Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: by St. Martin’s Press on September 10, 2013
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 book is probably going to be my favorite reading of 2016. Fangirl is the story of Cath, a 18 years old girl at her first year of college, who lives immersed in a fictional world and writes about that in her fanfictions. The first thing I thought when I started reading it was: “This is so me!” Aside from fanfictions, because I only created them in my head, after a failed attempt few years ago.
Rainbow Rowell has been amazing enough to catch the essence of us, passionate readers and introvert girls. The book is structured in a nice way, following the college life of the protagonist along her very first academic year, letting the reader to follow her dealing with roommates, new friendships, professors, college mates, her twin sister, and family.
What I mostly loved about this book is the simple plot, without any unresolved situations, but characters with complex personalities. Because it’s what everyday life looks like and it’s easier for the reader to fully relate with the protagonist. The only parts I didn’t actually related with were the college life, since I’m italian and things are completely different here (no dorms, no huge buildings or frats, no caring professors, you’re just your register number here), and the writing process of Cath’s fanfiction, the way she made Simon and Baz in love with each other. I’m not against homosexuality, but I never quite understand why writing fanfictions like that, I see them all the time and I don’t read them, since I don’t like when the characters are so drastically changed.
I never met someone who could share my same passions, my same fangirl obsessions for a fantasy world aside from the internet. This book surprised me, in a positive way, because all Cath’s thoughts looked like my same ones, about boys, about books, about fictional characters. I’ve never eaten protein bars to avoid the crowd (food is basically my life), but all the other things are so familiar to me that’s probably why I loved her so much! The love story with Levi is so adorable, I enjoyed every single word about that.
Overall, this book was amazing to me, exactly what I was expecting and very refreshing after my previous non-fiction reading month. Thank you to all my fellow fangirls who recommended it to me!
“Internet. It’s awesome. You get all the benefits of ‘other people’ without the body odor and the eye contact.”