In Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, 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?
Though I've loved every other book of Rowell, I was reluctant to read this one; for some reason, I was certain I wasn't going to enjoy it. However, then my library loan expired when I was halfway through it, and I ended up turning off all the internet connections on my phone and avoiding the real world in order to finish it. Because it was worth it.
My favourite minor plotline of this was seeing Cath exploring her writing and the discussion of whether fanfiction is plagiarism. I could relate in a sense as I use to roleplay frequently, and that was always much easier for me than writing assignments. Seeing Cath taking an upper level fiction course in her first year of university and struggling to create her own worlds was immensely understandable.
A lot of 'college' books have been popping up recently in the New Adult genre, but I felt that this maintained a lot of authenticity. College was a natural setting for Cath, not just a place she was put to appeal to an audience.
This story was really a weaving together of many minor plotlines that created a beautifully intricate overall plot. None of it felt contrived, or as though it had been thrown in for the sake of being thrown in.
This wasn't my favourite of Rowell's books, but nonetheless, it was gorgeously addictive and made me feel all of the feelings.