Author Rainbow Rowell
Release Date September 10, 2013
A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.
Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan...
But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?
Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
So, I read a book last year that center on fan fiction (4 to 16 characters) that I thought relied too heavily on the fanfic aspect and, in turn, didn't care for very much. I was worried about that here, but since I've absolutely loved everything else I've read by Rainbow Rowell, I bit the bullet and decided to read Fangirl. It didn't take long for me to realize that I had absolutely no reason to worry. Fanfic or not, I was going to love Fangirl.
There are so many things to love about this book. The characters are full of awesome and they all fit so well together. Cath is relatable. She's nerdy, introverted, socially awkward, and exactly the type of person I could see myself being if I had went away to college. Wren is the more extroverted, carefree twin sister. Reagan is the reluctant, but funny roommate. Levi is the perfect book boyfriend. All of the characters make up the perfect cast for this fantastic book. The writing is nothing less than anything else you'd read by Rainbow Rowell. It's the perfect length. The story continuously moves forward without unnecessary drama. It's a sweet and fun read, but also realistic and with a hint of real life sadness. It's the perfect combination of everything you'd like in a coming-of-age story.
About the fanfic since I mentioned it made me nervous to read this story... don't let it stop you from reading this awesome book. While fanfic plays a rather significant role in Cath's life (and in the story), it doesn't seem off putting. It works here. The stories resemble Harry Potter, but have their own differences. And, as a bonus, instead of turning me off to fan fiction, it made me more interested in seeing what's out there.
As always, I definitely recommend this wonderful book by Rainbow. And I look forward to reading more by her in the future.
5 out of 5 stars