Book recommendation: Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell

A copy of Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell, sitting on a laptop keyboard.

Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell, is one of those books that I had on my to-read list for what seemed like forever. I think I added it to the list not long after it came out—way back in 2013, apparently. Then I bought it a year or two ago at a book sale. Then I finally opened it to read it one day back in October, and finished it about two days later.

And the only reason it took me that long to read it once I started was because of its length. The book was great, and I had a really hard time putting it down. My eyes would just get too tired to let me keep reading now and then.

So, yes, I’m a little bit late in this recommendation; it’s been a few months since I read it, and it’s been a few years since the book came out. But I guarantee Fangirl is still worth reading, which is why I’m posting about it today.

College wasn’t supposed to mean this much change for Cath. It wasn’t supposed to mean her twin sister refusing to be her roommate and, worse, moving on with her life. It wasn’t supposed to mean her father having difficulty living alone back home, or Cath having to deal with a grumpy roommate and her ever-present boyfriend. And it wasn’t supposed to mean having to potentially give up writing fanfiction about her favourite character, Simon Snow. But that’s exactly what college is turning out to be, and Cath isn’t sure if she can handle it.

The thing I loved most about Fangirl is that it was one of those rare novels where I was instantly hooked by the character dynamics. I’m usually a plot-driven sort of girl, but there was just something about Cath and the people around her that drew me in. I wanted to know who she wound up being friends with, who she ended up dating, how her family worked. I wanted to know everything.

That’s not to say the plot didn’t have its place. There was a lot for Cath to deal with in college, from roommate drama to difficulty in certain classes. Which meant there were plenty of questions to keep any plot-oriented reader guessing.

Goodreads summary

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

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?

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