Fangirl (book)

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Title: Fangirl
Creator: Rainbow Rowell
Date(s): 2013
Medium: Novel
Fandom: fandom
Language: English
External Links: Rainbow Fangirl page

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Fangirl is a 2013 novel by Rainbow Rowell about two young American girl twins who are BNFs in her fictional Simon Snow series fandom.

Cover image of Fangirl novel, with art by Noelle Stevenson

Rowell is herself a fangirl, writing about her deep fannishness about The Borrowers book series.


This article or section needs expansion.

Cath and Wren are twins who, while growing up, wereIn the course of the book, found comfort in the Simon Snow fandom after their mother left them. As they start college during the book, Wren is trying to grow away from fandom and Cath to let go after Simon Snow got her through those rough times. Cath, the protagonist, is a BNF who is writing a Simon Snow fanfic while anticipating the final Simon Snow book. At college, Cath deals with social anxiety, distance from her sister, and a professor who believes that all fanfiction is plagiarism.

Cath eventually learns to appreciate life away from the laptop and finds a boyfriend who appreciates her fannish leanings.

Fan Comments

Cake Evangelista wrote a very positive review in the Philippine Daily Inquirer[1], saying, "“Fangirl” beautifully captures my own sentiments about being a fan. Its story will resonate with people who have ever loved a piece of pop culture to the point of distraction."

Alyssa Rosenberg was more critical, saying "Fandom deserves a novel that doesn’t treat it like a pale substitute for life, when fan communities can be such a major component of it." [2]

A third interpretation can be the message of balance: Cath using fandom to avoid life is treated as unhealthy, but she shows no signs of giving it up forever once she comes out of her shell. In addition, the beginning of the book mentions the pressure she feels as a BNF and how finishing her magnum opus within a certain time period feels like a chore rather than a pleasure. Cath's sister also still reads Cath's fic and begins to beta the story for her.

Fanfic of "Fangirl"

Further Reading/Meta


  1. What it means to be a fangirl Philippine Daily Inquirer, November 2, 2013 (accessed 2013-11-16)
  2. Rowell’s ‘Fangirl’ Would Be Better If It Had More To Say About Fandom, Alyssa Rosenberg on Think Progress, October 8, 2013 (accessed 2013-11-16)