Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
This is another book that I snuck out of my 'strongly recommended' pile to intersperse some of the questionable ones I've read lately.
I wish I had read this book my senior year of high school. It tackles so much about the awkward freshman year of college while also having a copious amount of nerd dome. Freaking fantastic.
An amazon summary, "In Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, 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?" AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
Cath is obsessed with Simon Snow (their world's version of Harry Potter essentially, but with more vampires). She writes really good fanfiction about Simon Snow, has a very intense following (thousands and thousands of people), and she's writing her own version of how the last book should play out.....all while embarking on the scary adventure of college.
She has a twin sister Wren, who is striving to embrace the college life and kind of shuck her old high school way of life. Cath is pretty upset by this as they used to do everything together (even write fanfiction) but she's putting her best foot forward if not reluctantly.
They were raised by a single father after their mom left when they were in third grade. All three family members went quietly crazy in their own ways and went through some therapy to deal with it. Their Dad is a creative genius and works in marketing....but also has a tendency to get too caught up in his ideas and forget about the rest of life. While Cath and Wren were around, they were able to help out and kind of manage him when he gets a bit manic; bring him back to reality so he doesn't get too caught up in his ideas. With both daughters going off to college, the concern is a bit high.
So at college, Cath has a dysfunctionally awesome roommate, Reagan, who kind of pries Cath out of their shared room and into the more social aspects of college life. Reagan also has a friend (and maybe boyfriend) Levi who is just as charming and funny as Reagan.
This is really a coming of age story of sorts. There is a bit of debate about whether or not fanfiction is its' own entity of writing, but I really think it was geared more towards showing how Cath started getting out of her comfort zone, and all the super confusing things that come with it.
I absolutely adored this book; the writing was beautiful, the story was gripping so I never wanted to put the book down, and the character development felt so real. I didn't want to leave the book. If there was a sequel, I'd be all over it. I'd be content with how the story came to a close though, it seems to have finished gracefully.
Madly in love with this book a bit.
Fantastic. Simply Fantastic.