Pretty good adaptation of a great book!
Fangirl is one of my favorite books so I had to read this as soon as it was available! The story follows the original book pretty well and I actually think the inclusion of the art helps express the characters’ feelings a lot. However, this is volume 1 in a 4 part future series so a lot of the best parts of the book are not included in this volume since it hasn’t gotten to that portion of the plot as of yet.
Cath, our protagonist, is a huge fangirl who is going away to college for the first time. Her best friend is her twin sister who is a bit more “grown-up” than Cath, more excited to go to parties and socialize with new friends rather than stay inside and write Simon Snow fanfiction with Cath as usual. Cath doesn’t feel like she needs any friends as long as she has Simon Snow and her legions of fanfiction fans, but there isn’t a lot of personal time for her to devote to her fanfic now that she’s in college. She feels isolated and lonely, but also lacks the personal drive to try and reach out to get to know people, even when her sister Wren and her roommate try to include her to some degree.
This volume mostly encompasses Cath’s early feelings on college life and her burgeoning friendship with Levi, her roommate’s friend and one of the only people who try to reach out to her. Reagan, her roommate, is also awesome and I love her already in this. This is an interesting title to adapt to a manga because in some ways it works wonderfully with the art as it can really express Cath’s constant inward coldness at times. At the same time, Cath comes off as much colder in the manga since we’re not getting her inner dialogue and explanation for why she makes the choices she does. I disliked Cath a lot more in the manga than the book, but I figure that’s just a byproduct of not having the entire manga collection out yet.
Title: Fangirl: The Manga
Author: Rainbow Rowell & Sam Maggs
Three Descriptors: Amusing, Romantic, Fanfiction/Fandom
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