Published by Macmillan on September 10th 2013
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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? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
Why did I wait so long to read Fangirl? This book has been sitting on my shelf since the fall and I’m really kicking myself for not having picked it up sooner. I felt like this book was written for me. I was a fangirl in high school, I lived on fanfiction.net and wrote Newsies fanfiction and especially of the boy on boy variety. So for me, this book was a dive into the thrill of writing fanfiction and what it meant. I loved the journey that Cath goes on, going to college and suddenly losing her twin sister to new friends and new adventures.
Cath is easily the geek girl, the one who wants to write, who rather live in a fantasy world than try to make new friends. I love her adventure on her first true love, as her old boyfriend really seemed more of just a fill in boyfriend. The one that fit what she needed but she didn’t feel love for. When she starts to fall for Levi, her roommate’s sort of boyfriend, she feels guilty. Levi is always there, even if Reagan isn’t and he’s one of the best characters written into existence. He’s cute but in a regular way and he’s so funny.
I love that Levi cannot read on his own, that being read to is the only way he understands anything he reads. It brings Cath and Levi together as she reads him The Outsiders because Reagan is too busy to help him. They have a slow burn relationship and I love it, it’s the way relationships should be, starting off getting to know one another and then slowly falling for each other. I love how Levi screws up too and how Cath reacts and I love how things end up between them.
And beyond that, this book is so much about friendship and family. Cath tries to give her sister Wren her space but ends up seeing her spiral downward. Even her own father, now on his own, is of concern to Cath. She’s not into college, scared of making new relationships and being a bit bullied into being Reagan’s friend. I love their relationship as Cath is so mousy and inside of herself and Reagan is a bit of a tornado, saying what she thinks and adding sarcasm to every interaction they have.
I just loved this book in every way possible and I think it’s one I will reread several times in the years to come. It reminds me so much of my own journey through high school and college, with great relationships and moments that had me both crying and laughing. If you are human at all, you should love this book. Go pick up Fangirl today and you won’t regret it.