I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy this book, because I am old, grumpy and not a Harry Potter fan. And sure enough, I really grumped my way through the first half of the book.
Our main character is Cather, college freshman, twin sister of Wren*, anxiety-sufferer and one of the best Simon Snow fanfic writers out there.
Simon Snow is a boy magician who goes to a magical school to learn magical things. There are 8 books in his series. Cath writes fanfic about Simon being in love with his roommate, the vampire Baz. Cath and Wren threw themselves into the Simon Snow universe after their mother left home on 9/11/01. Yes, THAT 9/11/01.
Their mother, besides having crappy ideas on how to name humans, is a real knob. Cath (the smart one) and Wren (the social one) learned to keep the household humming to support their emotionally-fragile father. They used to write the fanfic together, but now that they are off to college, Wren wants to spread her wings and be her own person. She got a pixie haircut and told Cath they weren’t rooming together.
So Cath miserably goes to college, is assigned a surly roommate (Reagan) with a boyfriend (Levi) that always hangs out in their room, and emos her way through. All the while, she’s worried about Wren’s (typical college freshman) judgment, their father, who has the emotional maturity of a gnat and is alone for the first time, and her epic Simon Snow work, which must be finished before the final Simon Snow book is released.
Because once Cath started pulling it together (this is not spoilery, you know she’s going to start maturing eventually), I dopey-smiled my way through the rest. I liked her friendships with Reagan and Levi. I liked her supportive writing professor. I liked the subplot with their mother and how it ended in a realistic way.
Fangirl has plot holes large enough to drive a bus through and is definitely meant for young adults, but it’s an enjoyable light read even if you are older than Cath’s dad.
(*I’m irritated that some Rowell fangirl is going to totally name her twin girls Cather and Wren.)
So far I’ve finished 37 books this year. View all my reviews on Goodreads.