Somehow I missed the Rainbow Rowell is great fan train. I read all the glowing reviews on the Cannonball and never got around to reading anything by her. I had been seeing some retweets of hers on my Twitter feed and liked them, so I decided to read Fangirl. And I’m sad it took me this long to read it, because I inhaled it. It was so great. Is it possible I have peaked and read my favorite book of the year already? Possibly, yes.
The book tells the story of Cath and Wren, twin sisters who go off to college. They’ve grown up reading the Simon Snow novels, fantasy novels with a hero young boy, and wrote a lot of fanfic together. Now Cath is still writing fanfic, and Wren has moved on. She doesn’t want to live with Cath at school. Cath gets a new roommate Reagan, who has a guy friend who hangs around their dorm room all the time, Levi. Unlike Cath, it took me about one page before I realized Reagan and Levi weren’t together. Cath would have walked in on them having sex (or seen a scarf on the door) at some point. The book covers the twins first year at school. Cath is writing Carry On, Simon her fanfic with Simon and Baz, an incredibly popular story. She is taking an advanced writing class, which seems to terrify her but one that she also seems to enjoy.
Truthfully, my college experience was much more like Wren’s then Cath’s. I screwed up some in college too, failed a bunch of classes before I started talking to a counselor and got my head back on straight. I’m not painfully awkward like Cath can be at times in this story, but I could still feel and relate to her pain and anxiety. Cath grows and changes a lot in her first year, and more importantly than the love story with Levi, reconnects with Wren. I liked that the end of the book left a lot up in the air. You don’t really know if she finished Carry On, Simon before the eighth book came out, although it seems doubtful. Now that I know how wonderful she is, I’m looking forward to reading more of Rainbow Rowell’s books.