Fangirl - by Rainbow Rowell

"A delightful coming-of-age novel"

Fangirl is another masterpiece by young-adult author Rainbow Rowell. Rowell yet again embodies a quirky, modern style that continuously attracts young minds. The author of the widely popular Eleanor and Park once again takes everyday romance and energizes it with heartfelt detail and tremendous character insight.

In Fangirl, Rowell introduces the main character, Cather, and her identical twin sister, Wren. Cather, who prefers Cath, is not the “pretty one,” but she’s hugely popular in online fan fiction for the Simon Snow series. This Harry Potter copycat is Cath’s muse, focusing her writing on the two main characters in a fitful romance. She dedicates herself to her own rendition of the last book before the real one is published at the beginning of the next summer.

Both girls are set to start the 2011 school year at the University of Nebraska, leaving behind an unstable father in Omaha. Moving out, going to a new place, meeting new people: it’s all part of growing up right? Not for Cath, who is close to being forced to attend school. It wouldn’t be so bad if she were rooming with her sister, but Wren wants to meet new people without Cath. Wren falls perfectly into the popular crowd at the university, as expected. As a result, Cath must now face her scary roommate Reagan and her almost annoyingly optimistic boyfriend Levi by herself. The only thing she has to look forward to is her upper-level fiction writing class, where she meets her awesome professor and a year-long writing partner.

To Cath’s surprise, she becomes involved with someone who likes all of her, including her fan fiction hobby. The sweet romance that ensues is relatable and extremely lovable. During the course of the novel there are many real-life challenges that Cath must face, including her mother trying to re-enter her life.

Fans of Rowell will not be disappointed with this unusual, laugh-out-loud story with a cast of positively charming characters. I recommend this to any young adult looking for a delightful coming-of-age novel.

   - Blair W.