Sunday, July 28, 2013

"Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell

(cute, cute cover!!!)
If you've ever read or written fan fiction and you know when an author hasn't done with her/his characters all that they could have... then the absolutely delightful Fangirl is for you.  Cather and Wren are 18 year old identical twin sisters. They spent a good part of their teen years writing fan fiction based on the beloved Harry Potter-esque characters created by author Gemma  T. Leslie about the orphan Simon Snow and his room-mate and sometime nemesis Baz (short for Tyrannus Basilton Pitch) and their adventures at the School of Magicks. There have been 7 blockbuster bestsellers in the series and number 8, the final book, is forthcoming.
The twins are starting their first year at college and...suddenly, Wren wants to do things differently. She has applied to live in a different dorm, has a room-mate all picked out and is leaving the Simon Snow stories behind.
Cather is hurt and confused and not ready to abandon the hordes of fans she has following her take on Simon and Baz, say 35,000 of them, and they comment and encourage her to keep going, but can she do it without her sister's support? She's trying to finish her S & B epic before the release of the final book and will she be able to do it here, in a new place, with a new and somewhat grumpy room-mate, and her tall, skinny, very talkative and, for Cath, overly friendly boyfriend Levi. 
(Let me just say, right here, in the zillions of books I've read over the years I've found that women authors can write believable guy characters because they create the kind of men that women like. And Levi is a very, very likable guy!).
Ms. Rowell is such an amazing writer she has you completely believing in the reality of the bestselling Simon Snow and Cath's use of the characters and the differences in their approaches is sheer genius. Cath is SO good at immersing herself in Simon and Baz and her passion for her writing is so all consuming that the reader, well, this reader, felt herself joining Cath's fanbase!
The Recommender LOVED Fangirl and as someone who reads "Phantom" fan fiction (and has written the occasional short story based on Phantom!) I thought it treated fan fiction affectionately and with a lot of respect. I've read some really great books this year as you can tell by the reviews and this is one of my new favorites! It's a wonderful book, and works on several levels, the fan fiction, the college story, the home issues with a Dad who has raised them on his own and... a love story. It doesn't come out until September... so add it to your Amazon wish list, place your order at the local bookstore, or put a hold on it at your library. You'll be very glad you did!

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