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? (Synopsis taken from Goodreads)
First off, let me say I adored this book. I only just got it last night, but I’ve already finished it. This is the kind of book that pulls you in and doesn’t let go. The kind of book that stays with you. And it was wrapped up so perfectly.
I’m fangirling for Fangirl.
But anyways, let’s start with Cath. Oh, how I identify with Cath. She’s a nerdy, introverted fanfiction writer who lived for a month on energy bars and peanut butter because she didn’t know where the dining hall was and was too shy to ask. You can bet that if I lived in college dorms I would be doing that (with almond butter, though, not peanut butter. I can’t stand peanuts).
And Levi and Reagen, her roommate’s “boyfriend” and her roommate are both cool, compelling characters as well. Levi is described as tall and gangly and always smiling, and Reagen is confident and pretty and a bit bossy. They’re both fantastic, and I got a crush on Levi from basically his first sentence.
The story itself is superb, as well. It manages to deal with, among other things, mental health, abandonment, divorce, and alcoholism with a real feel to it, and it’s never put-down-y.
And there was one scene that I had to read several times, both because it made me mad (at the character), and because I felt for Cath. The scene when Cath’s teacher, Professor Piper, said outright that writing fanfiction was plagiarism, stealing, and juvenile.
I treat my fanfictions the same way I treat my novels…like my babies. And, like Cath, I right fanfiction for a series that is really too young for me but it’s what got me started writing, so I can’t give it up now.
There is some swearing in this book. I wasn’t bothered by it, but it’s just something to keep in mind before giving this book to a thirteen year old.
All in all, this book is one of the best I’ve read all year. It’s sweet, charming, and very real. ★★★★★