By: Rainbow Rowell
Reported by: Julianna Helms
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?
-Summary via Goodreads
Purchase: Indiebound || Barnes & Noble
I adore Rainbow Rowell. I adore Cath. I adore Reagan, Levi, Wren... I so very much adore this book.
It is a beautiful thing, to be in love with someone. Maybe that's why we are all fangirls/fanboys to a certain extent, because whether that someone is fictional or real, they give us something we don't give ourselves: a purpose. I'm not saying that you need someone else to be fabulous, but I think all the book nerds out there know what I mean when I say that reading a good book feels as fulfilling to us as an embrace might feel to a lover's heart. So with all that said, it's pretty clear that Fangirl was written for fangirls. And Cath's love for Simon Snow, for a life that is not her own, is a sense of desperation and dependency that we've probably all experienced at one time or another.
That's what makes this book such a successful coming-of-age story, I think. Because it explores common themes of growing up and letting go and finding yourself that everyone can relate to. Rainbow's spear-like wit and melodramatic but certainly real characters make this adventure.
Fangirl is a wake-up call, a bubble bath, a barrel of Butterbeer, a view through the Hubble Space Telescope half-blocked by someone else's arse. (Because space is beautiful and vast, but when you look at it through a different perspective, things get... well. Interesting. And fangirl-worthy.)
It's that sweet stingy freezing real sun-speckled composite of being yourself, but also being more than yourself. Because that's what growing up is, isn't it? To become more than yourself. To be a superhero, really. I mean, why else would you be asked to calculate the wave function of the Schrodinger equation????? (Seriously though, fml.)
In the end, Fangirl is worthy of its title. With an incredible cast of characters who each vary in personality but all hold the same, so very human depth of hurting, and writing that is both refreshing and complementary--the setting flares to life and the dialogue drips of sarcasm and weary, hopeful naivety--I couldn't be prouder to call myself a Fangirl fangirl.