Review: 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, 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?

For the most part, Fangirl was a book I enjoyed reading because I found a lot of myself in Cath.  I’m very introverted, don’t do well meeting new people, can’t stand parties, and aspire to do well in school/work.  Cath is much happier reading and writing her fanfiction for the Simon Snow series, which is yet another part of her character I relate to (though lately I do more reading than writing in the fanfiction world).

This was a great book that portrays the ups and downs of the first year of college.  While everyone’s experience is different, I feel like most, if not all, introverts can relate to Cath’s experience in her first year.  Change isn’t always easy and some people, like Cath, take a little longer to adjust.  The author shows a great portrayal of today’s real-life fangirls (and boys) without demeaning them and making them out to be as odd as everyone seems to think we are.  Granted, we are odd, but we’re not crazy.

One of my favorite parts of this book was the argument of fanfiction.  Cath’s professor does not view fanfiction as a proper form on literature, and in a lot of cases, maybe it’s not.  However, there are so many good ones out there that take a favorite story and warp it to view other possibilities with those characters or to continue their stories well after they’ve been finished by the author.  And as we all know, in some cases, fanfiction can lead to writing your own original stories that end up becoming ridiculously successful.  So, in my opinion, leave fanfiction be.  It’s not hurting anyone and it’s super-enjoyable to read and write on most occasions.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and its characters – especially Levi.  He was adorable and honestly, I want a Levi of my own now.  Fangirl is definitely an authentic young adult novel and it’s worth the read!

Rating: 4/5 stars

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