Cather, a reluctant college freshman, is thrown from her comfort zone when her twin sister, Wren, decides it would be good for them to meet new people and live apart for the first time in Cath’s life. Cath suffers from social anxiety, something made worse by living hours away from her equally unstable father. Add this to living with her abrasive roommate, Reagan, Cath is a bundle of nerves ready to snap. More than ever, Cath clings to Simon Snow, the ever popular English book series by Gemma T. Leslie. She and Wren have always been obsessed with Simon Snow, and writing fanfiction was something they had always done together. However, Reagan and Cath soon become friends of sorts, and Cath can’t help but make friends with Reagan’s apparent boyfriend, Levi. Cath is soon forced to balance her internet life, her new college life, and a turbulent relationship with her family, meanwhile learning to write her own story and emerge from the fantasy world of Watford.
I had heard so much about Fangirl on Tumblr and Goodreads that I was starting to feel like I was one of the few people left who hadn’t read it. Once I started, I immediately knew what all the hype was about. Fangirl sucks you in right from the beginning, as Cath is someone most girls can relate to in one way or another. For me it was when she announced that she “Couldn’t imagine having any sort of job or career. She’d majored in English, hoping that meant she could spend the next four years reading and writing.” GIRL I have completely been there. One of my favorite characters turned out to be Reagan, who was not afraid to tell it like it is, and who befriended Cath and motivated her to leave her fanfiction bubble. I also loved Professor Piper and of course, the endlessly charming Levi. I was SO relieved to find out he wasn’t actually Reagan’s boyfriend. I’m still torn about how I feel about Wren, but I definitely dislike the rest of Cath’s family. There was nothing redeemable about Laura at all, and I was happy that they didn’t get a perfectly packaged happy ending, because that’s often not the case in real life.
Overall, I would give Fangirl four stars because I was a little let down by the ending. As in, I felt like there really wasn’t one. Are we supposed to assume the award on the final page was taken away from Nick and given to Cath? Was that her FINALLY writing her Fiction Writing final? I assume so but I don’t know! I don’t necessarily need the happy ending, but something would be nice. OH and I know it was important to the story and Cath/Levi’s relationship, but I found myself skipping over the excerpts from Simon Snow or Cath’s fanfiction. Aside from this, though I would definitely recommend this to someone who loves a good YA novel, or anyone who loved Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park. Or anyone in general really.
““Happily ever after, or even just together ever after, is not cheesy…It’s the noblest, like, the most courageous thing two people can shoot for.”
“In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can’t Google.)”
“Sometimes writing is running downhill, your fingers jerking behind you on the keyboard the way your legs do when they can’t quite keep up with gravity.”
“You can park your snark at the gate.” — Definitely can see myself using this.