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Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

As part of her Sherlock Week post yesterday, author Frankie Brown mentioned her love for the book Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.  Today she reviews it for us.

Rainbow Rowell doesn’t write books; she writes characters. 

In Eleanor & Park, Rainbow gave us a comic book lover who dressed like art and a popular kid whose kind heart made him a misfit. Rainbow told their story with love and filled it with music, making beauty rise from horror.
Rainbow’s latest book is about Cath, a freshman in college and the titular fangirl. Cath’s fandom of choice: Simon Snow, a fictional (not fiction, fictional) book series that’s a lovely nod to Harry Potter. From her novel-length fanfiction to the commemorative busts displayed on her desk, Cath’s life is consumed by her fandom. But it’s a joyful consumption. 
“Why do we write fiction?” Cath’s creative writing professor asks on the very first day of class. The answers range from thoughtful to comical and deep to superficial. Cath ducks her head and keeps quiet, but right before the scene fades out, we glimpse the answer scribbled in her notebook:
To disappear.

Cath has anxiety, and the best gift you could give to a person with anxiety is an invisibility cloak. Under that cloak no eyes can see you, judge you or grade you. Cath knows that very well. But in her new college environment, with a roommate who won’t leave her alone and a boy who just won’t bloody leave, Cath’s invisibility cloak gets a few holes. 
Rainbow doesn’t write books; books are self-contained. Rainbow gives us snapshots of her characters’ lives — characters so real that after you finish reading, you’ll want to pick up the phone and call them. Just to say hello.
Fangirl is available now from St. Martin’s Press. 

About Frankie Brown:

Frankie Brown writes, sells and hoards books in Athens, GA, a funky little town famous for its music scene. But, as anyone who’s ever heard the fruits of Frankie’s musical endeavors can attest, her talents lie elsewhere. She’s turned her creative energy to crafting stories and can typically be found hunched over a keyboard in her neighborhood coffee shops. @frankiebrown25

Until We End by Frankie Brown
It’s been nine months since the virus hit, killing almost everyone it touched. Seventeen-year-old Cora and her little brother, Coby, haven’t left home since. Not after the power cut out; not even after sirens faded in the distance and the world outside their backyard fence fell silent. But when a blistering drought forces Cora to go in search of water, she discovers that the post-apocalyptic world isn’t as deserted as she thought when she meets Brooks, a drop-dead sexy army deserter.

Fighting their way back home, Cora finds her house ransacked and Coby missing – kidnapped by the military for dangerous medical experiments in the name of finding a cure. Brooks knows exactly where Cora can find her brother, except he says it’s a suicide mission. Cora doesn’t care. But Brooks can’t let her go…

December Audio Book of the Month Giveaway: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

The month of December brings us a new Audio Book of the Month Giveaway brought to you by Random House Books on Tape and Listening Library.  Each month you will have the chance to enter and win a new MG or YA audio book – because audio books are cool. 

The December Audio Book of the Month Pick is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

My take: I haven’t heard or even read Fangirl, but Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell is one of my top reads of 2013.  I have heard lots of good things and it is definitely on my TBR pile.  You can listen to an excerpt at Random House Listening Library.

So here’s how you can enter to win:

1.  The contest will run each month, roughly the first day of the month until the last.

2. You can enter via the Rafflecopter in multiple ways.  One way includes leaving a blog comment so tell us: 1) What’s your favorite time, place or way to listen to audio books? and/or 2)Who – or what – are you a huge fan of, or were as a teen?

3.  The contest is open to residents of the U.S. 

4.  Rafflecopter will pick a winner, I will email that winner to get their address, and Random House Books on Tape/Listening Library will email the winner’s audio book out to them.