Eighteen-year-old Cather Avery isn’t ready for college. When she’s not in classes, she’s holed up in her room, snacking on granola bars and writing fan-fiction. Wren, Cath’s twin sister, is the complete opposite. She can’t wait to get away from her eccentric father and spend her nights partying. But Cath doesn’t let go of her problems that easily. She can’t stop worrying about how her father is managing without her, and she’s not ready to face the prospect that her mother, who left when Cath and Wren were children, may re-enter her life. She misses her sister, who insists on being in a different dorm, saying it’s better to be separated. And she can’t seem to figure out her feelings for Levi—her moody roommate’s ex.
Thus, Rainbow Rowell sets the stage for a heart-wrenching, hilarious, and bittersweet novel. Told mainly in first person, but including excerpts of fan-fiction, Cath comes to accept her own identity. The character development is amazing. Without giving away the ending, I can promise that Cath will not be a disappointment. She’s witty; she’s intelligent; she’s resolute.
The content of Fangirl seems appropriate for any teenager. However, the characters often express themselves through strong language—a.k.a. f-bombs. I thought the extent of the profanity was unnecessary. Rowell is an amazing author. She doesn’t need swears to prove a point. However, I liked the book so much that I managed to ignore the cussing.
Fangirl is a book about trust, family, and change. Cath is terrified of meeting new people. She misses her father. She’s afraid her sister has left her for good. She never wants to see her mother again. She struggles with her inability to trust anyone—even herself—enough to cope with her emotions and problems. Every teenage girl who has had trouble facing their fears will be able to relate to Cather Avery.
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin, 448 pages.