*This was a re-read for me. The first time I read it was in February of this year. I wanted to read it again before Carry On came out.
“Happily ever after, or even just together ever after, is not cheesy,” Wren said. “It’s the noblest, like, the most courageous thing two people can shoot for.”
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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?
Feelings: I have so much love for this book. Never have I ever read a book that I connected to like the way I connected with this one. The first time I read this, I loved it. This second read, though…I felt like I learned something about myself. One thing I really respect about Rainbow Rowell is that she’s not afraid to write about real problems. Anxiety, depression, alcohol poisoning…these characters go on such real, tangible journeys. I feel like if you can’t connect with one of these issues personally, you can still at least learn something and walk a mile in these characters’ shoes.
Characters: I am Cath. Cath is Caitlyn, who is me. This book perfectly details what it’s like to be an anxious introvert away at college. It takes me back to my time at college…reading in my dorm room…hoping a handsome guy would bring me coffee and smile at me. I found the dynamic between the girls and their mother to be particularly interesting. They have such an imperfect relationship and it never really gets resolved, which I’m okay with. Sometimes in life, loose ends don’t get tied up. Not everyone gets a happy ending and deep understanding.
Where is my Levi? When can I expect him to arrive? I love that he’s country and a rancher. I love that he smiles at everyone and embodies kindness. I love that he spends months flirting with Cather and never gives up on her. I love that he’s patient as she navigates her feelings.
The Avery family dynamic is so relevant in our world today. Moms aren’t always the ones raising their children – sometimes dads are the single ones in charge. Cath and Wren’s dad isn’t perfect, he’s human. He doesn’t always set a good example, or eat well balanced meals, but he loves his children. Sometimes that’s all you can ask for.
Final thoughts: I love the cultural references in this book: Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Outsiders, Battlestar Galactica…even Zack and Cody. There were so many moments of chuckling for me as I read. You’ve got to love that!
I’ll read anything that Rainbow Rowell gets published. Actually, at this moment I have read everything she’s gotten published. I know a LOT of people rave about Eleanor & Park, but I didn’t love that one. Fangirl is her best work, in my opinion. I’m ready for Carry On to come out!
Pick this up if you liked:
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (If you grew up with Harry Potter like I did, then Fangirl will be something you can seriously connect to.)
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall
Goodreads rating: 4.19/5
Amazon.com rating: 4.5/5
My rating: 5/5
Happy reading! – Caitlyn