Review of Fangirl, Vol. 1: The Manga

Fangirl Vol. 1: The Manga

by Sam Maggs  (Adapter), Rainbow Rowell  (Creator), Gabi Nam (Illustrator)

October 13, 2020


Blurb: Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, everybody is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life. Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath just can’t let go…

Cath doesn’t need friends IRL. She has her twin sister, Wren, and she’s a popular fanfic writer in the Simon Snow community with thousands of fans online. But now that she’s in college, Cath is completely outside of her comfort zone. There are suddenly all these new people in her life. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming boyfriend, a writing professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome new writing partner…

And she’s barely heard from Wren all semester!

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Note: I received an ARC for Fangirl Vol. 1: The Manga from the publisher in electronic form. The copy was unreadable (jumbled) so I bought a hardcopy from Amazon (no problem there as the original Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell has always been one of my favorite YA novels.) and this review is based on that copy.

When I first read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell eight years ago, it quickly became my favorite YA novel. So much so that I annoyingly told everyone to read it, and equally annoyingly gasped when it didn’t become their favorite novel. Anyway, I was so excited to see that Fangirl received manga treatment even though I’m not a manga fan–yet. I’d love to see it turned into a movie or TV or whatever as long as I can enjoy Fangirl more.

Sam Maggs and Gabi Nam did an outstanding job of bringing Fangirl Vol. 1: The Manga to life. I loved the illustrations, loved seeing Cath and Levi depicted, and loved revisiting the story I fell in love with.

That said, Fangirl Vol. 1: The Manga is not as true to the book as I expected. At times, I felt like I was reading something new and not always empathizing (or sympathizing) with Cath, the new Freshman away at college minus her twin, Wren, the way I know I did in the original. Reading the manga made me wonder if I needed to refresh my memory and re-read Fangirl to see if it was as good as I reverently remembered it being.

From “volume 1” in the title, you can guess that this manga treatment is not the entire book. I couldn’t easily discover when there will be more, but I’ll be looking for them.



4 out of 5 butterflies

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