Cath is the world’s biggest Simon Snow (think Harry Potter) fan. The number of people writing fanfiction about Simon is mind-boggling, so you know Cath’s something special when it turns out that she has thousands of adoring fans reading her Simon stories.
Fangirl begins with Cath trying to adjust to her new life as a college student. If having a new routine and place to live feel like change enough, then having her twin sister push her away is downright unbalancing. Worse still, people begin urging Cath to drop Simon, but she stands firm – apparently, she’s supposed to have outgrown him, but Cath’s sure she’ll know when it’s the end, and she has no intention of letting Simon go yet.
Except, maybe avoiding endings has blinded Cath to better beginnings – the cover art illustrates this perfectly. Perhaps she should loosen her grip on the people who tell her to move on – some hurtfully and some lovingly. Maybe her roommate is worth getting to know and has more moods than surly.
While she’s busy creating a love life for Simon, Cath’s possibly missing out on a romantic opportunity of her own – with a character, I’ve considered cloning for myself. No bookworm or aspiring writer will wonder at Cath’s escapism, but they may tip their hats to Rainbow Rowell for her ability to convey the addictive quality of alternate worlds and characters who come to feel real.
I skimmed some of the fanfic excerpts as I thought there was a tad too many and I wanted to focus on the main story.
Fangirl has with an impressive cast of characters – from smooth, manipulative types, to selfless, blunderers and people struggling with addictions and mental health issues. Difficult themes are tackled, and yet the book never feels overly heavy.
This is a coming of age story about first love, family and letting go of one’s fears, it’s about going with the flow and accepting that real life isn’t scripted – expect to laugh and cry in equal measure.
Current rating on Goodreads: 4.46
Pre-order: The Book Depository
Standalone or Series? Standalone
Published: September 10th 2013 (Early review, with my thanks to the publishers – St Martin’s Press- for the advance reader copy; the provision of which has not influenced my opinion)