Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Goodreads Summary: In Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, 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? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
My Thoughts: I just discovered Rainbow Rowell last spring when a friend recommended Eleanor and Park (which I loved), and my book club read Attachments this summer (which I really enjoyed as well). I was pumped when the library told me that my hold on Fangirl was finally available. All I really knew about it before starting it was that the main character wrote fan fiction. I was so excited when I actually started reading and realized that the fan fiction the character wrote was based off a (fictional) series about a boy wizard (okay, magician in the book) who lives at boarding school and fights magical villans. Sound familiar?? Yup, not only did Rowell write an amazing plot in Fangirl, but she also created a fictious book series within it AND wrote a ton of fan fiction based off that series. If you're keeping track, that's like three different plots in one. As a HUGE Harry Potter fan since basically the beginning of time, I just loved how obsessed Cath, the protagonist, was with her potter-like series, "Simon Snow." While my Potter-obsession never quite reached Cath's heights, I definitely know what that's like!
If you've read any of my other YA book reviews, you know I love a good coming of age story. Cath is just plain different from many of the other book characters I've encountered in YA lit, at least the female characters. She's actually a really complex character--brash and brazen in some contexts and super shy in others. Cath is learning to find herself in many ways--as a college students, as a writer of something other than fan fiction, as a person separate from her twin sister, as a partner in a mature relationship...her struggles were just so real.
This was a long one, but at 400+ pages I still wasn't ready to be done! I could have kept reading for at least another 400. Rowell is just such an easy writer to read--Fangirl had me laughing out loud with its wit and random references to pop culture and crying a few actual tears at different parts. The true sign of any great book--when I finished, I laid on the couch for a few more minutes just thinking about the characters. Those are the best bibliophile moments. :)
Run to the library or book store and get Fangirl!! I loved it!
5/5 stars (Photo and summary courtesy of goodreads.com)
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