Cath is starting her first year as a college student. Exciting! Or it should be. Cath is the ultimate introvert, with anxiety issues. The only reason she went away for college was to make her twin, Wren, happy. Wren is the complete opposite. She's outgoing and excited to make new friends. Cath just wants to stay in her room and write fanfiction of her favorite series, Simon Snow. The series is a lot like Harry Potter, including a boy with magical powers and a rabid fandom. Cath has been writing fanfiction for years with thousands of online fans of her own.
Fangirl covers the whole first year of college for Cath and all the changes that happen in her life. Some pretty big important changes. Cath's life hasn't been easy. Rowell reveals just how many difficulties she and Wren have had throughout the book. At first Cath's worries about her Dad seem like the fears of an overly anxious person, but those fears turn out to be legitimate. Eventually, Cath lets go and does some growing up with the help of her roommate Reagan and Reagan's (sort of) boyfriend Levi.
While I liked Cath and enjoyed seeing her come out of her shell…not too far though…, there were things that made Fangirl drag for me. Mostly, it was the Simon Snow fan fiction. I don't read fan fiction and I've never read Harry Potter. I thought so much inclusion of the fanfic was too much. It was created just for this book and it was just… kinda boring. It's not really my thing. I appreciate that Levi appreciates it but I just wanted to get on with Cath's story.
Cath was a real person with real problems to me. She seemed to get in her own way most of the time. The people around her have infinite amounts of patience with her and her issues. She's very lucky.
Anyway, I'm getting lazy so here's what I liked:
- The love interest isn't some super-duper handsome dude with a cleft chin or anything.
- Reagan the roommate is a real girl. She's interesting in her own right, although we never know too much about her. She's an enigma. (Can I haz a Reagan book?)
- There is no boy drama between the girls.
- The family drama isn't all prettily solved by the end of the book (year), just like in real life.
- Wren is a pain in the arse but there's a reasonable explanation for it.
- Lots of making out. I miss making out. Making out used to be a big deal.
About the audio: Rebecca Lowman is the main narrator of the story. Although she was good with all the characters, I thought she was the best as Reagan. Maxwell Caulfield read all the Simon Snow parts.