Online fan communities, known as fandoms, are an internet sensation that has been going on for quite some time. Fandoms have been traced back to 1903, and fan-fiction to 1944. If you have no idea what those words mean, you might need to pick up Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, enjoy a roller coaster that is a teenage girl’s life, and maybe learn a thing or two.
Fangirl is about a university freshman called Cath, who moves to a new city with her twin, Wren. Cath is a massive fan of the Simon Snow saga, and she used to write stories based on its characters with the help of Wren. However, now that Wren has decided that she likes real people more than fictional characters, Cath continues to write these massively popular fan-fictions on her own.
Cath is an introvert who has a hard time connecting with people in the university, and after her extroverted twin abandons her to party with new friends, Cath feels a responsibility to take care of her drunk sister and mentally ill father on her own. And even worse, she finally becomes single and starts to notice boys around her, which is disastrous. Fortunately she’s not completely alone, because her intimidating upperclassman roommate, Reagan, and Reagan’s ever-so-present boyfriend are there to help her out.
I could hardly bring myself to read the first 100 pages, because I couldn’t relate to Cath’s level of introversion and I didn’t understand her actions. However, as the story advanced, I couldn’t put the book down and finished the rest in one day. I think Fangirl offers a perspective that most people may not have thought of, and it helps others understand what goes through one’s head when they act as Cath does. Fangirl felt genuine, because Cath doesn’t bother to filter out her thoughts. Even though it is a long book, it’s worth a read if you’re looking for a young-adult novel with a modern twist; you never know when you might encounter a fangirl.