Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell surrounds that curious subculture of fan fiction. For those unfamiliar with it, fan fiction is where people take characters and worlds already invented and then write their own scenes and stories using them. There is a massive amount of Harry Potter fan fiction, and even in Fangirl, the main character Cath is writing fan fiction about Simon Snow, which is essentially a thinly veiled Potter.
Cath is a super awkward freshman in college, and her twin sister Wren has chosen not to live with her. While Wren is out partying night after night, Cath is cooped up in her dorm room, writing fan fiction, and hiding from new people and new situations.
There’s a boy, of course, and while he’s quite lovely, he was a little too over-the-top for me (though I think the rest of the world has fallen in love with him). While there were definitely some great moments in this book, I didn’t love all the long passages of fan fiction involved. I also didn’t feel like there was enough conflict (or really, a climax), and the characters’ personalities seemed to change too suddenly for my liking. I, of course, still think Rowell is absolutely marvelous, but this wasn’t my favorite of her books.
While I was more drawn to the characters in Eleanor and Park, those of Fangirl are definitely going to attract their own following. If you’re fascinated by the fan fiction element, definitely give this one a look!