Today's Book Recommendation is Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell.
Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Let's be honest the whole world is a Simon Snow fan. For Cath and her twin sister Wren they have been encroached in their fandom since they were kids. The fantasy series got them through their Mother leaving. They dressed up to go the the movie premieres. Read. Reread and reread again. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums. Even writing their own fan fiction. All of these facets of Fandom and Cath is good at.
Now headed for college Wren has grown away from her Simon Snow fan days but Cath can't let go. If she is being honest she doesn't want to. But, now Wren has told Cath that she doesn't want to be roommates. Cath is without her twin and out of her comfort zone. She has a surly roommate with an always around albeit charming boyfriend, a fiction professor who believes that fandom is the end of the world as we know it, and a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words. Cath is also very concerned about her father, a loving and fragile man, who has never really been alone.
The Simon Snow characters that are referenced in the novel are reminiscent of the Harry Potter novels. Which for those of us old enough to remember had a world all its own. I can personally remember going to late night book release parties. And there is definitey a world of fan fiction out there. After all Fifty Shades of Grey was supposedly Twilight fan fiction (disclaimer: there is no documented evidence to support this). Ultimately Cath has to decided whether she wants to continue in her Simon Snow fandom or if its time to finally move on.
All of this provides and interesting back drop for a coming of age story that we are all familiar with. That first year of college where we don't know anyone, when we are forced to live with someone that we have never known, and for many of us when some homesickness sets in. It's that weird period of life where you are out on your own for the first time in your life and you have to figure it out. Throughout the novel Rowell provides a very account of how the first year of college can be for the shy creative types. If you were one of them, like myself, you will definitely enjoy this novel.