Cath and her twin sister Wren are huge Simon Snow fans -- they spend every waking moment writing fan fiction and interacting with other fans online. When they head off to college, however, Wren is ready to move on -- telling Cath that she doesn't even want to be roommates!
Because of Wren's desertion, Cath finds herself rooming with an upperclassman. Out of her depth and on her own, she retreats even more into the world of fandom, only leaving her dorm room for class (she won't even eat in the cafeteria, and attempts to live on protein bars!).
As the year goes on, she struggles with her fiction-writing class (and a cute boy in said class!), family issues, and roommate troubles (including the roommate's on-again, off-again boyfriend who practically lives in their room).
As in Rowell's earlier novels, Attachments and Eleano
r and Park, she has created realistic, recognizable characters. Her vidid depiction of Cath's freshman year brought back memories of my college experience (and my own anti-social tendencies) -- her struggles to find her place in the world will resonate with most young adults (and those who remember what it was like to be young).
Readers who enjoy Fangirl should definitely check out Rowell's two other novels (her fourth, Landline, is due out in July 2014), and will also enjoy the realistic romances of YA authors John Green, David Levithan, and Stephanie Perkins.