Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Fangirl is the lovely tale of Cath, a rather socially awkward fan of the Simon Snow series, a book series similar to Harry Potter.Her life revolves around the fanfiction she writes for the series. However, things change, when she leaves home to attend college, and is confronted by an unfamiliar environment to which she is unable to adapt due to her social anxiety.
Cath leads a miserable life for a time, with her twin sister breaking away from her, having to live with a roommate with an extremely different personality, and getting into trouble for her work in class. In addition, she had taken it upon herself to complete her version of the final installment of the Simon Snow books before the book by the actual author is out, and she finds it difficult to balance it with her work at school.
The story also deals with the issue of having an absentee parent, as Cath’s mother had left the family a long time ago. Cath had never forgiven her, and later on, a situation arises when she has to rethink the relationship with her. I also felt the relationship between Cath, and her sister Wren was really well written. Cath and Wren had always been best friends, however, after on getting into college, their paths diverge, with Wren getting into spending all her time partying and drinking. I especially loved it that Wren is shown as a Simon Snow fan as well, in spite of her differences with her sister. Another person Cath has differences with is Reagan, her roommate. However, she ends up getting quite close to Reagan, and her friend Levi. I loved Levi’s character, he is really sweet and understanding towards Cath, despite being nothing like her.
I had heard this book being criticized by people saying it stereotyped fangirls as socially awkward and nerdy people without a life, so I suggest that you read it more as a coming of age story rather than one about a fandom. I personally find this relatable because 1. I am in several fandoms myself, and have attempted to write fanfiction (I’m nowhere as obsessed as Cath) and 2. I recently moved out to attend college as well, and I had faced difficulties in socializing. I loved this book on so many levels, I felt it was amazing, and I’m looking forward to trying some other writings by Rainbow Rowell.