By Rainbow Rowell
Publication date: Sept. 10, 2013
St. Martin’s Press, 433 pages
From the author the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park
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?
— Goodreads.com description
Fangirl is a particularly lovely story, taking on the challenges of college in a much more realistic way than any of the other “new adult” novels I’ve read lately. It’s not an easy transition for anyone, and oy does Cath have a rough go of it.
Cath is very…different…but in this book, that’s not a bad thing. I really love that it celebrates her quirk, her wallflower nature and her love of writing and all things fanfiction.
Yes, portions of the story are actual pieces of the fanfiction Cath writes. If you are a geek girl (like moi), you will likely love this. If you aren’t familiar with or down with fanfiction, I do suggest you start with her other books first and work your way here.
As you can tell, though, for me the blend of romance, family issues and friendship challenges worked like a charm! As my friend Shanyn put it, “I wouldn’t mind reading this for forever.”