Friday, April 4th, 2014 08:07 pm
Has anyone read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell?

Because I got it from the library and I don't know if I want to keep reading.

One, because having a fandom front and central in a book makes me a bit uncomfortable (ignore the woman typing behind the curtain!).

Two, because I have the feeling that she's going to ~learn a lesson~ about going out into the world and being less shy.

And three, because she's a slash fangirl, and I have no fucking patience for interludes that are the "canon" of her slash pairing and no fucking patience for slash being written about in a completely unexamined (i.e. ladies, what ladies, why should there be ladies?) way.
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Saturday, April 5th, 2014 03:56 am (UTC)
I loved it but it might not be to everyone's taste. There are many lessons to be learned, however, and Cath getting out in the world more isn't the major one in my mind.
Saturday, April 5th, 2014 04:08 am (UTC)
Agreed.

Also, you can skim/skip the fic and not really miss anything (especially if you've read fic, slash or otherwise).
Saturday, April 5th, 2014 04:39 am (UTC)
Thanks for the comment!
Saturday, April 5th, 2014 04:20 am (UTC)
Yup! Read it and wrote a review/article for it here: http://www.heroesandheartbreakers.com/blogs/2013/09/first-look-rainbow-rowell-fangirl-september-10-2013

I thought she did a good job with the fandom stuff for the most part. I find it kind of ludicrous that Cath's supposed to be a BNF but she writes the most chaste slash ever. Like they barely work up to kissing in her fic. But I get what the author was trying to do with it as a metaphor for her character.

Cath does learn a lesson by the end but it's a halfway compromise. She doesn't discard fic as a juvenile pursuit, which is where I feared it might go. She still writes and loves fic, but she also has friends and a boyfriend whereas at the start she only has her twin. I thought that part was fairly sensitively handled.

That being said, while it was good, Eleanor and Park was better, I thought.
Saturday, April 5th, 2014 04:36 am (UTC)
I agree with all of this, though I also had a major embarrassment squick moment involving her disagreement with her writing professor. (And I skimmed the in-story fic, because it did not interest me at all.) But I enjoyed the story and the writing, and went on to read Eleanor and Park (which was definitely a better book).
Saturday, April 5th, 2014 06:00 am (UTC)
Oh right. That bit was surprising to me. That she honestly didn't have the savvy to know the professor wouldn't think that was acceptable when she seemed aware of the stigma of fanfic/fandom in general. A little bit contrived.
Saturday, April 5th, 2014 04:40 am (UTC)
Okay, thanks for the information.
Saturday, April 5th, 2014 08:10 am (UTC)
So, I mostly liked the treatment of introversion and fandom. This book is one of the best examples of a good friend of an introvert that I've ever seen. There are issues with the book (I have issues with some of the twin stuff, and the English professor stuff). And yeah, the fic isn't always perfect, but it also reads incredibly accurate. It reads like Rainbow Rowell understands what fic is fo some people, and what it can be. Is it always good fic? No. Are there problems (like the fact that Cath apparently has no really good online friends), absolutely. But on the whole the introversion and fic things are not the things I have issues with in this book.

Introversion and shyness aren't demonized, in the end. They're not universally praised, but they aren't demonized.

Second favourite Rainbow Rowell, I think.
Saturday, April 5th, 2014 11:38 am (UTC)
Keep reading. Is all I'll say. It's not perfect. But, ye gods.
Saturday, April 5th, 2014 01:30 pm (UTC)
I read the first four or five chapters and decided it wasn't for me. For some of the reasons you mentioned + my embarrassment squick + I just really wasn't into the lead.
Saturday, April 5th, 2014 04:13 pm (UTC)
To be honest, everyone else's praise made me decide not to continue. Partially because I didn't think I would get into the lead, also I am not here for slash BNF fangirls.
Edited 2014-04-05 04:14 pm (UTC)
Saturday, April 5th, 2014 06:03 pm (UTC)
Fangirl was kind of weird for me because there were things I did like about it, but there were also things that drove me crazy, so in the end I guess I enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as everyone else seems to. I read it back in September so I might be misremembering some details, but I think the lesson of the book was less that the main character needed to abandon fandom and go out in the real world, and more about balancing her fandom life with going out in the world? The slash fangirl stuff was annoying because it's never examined and it's the only representation of fandom you get in the book. And there are some really awful scenes where the main character lacks self-awareness that drove me crazy, (putting this under a cut in case you care at all about spoilers) like how she submitted a fanfic as an assignment for her creative writing class and didn't even bother to change the names and then her professor called her out on it not being original because she's using someone else's characters and setting, and she argued with the professor about it, and the entire time I was just like, WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT. I used to write fanfic, and there's no way I would've EVER thought it appropriate to submit a fanfic for a COLLEGE ASSIGNMENT.
Saturday, April 5th, 2014 07:40 pm (UTC)
Honestly, as I said in a couple comments, what people chose to praise made me realize that reading this book would probably not be worth my time.

The slash fangirl stuff was annoying because it's never examined and it's the only representation of fandom you get in the book.

And considering my feelings about slash, I already know that this is a deal-breaker for me.

like how she submitted a fanfic as an assignment for her creative writing class and didn't even bother to change the names and then her professor called her out on it not being original because she's using someone else's characters and setting, and she argued with the professor about it, and the entire time I was just like, WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT. I used to write fanfic, and there's no way I would've EVER thought it appropriate to submit a fanfic for a COLLEGE ASSIGNMENT.

I actually knew someone in college who likely would have done that. She was arguably the most annoying girl on the face of the planet. However, she was also extremely extroverted and attention-whorey; I don't know if I buy someone as introverted and not great with people as Cath to pull that.
Edited 2014-04-05 07:40 pm (UTC)
Sunday, April 6th, 2014 11:47 am (UTC)
No but I have read Eleanor and Park which had some great characters, lots of which were ladies. I liked it enough to commit myself to reading some of her other stuff but at the same time I was a little underwhelmed by it. I can't say if she's the type of author to do all the things you're afraid of. In E&P the characters bond over a love of comic books and one character's notable differences are simply a part of who she is. For whatever that's worth.
Sunday, April 6th, 2014 02:32 pm (UTC)
I read it and enjoyed it, but in retrospect at least some of my fondness was due to the fact that it was the least screwed up representation of fandom in a published work I'd read. tbh this says more about the runners-up than Fangirl.