Author: Rainbow Rowell
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Read: April 18-20, 2014
Book Blurb (from Goodreads):
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?
This is what all YA should aspire to be like.
Smart, intellectual, funny, and real.
❖ ❖ ❖
First thing first: One can hardly call this a review, but nevertheless, here it is:
I read this book months ago, but I think I’m finally ready to write this review. Why? Well, starting August 20th, I’m officially a freshman in college. And everyone that has ever been a freshman in college knows, that’s scary . . . Scary and exciting all at the same time. It’s on my mind all the time now, and even though I’m only taking a couple of classes to start off with because I work all the time, I’m worried that I’m no longer going to have a life between work and school.
Also, because I’m Cath. I’m anti-social. I’m not a people person. And the idea of walking into a classroom full of some odd number of kids and being expected to talk to them, ask the teacher questions, and act like I’m not scared shitless of making an idiot of myself (biggest fear ever) has my nerves jumbled and my head thinking ridiculous thoughts.
Just like Cath.
If I have ever read a book where I could relate so well to a character, it’s Fangirl. As I was reading about how Cath was hoarding granola bars in her dorm room so she wouldn’t have to actually go out and find the dining hall, I realized that I wasn’t just reading about a character, I was reading me.
And that’s the beauty of Rainbow Rowell. She’s writing real people. Sure, their fiction, but the way she writes these “fictitious” characters, living “real” lives and talking “real” talk, they embody someone, somewhere, that makes him or her realize, “Hey, that’s me.” And maybe it might make them a little uncomfortable to see themselves in another perspective because probably they were rolling their eyes and thinking, How could anyone be that scared, that awkward, with life and people? But eventually they realize they are, and they realize that they’re not the only ones, and that makes all the difference in the world.
Cath went on a self-discovery journey in Fangirl and this time next month, I will be too.
And who knows, maybe I’ll get lucky and find a Levi because everyone deserves a Levi. 😉
In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can’t Google.)
“I miss you.”
“That’s stupid,” she said. “I saw you this morning.”
“It’s not the time,” Levi said, and she could hear that he was smiling. “It’s the distance.”