Synopsis from Good Reads:
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?
So I love Rainbow Rowell. As I’ve mentioned several times, Attachments is one of my all time favorites. It pretty much solidified that I will read any book Rowell ever writes. I would read a shopping list if she wrote it because she would probably find a way to make it emotive and relatable and funny and charming. I’m actually a little tempted to go all fangirl about Rainbow Rowell right now and make this whole post an ode to how much I love her. Now is not the time, but I’m sure I’ll do it someday. And it will be all hearts and rainbows (ha! I didn’t even plan that) and book quotes. But anyways, back to Fangirl.
I feel like I need to get what I didn’t like out of the way first. Cath’s fanfiction. I don’t have a problem that she writes it. Or that she’s obsessed with it. Or that she reads it out loud to Levi. (Oh Levi). I just didn’t like having to read so much of the fanfiction story. Every chapter ends with an excerpt from either the Simon Snow (very Harry Potter-esque) series or Cath’s own fanfiction about the series. And there were parts – maybe not long, but longer than I wanted them to be – of just Cath’s writing. For me, for that to really work, I expect to see symbolism and parallels between the two stories. The Simon Snow story should help give insight into Cath’s. Maybe I just didn’t pay enough attention to it, but I didn’t see it. The majority of it just seemed to be a little something extra Rowell could write for the fun of it. Or maybe it’s because I never got into Harry Potter?
Ok, so now that the ugly business is out of the way…
I liked Cath. She was probably one of the least annoying YA characters I’ve ever read. She had a good blend of smart and naive, innocence and growth, seriousness and humor. She’s just a well-balanced character – even though she’s a little unbalanced as a person. I just wish the other characters were as well developed.
Then there’s Levi. If there is one thing Rowell does well (and she does everything well), it’s writing leading men that are impossible not to love. Levi is sweet and smiley and sweet. He’s not entirely perfect, but he’s only twenty-one. I’m pretty sure he’ll grow into it.
As always, Rowell’s writing is the real highlight. Even though it’s in third person, it gives a very strong emotional connection to the main characters. The comic timing is perfect. The characters are relatable and likable. And even though there was never a cliffhanger, I couldn’t wait to start the next chapter. This book took me a little over a day to read and it only took that long because things like work and sleep got in the way. (Work is seriously getting in the way of my reading.)
Overall, I really enjoyed Fangirl. Even, though my first reaction to the ending was, “What? That’s it?” My second reaction was, “I’m going to read that again.” I would recommend this book to all Rainbow Rowell fans – and everyone should be a Rainbow Rowell fan – and those who write and read fanfiction.