If anyone ever understood how deep my love of Harry Potter runs it’s the main character Cath in Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl. Cath and her twin sister Wren are both huge fans of the Simon Snow series (side note: Rainbow is actually coming out with a book based on those characters in October of this year!) and Cath has actually garnered quite an online following with her Simon and Baz (Harry and Malfoy type characters) fan fiction. Wren has always been supportive in the past but now that the girls are getting older and leaving for college, they’re in a more transitory period and Wren, especially, wants to separate herself from her twin. She doesn’t even want to live with Cath which ends up effecting each sister differently.
Cath is a character I completely related to. She’s an introvert who loves literature and she takes on the burden of familial responsibilities when Wren becomes more concerned with going out and partying than the well-being of her father. She’s also pretty insecure and awkward. I love that Rowell even uses Cath’s fanfic as a story element by interweaving it through chapters. Cath’s writing also gives us a sense of how she’s coping with her own real life. Even if you didn’t grow up addicted to Harry Potter, if you’ve ever loved anything fictional, you’ll be able to relate to Cath’s intense passion for the characters. It still amazes me how much Rainbow Rowell understands and expresses the feelings superfans experience.
Part of what made this book so enjoyable is that it explored so many of the relationships in Cath’s life from her twin sister to her father to her absent mother to her new roommate / potential friend to a potential love interest. Levi, the potential love interest, is probably my second favorite character of the book (after Cath of course) because he really gets Cath to break out her shell, even if it’s only a little. He’s patient and understanding and it’s evident that he cares for her.
Overall Fangirl is an enjoyable journey through the transition from childhood to adulthood. It captures the essence of what it means to be a fangirl and celebrates the love of fanficiton, which is typically viewed with negative connotations. It’s no wonder Fangirl was the first book read by the official Tumblr book club. I loved how Cath’s character grew throughout the novel and how despite her reluctance, she begins to step outside her comfort zone and experience life differently. I cannot wait to read Rainbow Rowell’s book set in the world of Simon Snow, titled Carry On, which is scheduled for release this October.
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? (via Goodreads)