04 Nov / Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Cath and Wren are twins – how they got their name is just too entertainingly clever. They’ve been each other’s best friend their whole lives, sharing the same room which also serves as a near-shrine to Simon Snow (à la Harry Potter, who does get a mention in the book, but is utterly overshadowed by Simon). But now that they’re starting college, Wren is ready for some independence, and for the first time, Cath is on her own. Sort of.
She’s got an acerbic roommate, Reagan, whose boyfriend Levi always seems to be around. He steals her protein bars, which is all Cath has to eat since she hasn’t been able to brave the dining hall alone. She’s (rightfully) worried about her Dad being home alone for the first time in 18 years. Her hometown (sort of) boyfriend calls to tell her that he’s met someone else with higher ACT scores.
Meanwhile, Wren rarely answers her texts, having discovered the easy temptations of freshman freedom. Cath’s social life is limited to Tuesday night library writing exchanges with Nick from her fiction class. But what Cath really does best is create Simon Snow fan fiction as Magicath – in the fickle world of fandom, Magicath’s posts regularly get tens of thousands of hits a day. She’s got to finish Simon and Baz’s side story before the final volume comes out, but real life keeps getting in the way: a professor who thinks fan fiction is nothing short of plagiarism, multi-pronged family complications involving 911 … and, oh, a little distraction called first love.
Rainbow Rowell′s latest is another giddy-inducing delight, and especially recommended for sticking in your ears: Rebecca Lowman crisply voices most of the novel’s almost-13 hours, with the fanful interludes elegantly recited in posh British by Maxwell Caulfield. While I admit to a slight preference for Rowell’s runaway bestseller eleanor & park, Fangirl shares many of the same elements of gleeful satisfaction – unique use of pop culture as aphrodisiac, the awkward innocence of (late) teenage angst, family drama without a zombie or werewolf in sight (although you might find a hidden vampire here). Before you even need to ask, Rowell’s next, Landline, is slated for a July 2014 release … get your giggles ready.
Readers: Young Adult, Adult