Fangirl: A Novel
This book is well on its way to being a young adult classic. It stars Cather (identical twin to Wren – get it Cather…Wren….?) who is what most young women imagine themselves to be and so is infinitely relatable. Cather is prettier than she thinks she is, funnier than she thinks she is, and not nearly as awkward in social situations as she thinks she is. She is so insecure about her looks that she can recognize her identical twin sister’s outer beauty while being convinced her own doesn’t exist.
Cather is a fangirl of Simon Snow, who is sort of like Harry Potter. Cather writes fan fiction, which is hugely popular in the fan fiction universe, but she finds herself embarrassed by this when she goes to college, so she keeps it on the relative down low, even though she is obsessed, because she figures a college freshman and an 11 year old girl shouldn’t have too much in common. Wren seems to have grown out of it, but not Cather.
Stuff happens, and I won’t give spoilers, but over the course of time we learn about Cather’s back story, which has sadness and difficulty in it. But the best ride? Being inside Cather’s head when she finds herself with her first major crush. Rowell captures perfectly that socked-in-the-stomach feeling of new, first love, of meaningful glances and details and insecurities and misunderstandings and overanalyzing. All the while, Cather has three dimensional female friendships and true feelings you can’t help but feel along with her, even when you know they are irrational.
Maybe this is me, but if I’m going to read a romance, I’d rather get the feels – the major, John Green-esque feels — reading this than get titillated reading some bodice ripper between unnaturally beautiful people following a formulaic plotline. Personally, I wish this book had existed when I was 14 so I could have had Cather as a literary friend. Having read the book, I know she’s real, and I know we’d get along.
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Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Asked in the First Place” was awarded the Gold Medal for humor in the Foreword INDIES awards in 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here. If you want Lori to help you market your book, click here.