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?
I just finished reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. And now I want to be best friends with her, because she gets me.
This book means so much to me. I didn’t have a good time in college. I was lonely. I had no interest in partying. I was clinically depressed. And fandom saved my life.
I did have an adorable tall boyfriend with a receding hairline. (Reader, I married him.) He talked through my magnum opus with me, a blatant Mary Sue in which I wrote my hopes and dreams for season 5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (I deleted it from fanfiction.net in a fit of embarrassment in 2009, but I’m planning to resurrect it from my old personal domain in the Wayback Machine and post it to AO3 soon.)
I was more distant from my sister than I’d ever been in my life. My little brother was very sick and ended up hospitalized.
I got a job explicitly to pay my way to fannish events. I made so many fandom friends. I printed up pages and pages of fanfic.
I started a fan campaign. It gave me a sense of purpose when my grades were tanking and my mom was in the hospital.
I embarked on a teaching career in a town two hundred miles away from anyone I loved. I read fanfic and posted on forums and LiveJournal and it was my only human contact outside of work.
This book just feels very personal and I’m so grateful to Rainbow Rowell for writing it.