Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fangirl (by Rainbow Rowell)

Disclaimer: I am a fangirl of Rainbow Rowell. I follow her on Twitter, and she is delightful. Second disclaimer: a large part of this book revolves around the world of fanfiction, and I read Sherlock fanfiction. So perhaps that added a layer of delightfulness for me that others might not appreciate as much.

The story revolves around Cath, a freshman in college who is a very popular fanfic writer who writes about the "Simon Snow" series, a fictionalized version of the Harry Potter series. (The pairing she writes is essentially Sherlock/John Harry/Draco.) I loved all the inside baseball fanfic stuff (like a 5+1 story!) and the snippets of fanfiction vs. the actual Simon Snow novels felt persuasively real. (The only thing that threw me off was a Harry Potter reference. This world doesn't work at all if Harry Potter actually exists, since if that were the case, the writer of Simon Snow would be sued by J.K. Rowling for copyright infringement.)

As with Eleanor and Park, the protagonist in this novel has real problems: Cath has a twin sister who is drifting apart from her and a mother who abandoned them both when they were kids, as well as a mentally ill father. (I hated the mother the appropriate amount; at points I hated Wren I think slightly more than I was supposed to.) Cath is introverted and insecure without being unrealistic, and her character arc makes sense. She's a great character.

For fans of YA, whether or not you're into fanfic, I would recommend this. I still say start with Eleanor and Park if you haven't read it yet, but Fangirl is an awesome follow-up.



Blogger Shalini said...

Agree. I am a fangirl of Rowell's as well. I was scared I wasn't going to love it because it's so much longer than Eleanor and Park, and it starts out a lot slower, but by the end I just adored it. I agree about the HP reference, and I read somewhere that she wanted to take it out of the next edition because so many people were bothered by it, but wasn't sure it was allowed (I'm's not? Who knows.)

9:44 PM  
Blogger Maureen said...

I actually liked this better than Eleanor and Powell-it was much less depressing for me. My daughter is a writer who is in college, so I enjoyed reading the perspective.

7:10 PM  
Blogger mo pie said...

@Shalini, that's really interesting about the Harry Potter reference! It's such a minor moment but totally strikes a discordant note. I think she'll be allowed to take it out--often there are small things changed between editions.

@Maureen, yeah, definitely less depressing than Eleanor and Park! Glad you enjoyed it.

1:39 PM  

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