Rowell wrote a fictional novel about a girl who writes fan fiction based on a fictional novel Rowell created. An impressive feat.
So, I decided that it would be a good idea to drive two-ish hours away to see a band called Waterparks in concert. Had I already seen them? Yes. Did that mean driving roughly five hours, there and back, in the middle of the work week? Yes. Have either of those things ever stopped me? Nope.
For my long and perilous journey I decided an audio book would be the perfect soundtrack. I can listen to an artist all day before I see them, but I can’t listen right after. I don’t know why, I’ve always been that way. I need like, a full 24 hours before I can listen to them again. Plus, I know nearly every Waterparks song already. So I picked an audiobook that’d been sitting in my library for like a year after I read Eleanor and Park. And thus, Fangirl.
Quick plot summery: Cath is a giant Harry Potter nerd. Except due to what I’m sure are some intense copyright infringement laws, in this book his name is Simon Snow. And Simon is the only thing that got Cath through losing her mom. Cath is also headed off to college with twin Wren (yes their combined name is Catherine).
But Wren, cool, party girl Wren, has decided she doesn’t want to live with Cath. So Cath retreats even further into Simon Snow land, writing fan fiction on the series that gets thousands of reads online. But then she meets her grumpy/emo roommate, a teacher who thinks fan fiction is trash, and a boy named Levi. She also has to deal with some family drama.
I’m nut shell-ing because I don’t want to give away too much. I know, it’s annoying. But I don’t want to be the girl that spoils things!
Tbh, didn’t love Cath. Or Wren. I really loved Levi. And the dialogue was good. The ending was only so-so for me. I don’t know, I liked it. It didn’t rock my world but it was good.
I think it was particularly interesting that Rowell spent a fair amount of time defending fan fiction while also giving us lots of fan fiction. It was so blatantly Harry Potter, it felt like stealing? Which is the same argument Cath has with her teacher. At what point do you have to create your own stories?
I’m not a big fan fic girl. I don’t look down on it or those who write it, I 100% people being creative and expressing their love of a book. But I think for me, if I love something so much, I don’t want to alter it. I cannot tell you how often on Facebook and Pinterest I see text posts that people wrote, probably on Tumblr, and then people are like omg put it in the head cannon. And like, I love Harry Potter. I know everyone says that, but really. I’ve read the whole series eight times. But a post that’s like ‘George wears Fred’s arm of Mrs. Weasley’s clock around his neck after Fred’s death” and everyone goes TEARS. HEAD CANNON. I’m like no.
That was a terrible, but real, example but I’ve also read some really beautiful fan fic. It didn’t make me cringe but I was like if JK wanted it that way, she would have put it in the book. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. I also, generally speaking, hate covers of songs. Sooooooo who knows.