I Had a Blast Reading This

Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell

This is a book centered on a fanfic writer and college Freshman, Cath Avery--of basically <i>Harry Potter</i> slash fiction--Harry/Draco. Oh, the books are called the "Simon Snow" books by "Gemma T. Leslie" but... In her <i>Acknowledgments</i>, Rowell wrote:

<i>I decided to write this book after reading a lot (I mean <i>a lot</i>) of fanfiction. Reading fic was a transformative experience for me--it changed the way I think about writing and storytelling, and helped me more deeply understand my own intense relationships with fictional worlds and characters. So thank <i>you</i> for writing it.</i>

Well, ditto. Because I have to acknowledge--my name is Lisa and I'm a recovering fanfiction writer. (Of <i>Harry Potter</i> fic no less. Which puts me in good company with bestselling authors such as Naomi Novik and Cassandra Clare, so I wouldn't scoff.) Well, except that "recovering" makes it sound like I disown it, and I'm not. But I get this subculture from the inside--and so does Rowell obviously--she gets it, and treats it with affection. She gets other things too--about the terror of writing, about the terror of growing up--about how the two can be intertwined. <i>Fangirl</i> is a sweet and funny and at times heartbreaking coming of age story about a girl finding her own voice--not just in writing but in how she relates to her twin sister, to the people around her. It's charming and witty and clever and I scarfed down its 300 plus pages in one day. And had a blast doing it. I wouldn't rank it as a profound work of staggering genius--but if you're looking for something light and funny, even if mixed with some of the darker stuff of life--well, come and read. I'd certainly after this read more of Rainbow Rowell.