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Summary:

Meet college freshman Cather “Cath” Avery whose passion for writing led her to two things: joining a Fiction Writing class, and writing Carry On, her fanfiction novel based on the the widely popular Simon Snow book series. When her mom left, wrapping themselves in everything Simon Snow "saved" Cath and her twin sister Wren. Except that was 10 years ago, when they were little girls. Now they're college freshmen. Wren is ready to move on from Simon Snow and be more on her own, but Cath is not. 

With her roommate’s distractingly omni-present boyfriend, and a classmate with scandalously good looks, Cath struggles to juggle it all: love, family, and her writing. With her notorious habit of procrastination and several family events, she drops the ball. The fall semester is a disaster and Cath isn't sure she can - or should - return to school. Her friend Levi convinces her to return to campus for the spring semester, bringing with it new lessons and opportunities.


Teen Student Volunteer (15):
I expected Fangirl to be just a bit more amusing in comedic situations, but there wasn't much comedy. I like this book more than I thought I would, because of the many themes touched upon. First, it gives off a cozy, homey mood. Second, I really liked the unique characters, and the sensual fan-fiction element. Through Cath’s difficult daily struggles of college life and snippets of her fan fics,  readers get views of both the real world and the world of fan-fiction.

Cath's original viewpoint really intrigued me. She is relatable, but also has a goofy  perspective, too.  Her premonitions of college life, quarrels with Wren, and  the parental dynamics. She made me understand why she, and other people, would feel the way they do. Cath is inspirational because of her passion, success, and positive relationships with others. I was surprised with the story's very relatable events people encounter and how they respond to things like betrayal and sibling relationships.

The story is well written, and the text descriptions are exceptional, whether Cathe is describing her feelings or scenery such as the library or her dorm room. There are allusions to pop culture, like her favorite book being a spin-off version of the real-world Harry Potter, and listening to Kanye West songs.


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Exceptional writing is the foundation for this story of family, friendship, growing up, and moving forward. Realistic characters and events will engage readers to look a little deeper, have a little more compassion, and maybe even push themselves to be more like Cath. 

Content Awareness Factors:

Fangirl has mild-drug use, and shows the consequences of it. For example, Wren uses alcohol and suffers alcohol poisoning. There is also explicit language and a situation where the characters visit a bar. The sexual situations are mild, nothing rated R, but some parts are suggestive and the characters do talk about sex. There is one scene of violence at a bar.


Type of Book:
This is a realistic coming-of-age novel.
Educational Themes:

The heart of this story is Cath, her relationship with the world, and the ways that she copes with change and truama. It creates opportunities to talk about how choices and events can affect relationships, including love, sense of family, friendship, and betrayal, as well as how they can impact school, learning, and personal success.

Additinally, readers can learn about the kinds of lifeskills they will need in pursuing job opportunities and internships, as well as time-management and staying in school.

Reading Level:
3.9
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
15 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
14 and Up
Age of child:
Teen student volunteer. Reviewer age: 15
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. This story is simple enough to understand in one read and, as a realistic story, but with its mundane events (some predictable) isn't one that a reader would necessarily refer back to.

Title Fangirl: A Novel
Author Rainbow Rowell
Publisher Griffin, St. Martin's Press Imprint, Macmillan Publishers © 2013
ISBN 9781250030955
Material Hard Cover
Cost $8.71
Genres Adventure, Family, Coming Of Age, Self Worth
Cybils

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