Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Synopsis: 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?
My thoughts: Completely blown away. I can’t think of the words to adequately describe how much I loved this book. I really can’t.
Not only did Rainbow Rowell manage to create such real and relatable characters with a real and relatable plot, she tackled raw, complex and emotional situations and feelings without flinching, making for a shockingly real storyline. I appreciated that realness so much. The book wouldn’t have been nearly as fantastic without it.
I adored Cath, but that might be because of bias–I saw myself in nearly everything she did. Every fangirl out there will resonate with Cath’s almost ‘in the closet’ passion for fiction, how it’s the center of her world despite how the world reacts to it, and how stories keep her grounded. I got a little bored sometimes with the excerpts of fan-fiction and often found myself skimming ahead, as Cath’s story was more interesting to me than Simon’s, though I understood the point of them and thought it did add to her character. As for the writing itself, I loved Rainbow’s style, I just wish there had been a little more description at times, specifically with the dialogue, just so I could get the imagery just right. Overall, though, I thought the style fit the story.
My only complaint is that I didn’t read this earlier, especially during my first year of college. Rainbow Rowell captured the feeling of moving out and starting freshman year of college so perfectly, if I had read it when I was doing the same thing, maybe I wouldn’t have felt so completely overwhelmed and alone–just as Cath did.
Thank you Rainbow Rowell for adding this masterpiece to my bookshelf. I imagine it will be one of my favorites for years to come.
Rate 5/5 for emotional, humorous and relatable perfection.