Tuesday, August 27, 2013

ARC: Coming soon to your library!

I liked Rainbow Rowell's first book, Eleanor and Park, a lot. But you know how it is with authors and first books--sometimes (sadly) they only have the one good book in them! So I opened our Advance Reader Copy (ARC) of FanGirl with equal parts excitement and trepidation, hoping that it would be as good. And I can only say (with great maturity and sophistication), "Yay! it is!"

This one is about twin sisters on their way to college. They have been inseparable their entire lives, and Cath assumes this will continue in college, but Wren has a different agenda: She wants her own roommate, her own classes, her own life ("If we do this together, people will treat us like we’re the same person”), and all this throws Cath for a loop. She's hurt and upset, and all Cath really wants when she's feeling that way is to be left alone to work on her fan fiction, based on two characters from the "Simon Snow" series (eerily similar to the Harry Potter franchise). She has an enormous following for her almost novel-length fanfic takeoff featuring Simon and Baz, and college is getting in the way. So Cath lurks uneasily around the fringes, coping with the high anxiety caused by the typical challenges: where to sit in the cafeteria; how to co-exist with her scary roommate, Reagan, whose boyfriend, Levi, is annoyingly ever-present; and whether she can deal with an upper-level class she is regretting that she petitioned to take. She's also worried about her dad, who is on his own for the first time ever and who has some issues, and she has a boyfriend at another college who isn't really holding up his end of the texting...you get the idea. Retreating into the fanfic universe sounds like a pretty good idea!

This book has such a fresh voice. I loved all the characters (Levi = best boyfriend ever!), the situations and challenges, the jumping back and forth between reality and fanfic, everything! SUCH a fun book to read.

I would rate this a big fat FIVE, and would say that the age level is high school (due to relationship stuff).

And Anarda and I are encouraging you all to look it up and check it out the minute it is cataloged and on the YA shelves, because...it will HELP YOU with this year's Teen Read Week CONTEST: Fan Fiction! Yes, that's right, we're asking you to write some of your own. Go here for all the details--it's not due until nearly the end of October, so that gives you plenty of time to figure it out. We can't wait to read it!

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