Since Carry On is coming out on October 6th, I decided to re-read Fangirl to get myself ready for a full length Simon Snow story from Rainbow Rowell.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.
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 one of my all time favorite books. I identify almost 100% with Cath. My college experience was similar on many levels. The end of freshman year is when my twin sister and I kind of had our “break up” as Rowell describes it in the book.
It’s hard to be a twin, especially for the more independent, leader twin. I was always the follower, like Cath. As an adult, I understand Wren’s desire to break away when starting college. It’s hard for Cath, as it was hard for me, to be left alone. Forging your own way is something that singlets learn at an early age, but twins often don’t have to do anything alone until adulthood.
Rowell has added so many other amazing characters to this story.
– Levi is so sweet. I absolutely love the awkwardness of Cath’s relationship with him.
– Reagan cracks me up. The way she deals with Cath’s weirdness is hilarious. It reminds me of Megan and Felicity from the TV show Felicity.
– Wren is mess, but I feel bad for her. She’s trying to figure out how to be her own person and how to fit in without losing control.
– Their dad is struggling with mental illness, but in between issues, I enjoyed all of his ad campaign creativity. It shed some light on Cath’s writing talent.
The main story is told in third person POV from Cath’s perspective. The internal monologue is perfect! I especially loved all her debating of words and meaning, even when it was only the thoughts in her head. It was neat to get into the mind of a writer.
I’d never read any fanfiction before reading this book this first time. But as a Harry Potter enthusiast, I love the Simon Snow elements of this story. I am amazed at Rainbow Rowell’s ability to create the Fangirl story, the Gemma T. Leslie Simon Snow stories, and Cath’s Carry On story. I enjoyed the excerpts in between chapters, and even found that they paralleled the main plot which added to the overall awesomeness of this book.
I’m curious to see how similar Carry On the book is to Cath’s writing in Fangirl.
“You’re nice to everybody. You give away nice like it doesn’t cost you anything.”
Levi laughed. “It doesn’t cost me anything. It’s not like smiling at strangers exhausts my overall supply.” “Well, it does mine,” “I’m not you. Making people happy makes me feel good. If anything, it gives me more energy for the people I care about.”
This is the perfect description of an introvert vs. an extrovert.
To really be a nerd, she’d decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one.
Isn’t that the truth!
My Original Rating: 5 Stars
Understand my ratings.