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? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
"[Rowell] specializes in young misfits charting their way in the world. She doesn't disappoint here. Though the theme of a young writer finding her voice may be familiar, Rowell brings to it fresh humor, heart and more than a few surprises. Cath's relationships, tender and untidy, ring true. Excerpts from Simon Snow novels and Magicath's fan fiction appear between chapters, offering echoes of Cath's struggle."—Jessica Bruder, The New York Times Book Review
"At turns funny, sweet, smart, and sad, Fangirl traces Cath's journey to independence as she begins college, struggles to have an identity separate from her twin sister, find her voice and passion as a writer and fall in love, maybe, for the first time. As sharp and emotionally resonant as Rowell's previous novel, Eleanor & Park."—Stephanie Chase, Seattle Public Library, LibraryReads.org
"As funny as it is embarrassing, and as charming as it is true-to-geek-life . . . Fangirl is a cute and poignant read for fangirls and fanboys of all ages."—Tor.com
"With an unflinching voice, Cath navigates the lonely road of her freshman year at college, untethered from her gregarious twin sister's orbit and unsure whether her wild popularity as an author of fan fiction makes her more—or less—of a 'real' writer. The novel's brilliance comes from Rowell's reimagining of a coming-of-age story's stock characters (the reclusive writer, the tough-talking friend, the sweet potential boyfriend) as dynamic and temperamental individuals—which adroitly parallels Cath's own fan-fiction writing process. Rowell challenges readers to love characters who are loyal, vulnerable and funny—but also realistically flawed. Cath's gruff exterior protects her easily wounded and quite self-conscious heart, but her anger is sometimes unreasonable. Roommate Reagan is a fiercely loyal friend but an unfaithful girlfriend; Cath's crush, Levi, has a receding hairline rather than the artificial movie-star perfection bestowed upon the brows of so many romantic heroes. The nuanced characters help the novel avoid didacticism as it explores the creative process and the concept of creative 'ownership.' Though Cath's Harry Potter-esque fan fiction (excerpts of which are deftly woven into the novel) has a devoted following of more than 35,000 readers, a professor deems the stories plagiarism and stealing because, 'These characters, this whole world belongs to someone else.' Cath's struggles to assess this conclusion's validity give readers much to consider. Absolutely captivating."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Cath is an exceptionally well-developed, self-aware, and endearing character, partly because she is so quirky and flawed . . . Great secondary characters . . . The plot is multilayered and filled with complex subjects (such as divorce, abandonment, and mental illness) handled in a realistic manner, and the writing effortlessly and seamlessly weaves these threads together. This book will find a wide audience, especially among older fans of Harry Potter."—School Library Journal (starred review)
"Cath Avery's life has two polestars: Wren, her identical twin, and the Simon Snow series, a Harry Potter–like publishing phenomenon that Cath has been reading—and rewriting, as a hugely popular fanfiction author—for years. While Cath is an expert on Simon's life, she finds her own difficult, especially now that she's starting college and Wren doesn't want them to room together. Since Cath would rather stay in her room and write than do anything involving other people, that first year is terrifying, which she expected, but also heartbreaking and romantic, which she did not. Rowell blends Cath's first year of college with excerpts of both the 'canon' Simon Snow books and Cath's distinctly non-canonical fanfic, to create a funny and tender coming-of-age story that's also the story of a writer finding her voice. Rowell makes all of Cath's relationships—with her father; Wren; her acerbic roommate, Reagan; and, especially, Reagan's ex Levi (who practically takes up residence in their room to woo the skeptical and extremely nervous Cath)—touching and utterly real."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Reviews from Goodreads
There was a boy in her room.
Cath looked up at the number painted on the door, then down at the room assignment in her hand.
Pound Hall, 913.
This was definitely room 913, but maybe it wasn't Pound Hall—all...
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (Book Trailer #1)
Watch the book trailer for Fangirl, the new novel by Rainbow Rowell, author of Eleanor & Park.Share This