Rainbow Rowell knows how to write stories that feel light, but that feature characters you care about and situations that have higher stakes than they may seem at first. She did this masterfully in Eleanor & Park, and Fangirl--while ultimately a little lighter--is another winner.
Cath is a freshman in college who feels like she's being left behind. Her twin sister Wren doesn't want to room with her and is no longer interested in the Simon Snow fandom they've been devoted to for years. Cath isn't ready to let go of her fanfiction, but she isn't sure where she fits in this new world of cranky roommates and charming classmates.
Book lovers will relate to Cath's devotion to her favorite characters (even if you've never been part of a "fandom," as I haven't). The story is light enough for easy reading but with characters developed enough to make you care what happens next. Rowell also wrote a follow-up to this novel that delves into the world of Simon Snow.
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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?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?