BOOK REVIEW: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

This was a DNF for me, unless you all can convince me to pick it back up again.

There was not enough fandom in the first few pages. She didn’t seem much like a fan of anything in the chapters I got through. Wait. Except for the Wikipedia-like entry on page one that describes the fictional fiction Simon Snow Series (that seemed a lot like Harry Potter), you can’t tell she’s a fan of much. 

Why couldn’t Rowell have just said Harry Potter instead? Would have been an instant connection with the MC. I would have understood her. Now I’m hesitant and I feel like fair use wasn’t utilized here. I wasn’t going to be able to “fangirl all over the place” with the main character if I was going to have to learn about a fictional universe that…isn’t real (oh, the irony). That’s too much work. This kind of book didn’t seem like it had to do what Lev Grossman did in The Magicians series–where he had to change names and plots in order to not get sued. Rowell isn’t going to have her MC go into the fictional world of Harry Potter, only write about it. I feel like copyright wouldn’t have been the same issue. I don’t know. I’m not a lawyer.

But I am a copyright librarian, so…

It would be interesting to see how this kind of story would play out in court.

Rowling vs. Rowell.

I don’t think Rowling would have won if Rowell had just gone with Harry instead of Simon. But I guess we’ll never know.

In this case, it seems like Rowell wanted to write her own version of Harry Potter versus pay homage. It’s just Harry Potter fanfiction. Without the fans. Seems to work against the message she’s wanting to project about fanfiction….

Am I wrong?


2 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

  1. I was disappointed in this book. I did finish it, but I came to it with high expectations after reading Eleanor & Park. That was a brilliant book. This one was kind of meh for me. But then I’m not all that into fan fiction so maybe that was the problem?

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