By: Rainbow Rowell
Pub. Date: September 10, 2013
I received this galley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
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? Open her heart to someone?
Or will she just go on living inside somebody else’s fiction?
Cath is a loner. She would rather stay locked in her dorm room writing Simon Snow fan fiction then out having the college experience. I definitely connected with Cath on this level. I would much rather be at home reading then go out. Her twin sister Wren is the opposite. She wants to experience college life away from her identical twin. I really felt Cath's pain, but she needed to learn how to function without her twin. Then there is Cath's roommate Raegan, and Raegan basically ignores her for the first month of school. The only one who is actually friendly to Cath is Levi, the boy who is always around Raegan. Levi was the best part of the story! He is so sweet and kind and it is definitely hard not to fall for him. Rainbow Rowell has a knack for writing perfectly flawed, realistic boys.
While I definitely understood some of Cath's social awkwardness, I thought at other times, it was all a bit silly and immature. She's 18 for Christ sakes, stop eating only nutritional bars in your dorm room because you are scared to go to the cafeteria alone!!
What I thought was going to be a cute, silly story did turn out to be so much more. While everyone is dealing with finding themselves in college, Cath is dealing with a sick dad, a mother who left the family when she was a child and now wants back in their lives, a twin who needs space away from her, and her social anxiety. She's also trying to deal with college classes and people who want to take advantage of her. I loved watching Cath's character grow. You can clearly see her change from the beginning of the story to the end.
Overall, while I did enjoy Fangirl, I was expecting a little bit more. I loved Rowell's Eleanor & Park and I can't wait to read Attachments.