Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is about a woman named Cath who has just entered college and is one of the most successful fanfiction writers on the Internet. She is so engrossed in the world of Simon Snow (a loving homage to the Harry Potter series) that she isolates herself in her dorm room because no one can measure up to her beloved Simon and Baz (the antagonist of the Simon Snow series). After meeting her outspoken roommate Reagan and Reagan’s super-cute boyfriend Levi, Cath slowly grows out of her shell, but still compares everybody to characters from her beloved fictional universe. She even contemplates dropping out of college because of her success as a fanfic author. After family tragedies strike and she falls in love, she finally understands that life isn’t a novel. Cath realizes that only she can create her own happy ending, and she must do that within reality, not behind the safety of her laptop.
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 fanfiction, 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 fanfiction 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?
Fangirl is a terrific novel that sheds light on the phenomenon of fanfiction writing and forces the reader to evaluate their life and parse reality from the imaginary world that they so love. Cath is a strong female protagonist that every geeky woman can relate to, and Rainbow’s beautiful style of writing really allows Cath’s personality to shine. I highly recommend this novel, and I’m not afraid to say that it’s one of the best books I’ve read this year.
Fangirl from St. Martin’s Press is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.
Official Novel Trailer: