Once again, here is a novel that was suggested as the September pick for the book club that I am in. What’s interesting about it is that it was also recommended to me from one of my best friends about a year ago. I have never been shy about admitting that I am a fangirl: I live and breath fandom in all of it’s forms, even if I am not overly active in it. I’m pretty sure that one of my favorite fanfic authors is also friends with Rainbow Rowell, and she might write fanfics herself, but that’s neither here nor there.

Fangirl is the story of Simon Snow fangirl, Cath, who has recently begun her first year at Nebraska State University. Cath has a very interesting case of social anxiety that she seems to cope with by writing Simon Snow fan fiction. She has a huge following. The thing is, even Simon Snow can’t stop Cath’s world from crashing down around her.

I feel like I’m getting better at this summary thing; that one definitely conveys the overall plot of the book.

As a fangirl, and an introvert, I identified with Cath to an extent. As someone who spent majority of her first semester of college cooped up in a dorm room, I better understood Cath’s struggle. Cath’s whole situation was very depressing, what with her mom leaving them, her dad being mentally unstable at times, and her twin sister deciding to be independent at a time when Cath probably needed her the most. And yet, these thing allowed Cath to grow as a person. They forced her to make her own moves and really look at they had affected her life choices.

Obviously, I liked the book. My cousin and her husband spent a good two weeks being annoyed at Cath’s inability to get a life, and Wren’s inability to care about her sister. Me? Those things annoyed me as well, but Cath’s wariness of people knowing that she wrote Simon Snow fanfiction was something that touched me on another level. Negative reactions to the things that we love can be especially scarring, and it tends to affect how we go about sharing things about ourselves from that moment on. Eventually I grew to like Cath, but that took a few chapters.

I thought that the writing was pretty well done. The characters were all relatable, though I don’t know if I’ve ever met a boy as nice as Levi. That might just be because I don’t live in Nebraska, but that boy is just too good to be real. Like, yes he totally has his flaws, but part of me feels like boys like Levi are super rare. When you think about it, this story has a pretty happy ending, all things considered, but, perhaps, that might have made the story come off as a little bit too clean. Also, I refuse to speculate how Rainbow Rowell was able to getaway with such a blatant Harry Potter parody, complete with Drarry fan fiction.

I don’t have much else to say about this novel without giving the whole of it away. The characters are relatable, the plot is pretty well done, and I think a lot of fangirls and fanboys would get a kick out of the Harry Potter parody and the fanfic excerpts. This book will appeal to anyone who has ever used the internet, whether it’s for fandom or not, to escape from their reality. It is very much a coming-of-age type of story, but I’m sure that a lot of people will relate to it.

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