I had no intention of reading this book right now, even though I loved Eleanor and Park. I’m trying to focus on finishing up my reading challenges, and Fangirl doesn’t help any of them. However, Mr. Curiosity got the book out of the library and read it in two days. When he finished, he gave it to me and told me I should read it because it was really good. I figure if I am going to recommend books to him that I hope he reads, I should read a book that he recommends to me. Plus, I had finished all my library books and had nothing on the docket, so it’s not like it was keeping me from something else I wanted to be reading.
Genre: YA college fiction
Length: 438 pages
Setting: Nebraska, present day
Summary: Cath and her twin sister Wren are off to college. Wren is thrilled to be a freshman, but Cath is overwhelmed by all the new situations. She gradually gets more comfortable, and even has fun with her roommate, Reagan, and Reagan’s sometimes boyfriend, Levi. Unfortunately, Wren has decided freshman year is for partying, which causes tension in her relationship with Cath. The highlight of college for Cath is her Fiction Writing class. That changes when her prof tells her writing fan fiction doesn’t count, and Cath has been writing a very popular fanfic version of the final book in the Simon Snow series. Cath is further disappointed when she finds out Nick, the cute guy in front of her, has been using her only for her editing skills. She doesn’t even finish the semester because her father has a mental breakdown. She comes back for the spring semester and tries to manage her classes, finishing the fanfic Simon Snow novel before the real book comes out, and a relationship with Levi.
Final thoughts: The book was so good!!! From the first, I was sucked right in and didn’t want to put the book down. Rowell’s writing style puts you right there in someone’s head, living their quirky, messed up life. We get a bit of college life and a bit of friendship and family relationships in this book, with a touch of mental disorders to liven things up. Cath had a lot of anxiety that may have been tied to her mother leaving the family. College was really stressful for her, and it didn’t help when her sister decided not to be there to help. Luckily, her roommate was a good person who wouldn’t let Cath hide in the dorm room. And, even more importantly, Levi kept trying to get to know Cath better. Cath just didn’t pick up on the “I like you” vibes (probably because of her anxiety) but she still knew Levi would be there when she needed him – to help when her sister ended up in the hospital with alcohol poisoning, or needed to go home when her father ended up in the hospital because he had no one around to keep him from becoming too manic. Cath was almost afraid to have a physical relationship, but Levi was willing to go at her pace, and eventually Cath became more comfortable with Levi. I’m kind of surprised Mr. Curiosity enjoyed the book as much as he did, since it’s mostly about relationships and college (neither of which he has much experience with), but I’m glad he pointed it in my direction to read.
Title comes from: Cath was such a fangirl of the Simon Snow series (kind of like Harry Potter) that she wrote fanfic of it since she was in middle school.
Reading challenges fulfilled: #81 in my Maybe 100 This Year Challenge
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