Rainbow Rowell has done something magical. She's written a captivating book for young adults that will charm and delight regular old adults too. A love story, an honest look at mental health, family drama, loyal friendships, and nerdy, Harry Potter-esque fanfiction all wrapped up in the exciting, heady first days of college. Rowell pulls all of this off in one perfect novel; it's a marvel of a balancing act that many writers of adult fiction have yet to master. Smart, funny, sweet, and dizzyingly romantic, the love story alone will have your stomach flip-flopping with memories of your own first love. These characters leap off the page and I desperately wish that they were real. That's how lovely they are. She writes her characters with a kindness and genuineness that never wavers into sentimentality. All of her books are wonderful. Fangirl is my favorite.
I know that a lot of you hesitate to read young adult fiction, but when something this good comes along, it's time to challenge your biases and open yourself up to some inspiring and wonderful writing.
In Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life--and she's really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it's what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere. Cath's sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can't let go. She doesn't want to. Now that they're going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn't want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She's got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone.