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? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
Rainbow Rowell just has a way with words. She's funny and sarcastic, but sweet and serious too. She deals with mental illness and binge drinking, but they're not the focus of the story. Fangirl was lighter even as it dealt with a few heavy issues.
I spent practically the entirety of the book smiling. I would catch myself grinning just because I was reading the book. Little lines like this one would get a giggle out of me:
Reagan rolled her eyes again. Cath made a mental note to stop rolling her eyes at people.And Reagan, I just loved her. She was the best roommate Cath could have gotten.
But you're so helpless sometimes. It's like watching a kitten with its head trapped in a Kleenex box.Throughout the book, at the beginning of each chapter there would be a passage from either canon or the fanfiction that Cath was writing in the Simon Snow world. I found myself entranced even by these. When she would read her fanfiction out loud to Levi, or she and Wren discussed Carry On I ate it up just like I was the main story. It reminded me (as it was supposed to I assume) of Harry Potter. Loving a fictional world so much and being so incredibly sad when it's over.
Rainbow Rowell does not disappoint.