All right, so it’s been slow in coming with starting work, but here’s another book challenge entry!
Fangirl focuses on Cath Avery, a freshman English major leaving home for the first time to attend college. It should be an exciting time, at least that’s what her dad and twin sister seem to keep telling her, but Cath can’t stop worrying. She is concerned about her father being alone at home, and about her sister who seems to have suddenly become a party girl, about how to get along with her surly roommate and how to handle the two boys fighting for her attention. And then there’s the stress of her classes, especially her fiction writing one with a professor who couldn’t care less for her fanfiction, and of course all Cath wants is to be able to finish her popular fanfiction story Carry On, Simon about the world famous series Simon Snow before the last book in the series arrives.
I read Fangirl last December on the recommendation of my good friend and freshman roommate. She thought I’d like it due to some of my similarities to the main character as a shy nerdy English major myself. And indeed, she was right. It’s become one of my favorite books not because it’s a fantastically well written novel (although for teen fiction it’s quite good), but because I related to the content so strongly.
Like Cath I remember the trepidation of going off to college for the first time. I remember the doubts about belonging and the struggles to find a place. But I also strongly related to feeling a sense of outgrowing old writing, though in a slightly different sense. Cath is told regularly that Simon Snow is for children, and that fanfiction is a worthless form of writing. Her own twin wants to leave it behind, the thing they use to reguarly share and love. For me, it was starting to move beyond fantasy. Starting to expand outwards beyond my normal comfort zone and home turf. For me it was my writing partner claiming we’d grown too old for our old things and me helplessly clinging on, even when she’d long since abandoned it. A bit different from fanfiction, but nonetheless still reminiscent to me.
The beauty of Fangirl is the coming of age aspect of it. It’s the transition point I think most college students could testify to having undergone. Of growing up, of figuring out who you are, of learning to both accept and outgrow aspects of earlier life. Sure, the romance is adorable, and the fandom Rowell creates is laughable, but I truly think that there are some real truths hidden in the pages of a rather fun story, and I recommend it to fellow college students and fangirls alike.
Any fellow fangirls out there willing to admit it? Any one have a favorite book you’ve read more than once? Or any other comments you’d like to add?