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Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Year Published: 2013

Genre: YA fiction
Pages: 434
Rating: 5 out of 5

Location (my 2013 Google Reading map): USA (Nebraska)

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school library

Summary (from the back of the book): 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 go them through their moving leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Sow fanfiction, dressing up like characters for every movie premier. 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 away 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 fanfiction 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? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Review: I planned on reading a different book, but my librarian colleage/friend thrust this one into my hands and said, "This is so good. You've got to read it." So I did. I didn't even read the summary. Wow! I am in love with these characters and this story!

Cath is like so many of us as she goes off to college: unsure; stuck in a rut; and afraid of what might happen if she branches out and lets others in. It feels safer to stick to what she knows (fanfiction, her twin, and staying home all the time), but she is slowly pulled out of her shell in a realistic way in this novel. I loved the pace of this story; nothing seemed to happen to quickly or too slowly, it all fell into place as it should.

And the characters. Cath, Wren, Reagan, Nick, and Levi all played important roles in moving the story along, pulling out essential elements of one another, and making me fall in love with this book. It's difficult to describe, but I want to know these characters. I want to meet them and see what their world is like.

The story is a fun one and including the fanfiction was such an interesting idea. I've never read fanfic, but I am tempted to go online and check some of it out. I didn't even know what fanfiction was before reading this book. Well, I had heard of it and had a general sense of what it is, but now I realize how much effort is put into it and how it works.

I don't really know what else to say about this book since I don't want to give away any of the story and I want other readers to discover for themselves what they like/love about this book.

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