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To say that Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl is good is an understatement. It’s fantastic. It’s brilliant. It’s wonderful. It’s witty and insightful and utterly beautiful. Fangirl is, by far, the best book I’ve read all year.
Starting her freshman year of college with a gruff roommate, a cute writing partner, and an absent twin sister, Cath’s severe social anxiety almost pushes her over the edge. Time and again, Cath finds solace in her Simon Snow fanfiction - a genius hybrid of Harry Potter and Twilight - writing about romance, betrayal, wizards and vampires. Despite Cath’s lack of friends outside her sister, the thousands of followers Cath has on the fanfic boards seem to make up for it. However, it isn’t until she really messes up that Cath realizes she can’t live within her fanfiction forever.
After hearing everyone rave about this book, I knew I had to pick it up.
Cath’s social anxiety is something that I think many people can relate to.
The idea of moving away from home for the first time, being separated from one’s family, and having to start all over in a giant fish bowl is daunting.
This situation begs for self-discovery and growth, which Cath has a hard time embracing. I loved Cath, despite her flaws. She’s intelligent, but she’s afraid to push herself. She’s witty, but too shy to show it. She’s creative, but too stubborn to apply creativity to any story outside of Simon Snow. As someone who constantly struggles with pushing herself, I loved being confronted with a situation that made so much sense to me. That transition from any tiny comfortable fish pond to a deep dark ocean doesn’t just apply to those moving from high school to college.
The story itself even made me want to return to college, and maybe even sign up to live in the dorms. Who knows, maybe I’ll start writing my own fanfiction? This is one of those books you won’t be able to put down. Trust me, you’ll be up reading until 3am and you’ll force yourself to stay up another two hours while you really contemplate what you just read. Then you’ll have to go back and reread several scenes just to relive the magic of them. And for those of you romance junkies out there, fear not. There’s plenty of romance to go around. Although, you might have to fight me for him.
If you haven’t already given in to the hype of Fangirl, just do it. You really won’t regret it. The splendor of this novel is something that will last with you for weeks, months, maybe even years after it’s over. So, what are you waiting for?--Anna, Books Inc. Palo Alto
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?
A New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2013
About the Author
RAINBOW ROWELL lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband and two sons. She's also the author of Attachments.
Praise for Fangirl…
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Absolutely captivating." Publishers Weekly (starred review)"A funny and tender coming-of-age story that's also the story of a writer finding her voice...touching and utterly real." Booklist (starred review)"The magic here is cast not with wands but with Rowell's incredible ability to build complex, vivid, troubling and triumphant relationships...Fans of Eleanor & Park and other bookish, nerdy types will thrill at finding such a fantastic and lasting depiction of one of their own." School Library Journal (starred review)"A charming coming-of-age novel...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." Praise for Eleanor & Park:
“Eleanor & Park reminded me not just what it’s like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it’s like to be young and in love with a book.”
—John Green, The New York Times Book Review
"This sexy, smart, tender romance thrums with punk rock and true love. Teen readers—not to mention their Gen X parents—will swoon for Eleanor & Park."
—Gayle Forman, New York Times bestselling author of If I Stay and Where She Went
"A breathless, achingly good read about love and outsiders."
—Stephanie Perkins, author of Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door
"Sweet, gritty and affecting...an unforgettable story about two misfits in love."
—Courtney Summers, author of This is Not a Test and Cracked Up To Be
"Rowell shows us the beauty in the broken."
—Stewart Lewis, author of You Have Seven Messages