Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: September 2013
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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?
I’m a true Rainbow Rowell convert now. Fangirl has been recommended to me in the past, and I never really took the time to check it out. I wasn’t sure what it was about and I wish I’d taken the time to look into it sooner because I really enjoyed this novel! Cath is such a relatable character. She and her twin sister Wren are off to their first year at college, their first year away from home. Cath has quite a bit of social anxiety. She is introverted, struggles to meet new people, and has difficulty make new friends. It doesn’t help that there’s a bit of distance between her an Wren that they haven’t really experienced before. It takes her over a month before her roommate, Riley, finally takes her to the cafeteria. But Cath has a wonderfully creative mind. She’s a writer. She’ LOVES fanfiction and is an extremely populate fanfic writer. She’s super unique! I love her character. I think that many readers out there will relate to her.
This story is really great because it takes the reader on this incredibly relatable coming-of-age journey. Cath moves from the security of her father’s home to the unknown world of college. She really comes to understand herself so much better, along with her relationship with her father and her sister. Cath is able to make new friends and even find a bit of romance. Through it all she never pretends to be anything other than who she is. She avoids situations that make her uncomfortable, but she slowly expands her horizons as she makes new friends and encounters new situations. It’s not a story that focuses on just one thing. There’s a bit of romance, a bit of friendship, and many family relationships. Every relationship is complicated and realistic. I think this honesty and believability is what makes this such a great story.
Any other Rainbow Rowell fans out there? What are your thoughts?