Book #50: Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell

Book #50: Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell

It’s safe to say that today has been a wildly unproductive day for me, but this fact couldn’t really make me any happier. Last night I started reading Fangirl, and ended up finishing the entire 433-page novel today. Whoops.

This was my second foray into Rowell’s writing, after having read Eleanor & Park earlier this year. I found Fangirl to share the charm of Eleanor and Park‘s quirky and endearing characters, and the novel proved to be a very satisfying way to spend my lazy Tuesday.

The book centers on Cather (which I think is an awesome name), a girl starting her freshman year at the University of Nebraska. Since a large majority of my family is from Nebraska, I consider myself an honorary citizen of the state, and was very happy to read about the familiar sites and sounds of Lincoln. Cath has an identical twin sister, Wren, who also attended the university, but their relationship is becoming strained as they find themselves on different paths in college. The novel is populated by a same group of entertaining characters that is certain to keep readers intrigued.

One of the most unique aspects of this book is one that inspired the title; Cath is heavily involved in the online Simon Snow fandom and a slash fan fiction writer. Simon Snow the protagonist of a fictional book series within this novel that is clearly inspired by the Harry Potter series, and Cath dedicates herself to her fan fiction writing and online readers. Though I myself have only read a very small bit of fan fiction, I did a research project on fandom and attended session on this topic at the national conference for the Pop Culture Association this year, so it’s a subject I’m rather familiar with. I thought Rowell’s inclusion of this in the novel was very entertaining and realistic, as well as the perfect addition to her characteristic geeky-cool characters.

Side note: Cath’s fan fic writing is sped along by the fact that she’s trying to beat the publication of the final novel in the Simon Snow series, an event that occurs near the book’s conclusion. As I mentioned, the Snow series is clearly inspired by Harry Potter, so when the characters in Fangirl attend a midnight book release for the series’ final installment and Cath and Wren get teary upon purchasing their books, I was right there with them. The combination of being on summer vacation and having just met Daniel Radcliffe probably didn’t help much, but I shed a tear or two reading this part, feeling very nostalgic for the days when I attended midnight book releases. Sigh.

Anyway, my overall recommendation for this book is a high one, especially if you like young adult literature as much as I do. Now onto a speed reading of The Fault in Our Stars before the movie comes out Friday. Excuse me while I turn into an emotional wreck.

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