I liked the story and Rainbow Rowell does a good job of depicting the frankly terrifying experience of navigating your first few months of college whilst knowing no one and suffering from crippling shyness. Cath retreats into her world of Simon Snow fanfic and eats power bars in her room rather than face the dining hall, but slowly she meets people and starts to make some friends.
The romance angle was just lovely. Levi isn’t a ripped, tattooed, muscly, rescuing-kittens-from-trees leading man and was all the better for it. Not that I’m saying the tattooed dudes are unwelcome, they’re not, but he suited Cath so much better as a kind of ordinary-but-nice guy. The sort of guy who’ll stick up for you when you’re being perved on in a bar and who is nice to complete strangers as their default setting.
Cath’s relationship with Wren was prickly and difficult. The more Wren tries to pull away from Cath, the more Cath clings to her and yet you can see how much they love each other.
While I sympathised with Cath in many respects (introversion, social awkwardness, bookishness, love of writing), I didn’t get her obsession with Simon Snow. I also wasn’t keen on the fanfic excerpts. I guess because I hadn’t read the books they were based on (obviously, because they don’t exist) I had no context for the stories Cath wrote, and also because I’m just not into fanfic in real life either. I ended up just skim-reading these bits, like you do with the massive-long elvish poems in Lord of the Rings (and don’t tell me you didn’t).
Despite this, I thought Fangirl was a really lovely read. I just love Rainbow Rowell; her writing is the literary equivalent of curling up in a comfy sofa with a bar of chocolate.