From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park.
A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.
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?
With a cute title and cover, Fangirl delivers a beautiful story of love, growth, trust and self-realization.
The main character, Cath, is a girl who loves to do things within her comfort zone. Right from the beginning, I can see why she believes she may not feel happy living with a stranger at the dorm on campus. And Cath believes her unhappiness is caused by her twin sister, Wren, who deliberately chooses to get a dorm room in a separate building from hers. Sensing her unwillingness to try new things, I kinda assume Cath would keep on resisting what life throws at her but interestingly enough, the story unfolds in ways that surprise me delightfully.
I guess what clicks with me is that I can totally relate to Cath’s reactions towards people and situations. She is sensible and unlike her sister, she doesn’t spend much effort to socialize or prove to everyone else that she’s no longer in high school. I like that she still keeps doing what she loves even when she’s now living away from home and through reading about what she likes and dislikes, I start to see herself as who she is. I can relate to her view about people in general and I feel so happy for her when her roommate opens up, lets her in and develops a dependable friendship with her.
What I love the most about this book is the cast of characters in the story. I like that the people here are relatable. They have personalities that remind me of people that I know of and while not all of them are decent people, I like that the characters feel real because of their imperfection.
At first, I really dislike Wren but as the story progresses, I get to understand why she acts out in ways that make everybody cringe. I think, on many levels, she shares the same feeling of awkwardness and insecurity as Cath, but instead of acknowledging her fears, she opts for a destructive way to unleash her discomfort. And while I don’t agree with many of the things that she does, her view helps me understand more about the family situation that the sisters are in and I feel more empathy towards Cath because of her misbahavior.
Personally, I like Levi the most in the story. Levi is a friend of Cath’s roommate and he works as a barista part-time. He is smart, friendly and sincere, and just like real people, he does silly things when he knows he shouldn’t. I guess what makes him my most favorite character is that he has this genuinely considerate side – when he really cares about a person, he gives himself wholeheartedly. Many times, he’s right there to support Cath even when she is too shy to ask for help – who wouldn’t want a friend just like that in real life, right?
As shared in the book summary, Cath loves to write and she is a huge fan of a popular fiction series – there are quite an amount of fan fiction excerpts as well as fragments of fiction writing assignments showcased in this story. While these pieces of writing may seem to be disrupting the flow of the story somewhat at first glance, I soon discover how they subtly mirror and reflect the inner hopes as well as fears of the sisters. Through reading these pieces chronologically, I get to see how the sisters, particularly Cath, grow and become more mature and I feel like I’ve gotten to know the characters at a much deeper level because of them.
I feel like I’ve become a fan myself here – LOL! 🙂
Needless to say, Fangirl is one of my top favorites in 2013. And because I love this book so much, I’m going to give away one copy of Fangirl to a lucky winner.
This giveaway is open internationally, provided amazon.com, amazon.ca, amazon.co.uk or The Book Depository can ship the physical book to you.
End Date of the Giveaway: December 8th, 2013 at 11:59 PM (Pacific Time).
Please read the terms and conditions before entering.
Winner will be picked in the second week of December 2013.