Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: September 10, 2014
Format Read/Pages: HB/438
How I Acquired It: ALA Midwinter ‘14
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? Writing her own stories? Open her heart to someone? Or will she just go on living inside somebody else’s fiction?
Where to even begin with this book? I loved it. The characters were so down to earth and relatable that it was scary at times because I would be reading and picturing people I know with mannerisms that match. The fact that they were not all perfect, how often does our leading man have a receding hairline?, is what really makes the story. To me, this is why Rainbow Rowell has such a following, she writes characters and situations that are so believable that it makes it easy to become invested in the their lives.
My first semester of college went much like Wren’s, partying all the time trying to break out of the mold that my life has always been. In reality I am Cath. Sub fan fiction with books and we are the same person. This allowed me to really connect with both of these strong, in their own way, females. I have had the experiences they have and know the thoughts that were going through their heads in these different situations.
The pacing of the story was great, not too rushed and it did not drag. It is quite interesting that people complain about the fact they Simon Snow is so much like Harry Potter. Honestly what other recent series has had as big of an impact on so many young readers as Harry Potter did. That fandom is one of the biggest there will ever be and I loved that the Simon Snow fandom had the same feel. I would totally read the Simon Snow stories and they would probably share a shelf with my Harry Potter books.
The only qualm I have with the story, like so many, was the ending. Not because I did not like it, but because it left me wanting so much more. All in all, I cannot say how much I loved this book. I really don’t have much to say about it because it was perfect. I will forever be a fan of Rowell’s.