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?
To really be a nerd, she decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one.
Rating: 4.5/5 Oh. My. God. This book is so shucking beautiful.
See, these are the kind of books I love. The kind that speak and reach out to you.
It’s genius. I’ve been waiting a long time for this. A beautifully written book that so perfectly describes the feeling of being a huge fan. A fan that doesn’t want to let go of her books, fanfiction, and head canons. You know what else? Romance. A fangirl somehow finds love by always being locked up in her room and by writing fanfiction. (We all know we’ve been waiting for something like this to happen to us *wink wink*)
Okay, first of all, I’ve read books wherein the main character is a “geek” or even a “gamer”, but seriously? Those books sounded like they were written by a geek or gamer wannabe. But Fangirl? Good. Better. I guess it’s one of the hardest parts if you were writing a book that focused on a geek or nerd. If your character doesn’t act like one, the real ones would take it as an insult. So I salute you, Rainbow Rowell.
The Story and Characters:
Cath is our main character 🙂
So Cather, Cath for short, is someone who grew up reading Simon Snow books with her twin sister, Wren. They grew up and were leaving for college. Wren got sick of always being stuck to Cath and she didn’t want them to be room mates in the dorm because she thinks they were two separate, independent women and she wanted to meet new people.
This was easy and more than okay for Wren since she was the social one. I really hated her when she started drifting away from Cath. Sometimes, she was just stubborn and irrational towards Cath. After she got her klunk together, that’s when I started to appreciate her. She motivated Cath, and was there for her, and that’s when I started falling for her character.
But was the change easy for Cath? Not so much. At first, she hardly ever goes out. She would just be up in her room writing fanfiction or at the library with one of her classmates, Nick. She didn’t attend any of the parties she was invited to, and was happy when most of the people in the dorm were out. She was insecure about a lot of stuff, and the way she showed it was so real. Others think that Cath’s character was too socially incompetent and it was kind of exaggerated. This might be true regarding some parts of the story, but still, a lot of parts were totally relatable.
So true, though:
“In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can’t google.) Like, where does the line start? What food can you take? Where are you supposed to stand, then where are you supposed to sit?”
Then there’s her family. Her mother left them when they were still pretty young. This also plays quite a big part in the story. Cath often goes home to check on her father. While reading the story, you can see how much her mother leaving her left quite an impact on her. When her mother wants to meet up with Cath and Wren to get to know them better, Cath pretty much loses it. Wren is totally fine with it, but Cath keeps going on and on about how it wasn’t right to leave their kids and suddenly wanting to show up. And I think it’s true. This causes rifts in the family, and they try to find ways to repair them, and it’s pretty heartwarming.
Levi is the perfect guy. He’s the kind that always smiles and is happy-go-lucky. He pretty much screams friendliness. He’s nice, loving, caring, and funny at the same time. I don’t know about you, but I would have fallen for him immediately.
So Levi and Cath’s relationship was so shucking adorable. It wasn’t cliche, and if there were a few parts that were cliche, I wouldn’t have noticed because of my constant squealing and screeching. They were just so perfect for each other. But, as mentioned, in the book, they were so different from each other. Cath dreaded talking to people or making eye contact (so me), and Levi was the one who would talk to everyone and give away smiles for free.
Then I realized, that’s what makes them so perfect for each other. Think of the number 0 as perfect. Quiet is what Cath is, and loud is what Levi is. It’s basically adding a positive and negative number. So think of it this way: -1 + 1 = 0. They complete each other. It’s kind of like The Olive Theory (*cough* HIMYM *cough*). One is (insert word here) and the other is not, and in that way they complete each other and they’re perfect.
Do you get me? It’s okay if you don’t.
I’m terrible at explaining stuff.
In case you didn’t know, I love good character development. And this is more than good.
Read to find out more. 🙂