The rift started between the twins when Wren told Cath that she didn’t want to be roommates.
There they were, away from home for their first year of college, and her sister was abandoning her. Cath’s sense of loss was huge. Her own roommate was someone named Reagan, who was brash and rude, always kicking the door open when she entered. Loud, disturbing. And her boyfriend was a guy named Levi, whose smiles seemed to cover his whole face.
But Cath had her fanfiction, her Simon Snow site, and her thousands of readers. She was kind of famous in that world. But it wasn’t something she could talk about with people she met at school. And just finding her way around campus was a big deal. It took her weeks to find the dining hall, subsisting on power bars in the interim.
And so it begins in the world of Cath and Wren, mostly Cath; and it didn’t take long for me to feel totally hooked on this nerdy girl who is still in the process of surviving the pain of her mother’s abandonment when she and Wren were eight.
Wren seems fine, out there on her own, but before long, it is clear that she is broken, too. She reveals it through her acting out and drinking binges.
What must happen to bring the girls together again? Will an emergency force them into a kind of healing? And will Cath be able to finally move beyond fanfiction, to the kind of writing that is her own? And how will her relationship with Levi move beyond a hesitant friendliness to something more?
I didn’t expect to love Fangirl: A Novel this much. I am not much of a reader of YA (or NA), and definitely not fantasy, and fanfiction is something that I cannot imagine obsessing over. But in the context of this story, I slowly came to enjoy it. At first, the Simon Snow excerpts bored me, but then I could see their relevance to the primary story and to who Cath was as a character. By the ending, when Cath finally decides to write her own fiction, I couldn’t wait to see how it would all turn out. 5 stars.