In Fangirl we are introduced to 18-year-old twins Cather and Wren who are both off to the same college. Although introvert Cath had wanted to share a dorm room with her sister, Wren decides that she needs her independence and so they go their separate ways, leaving Cath feeling lost and anxious. Whilst her sister is out partying and making new friends, Cath struggles to adapt to college life preferring to stay in her dorm room and work on her fanfiction. You see Cath, or Magicath as she is known in the fandom, is famous online for her fanfiction stories based on the popular Simon Snow series (think Harry Potter in terms of popularity) which her and Wren have both been obsessed with for years. With a new chapter of their lives beginning Wren seems ready to leave behind their Simon Snow days but Cath still finds comfort in writing her fanfiction, putting even more distance between the twins.
Throughout the course of the book there is a whole host of family drama with an estranged mother, fragile lonely father and the breakdown of communication between the girls. There is also boy drama as Cath realises neither roommate Raegan’s friend Levi, nor classmate Nick are quite who they first appear to be.
At the end of each chapter we are shown snippets from the original Simon Snow novels and Cath’s fanfiction stories based on them. Personally I didn’t love this idea and found myself skim reading a lot of them, wanting to get back to Cath’s real life story instead. Although the book is a reasonable length and there are a lot of different elements to the story these are well-balanced and the ending itself was satisfying. For me, this contemporary novel was a refreshing read.
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