wren. She left you, too.” – “But it didn’t break me. Nothing can break me unless I let it.”
From my point of view, that was an incredibly powerful and impressive line, which just showed that maybe Wren had to grow up rather quickly because her Mom left her and that she also carries the scares being abandoned leaves you with, even though she doesn’t show it as much as her sister or her Dad.
To put this all in a nutshell, Fangirl is an enjoyable read, that will make you smile, twinge and relive the thrill of falling in love for the first time.