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?
Fangirl was my first Rainbow Rowell novel and I'm definitely in for more! What attracted me to this one was the fan fiction aspect, while I never published anything I wrote online, I have many many pages about one of my favorite bands that I wrote in college and beyond, so I totally get it. I could really identify with her reasons for writing, and also her trouble at writing something original. As an adult still interested in writing, I want to move away from fan writing and make something original all my own, and it is hard! Writing within an established world that you've taken so much joy in is comforting, stepping out of that zone and trying to create something new is terrifying, and initially kind of sterile. I believe now that I wrote because I was depressed and stressed, for many reasons, and that was my escape.
Past the writing aspect, I really enjoyed the character development and the relationships. I loved Cath's roommate and Levi, who is such an unbelievable sweetheart. I was angry at Cath's sister Wren and just felt so much for Cath's struggles and the hard time her Dad went through. This was a great coming of age story, and now I'll also have to read Carry On, which is Cath's fan fiction. I think that's awesome that Rainbow Rowell went ahead and wrote that too!
This one gets a definite recommend from me, and I'm looking forward to more!