Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Genre: YA // Contemporary
Format: Audio Book
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 fan fiction, 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 fan fiction 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? Writing her own stories?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind (goodreads)?
A light-hearted coming of age story that every nerdgirl can relate to!
Plot: Fangirl begins with 18 year old Cather moving into her dorm room, and for the first time in forever, her bunkmate isn't her twin sister Wren (Cather-Wren, Catherine. Get it?). The book is divided into two halves, the Fall semester and the Spring semester and follows Cath along as she has the college experience that everyone who moved on campus can reminisce about. I liked Cath's journey from alienating everyone who spoke to her, to learning about herself, her fanfiction, and repairing familial ties. It's a beautiful story with emotion and plenty of humor to complement it. My only complaint is the amount of fan fiction in the story. There are snippets of Cath's fan fiction (along with text from the original series) in between chapter which I enjoyed, but there are also times where Cather reads CHAPTERS of her fanfiction aloud to an audience, and I didn't think that this helped move the story whatsoever.
Characters: Cather is my spirit animal, I swear to God. I didn't write Fan Fiction in college (that ended in high school I'm pretty sure), but as a long time fangirl, I felt like she was someone I could relate to. She's awkward, doesn't know how to talk to boys, and lives online in a fandom community - please tell me that most of you can't relate to that. Her roommate Reagan is someone I want to be friends with, and Levi gave me warm fuzzies every time he spoke. He's definitely a charmer! I also loved Cather's relationship with her manic father; however, I felt like there were a lot of loose ends that should have been wrapped up regarding her family.
Setting: The book takes place in Nebraska, a state I have never visited and could not properly visualize. Luckily, most of the action takes place on campus and I found it easy to imagine my own university campus as the setting.
Audio Book Performance: The book is told by two narrators, Rebecca Lowman, and Maxwell Caulfield. I love when a book has two or more narrators because then it really is an experience. Rebecca Lowman is the primary narrator, while Caulfield narrates the fanfiction snippets in between each chapter. Each narrator has a lovely voice and I enjoyed their performances.
Short n Sweet: An great YA contemporary novels that most young adults can related to, this is sure to be a hit with fans of Stephanie Perkins!