Release Date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
I read Fangirl on a whim; I'd really enjoyed Eleanor & Park so I was pretty intrigued to see whether Fangirl would be as good. I still prefer Eleanor & Park, mostly because it deals with more serious issues, but Fangirl is, I think, a very cute novel that is so much fun to read.
So Fangirl is basically about a pair of twin sisters who at first seem very different. Cath, our main character, is an introvert with a talent for writing; she is deeply involved with the Simon Snow fandom i.e. the book's version of Harry Potter, and the novel is interspersed with sections of her own fanfiction. Wren, once as big a fan of Simon Snow as Cath, now enjoys going out, partying and flirting with boys. There's also romance, within Cath's real life and in her fanfiction, a love story about Simon i.e. Harry Potter and Baz i.e. Draco Malfoy, which is just the best tbh. Cath's family also plays a big part in the story - her relationship with her twin sister Wren but also with their father adds more background to an otherwise sweet, light story.
I have to say that the fanfiction aspect of this novel really drew me in. I loved it so much - the depiction of fandom is portrayed accurately without even a hint of judgement. Cath's love of Simon Snow goes deeper than obsession - it's a way for her to interact with her surroundings and it provides her with an escape from a world she sometimes finds difficult to live in. I think it was very clever for Rowell to make Cath a writer because writing is such a solitary task for so many people - it's an escape, a way to explore the world and push boundaries that you wouldn't necessarily be able to within the limits of real life and fanfiction is just an extension of that. I love fanfiction, you guys. I've been reading it pretty much since the day I realised it was a thing (God bless the day I found ff.net t b h) and Cath's over the top, often ridiculous yet sweet and touching fanfiction feels true to what fic is actually like. And the fact that Cath writes slash fic? GLORIOUS.
Honestly, this book is such a lovely homage to fandom that it touches me. It's a story about growing up but I really like that Cath, by the end of the book, realises it doesn't have to be one or the other. She can have a life while still being involved in the things she loves and to me at least that's what growing up is really about. Being comfortable in your own skin and not worrying about what anyone thinks of you. So yeah, I loved it and would recommend it to everybody *nods*
Let me leave you with probably my favourite passage from Fangirl:
Hahaha, I was not prepared for the emotions ;____________________;