Up Late with Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl

From Goodreads.com: “A coming-of-age tale of fanfiction, family, and first love. Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…. But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fanfiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere. Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. 

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?”


This is one of those page turners that you devour in all one sitting, where you just want to read one more chapter, turn one more page, to find out if everything turns out OK for Cath.  Rainbow Rowell has the gift of creating characters who remind me of my students–witty, clever, vulnerable, strong, human, and ultimately, real. 

Some of the passages in the book are supremely true: “In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can’t Google.)”  And others make me laugh aloud and wish I was as witty as her characters: “How do you not like the Internet? That’s like saying, ‘I don’t like things that are convenient. And easy. I don’t like having access to all of mankind’s recorded discoveries at my fingertips. I don’t like light. And knowledge.”

This book reminded me of many of my students who read and write fanfiction. It was lovely to see a respectable tribute to the genre of fanfic/slash fic. If you enjoy this book, try reading Eleanor and Park, another remarkable novel.  Rowell even has an adult fiction book, Attachments, which is equally un-put-down-able. 

posted by Kate, PCTELA VP Secondary Schools (k1a9t7e5 @ gmail.com)



Up Late with Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl

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