Fangirl is possibly one of the best novels that presents an homage to nerdom of the early 21st century. Cath's story will resound with anyone who has ever preferred the company of books over people, and with those that willingly dressed up in costumes for midnight releases—multiple times. Cath's uncertainty throughout her first semester of college is palpable—she won't go to the dorm cafeteria because she doesn't know how it works—and her acerbic wit helps get her through all of the awkward moments. Roommate Reagan and her shadow Levi are endlessly entertaining and great friends, even though Cath is cautious of their kindness at first. The relationship between Cath and Wren is both complicated and simple; Wren isn't always very nice to her sister, but Cath loves her no matter what happens. Over the course of their first year of college their relationship changes a lot as each girl learns a lot about herself and each other before coming back to their shared love of Simon Snow. Rowell sprinkles excerpts from this fictitious series and Cath's own fan fiction throughout the novel to give a context to Cath's fandom, and they're a nice addition as long as they aren't taken too seriously. Complete with a tender, tentative romance that is just as memorable as the one in Eleanor & Park, Fangirl is an excellent coming of age story, hysterically funny and delightfully nerdy.
Cover Comments: This cover surprised me when I first saw it--it really reminds me of a graphic novel with the cartoon-like drawings and the speech bubbles. I don't think I'd ever seen anything quite like it on a YA cover (although it does resemble the cover for Eleanor & Park). I really like it, though! The colors are cool, but I hope it doesn't deter any male readers.
Fangirl will be released on September 10th, 2013. Start the countdown.