More old nerd confession time- I used to write fan-fiction. Long before it was a thing, before there was a thing called a home computer. Long before bad FF could become even worse published novels and crap movies. We’re talking ancient history- the 1980’s! It got me through middle school and the disaster that was 9th grade. Then it was moderately forgotten for “real life”.
I then started reading FF when it was just emerging on the internet and Harry Potter was in his hey-day. Between books 5 & 6 (I think) there was one uber-popular serial FF that centered on the trio in a loft in NYC fighting American evil, with H&H as the couple. Years later I tried to find it again, but by then the internet was awash in HP FF and I didn’t have
the time and energy to wade through it all to find the exact one I was looking for.
BUT when I read Rainbow Rowell’s FANGIRL I had flashbacks to that HP FF. I could picture who may have been writing it. Her passion for the story she was creating. It was also a peek into the FF world itself. (this HP FF really was a phenomenon at the time, with it’s own discussion forums…. much like Cath’s story). But it wasn’t just the FF side of FANGIRL I love about this book. I love Cath’s story of being a college misfit (*ahem* me in the 90’s *ahem*). I loved that she finds a good guy. I love that she and her twin sister become estranged and then come back together with a new stronger relationship. I’m just a sap for Cath’s whole journey. The story she is writing about Simon and Baz’s relationship is secondary to me. However, I’m not sure I want to read the “sequel” CARRY ON, which is the FF Cath is writing in FANGIRL. I don’t know if I want to read their story outside of Cath’s.
As a bookseller, it’s a book I handsell to a wide swath of readers- Tweens (because it’s cleanish), teens who want romance, teens getting ready for college, Harry Potter readers that like relationship stories, those looking for LGBT YA, and of course FF readers and writers.
Confession #2 time- I’ve been in a year long (maybe more) reading slump. I just get too easily distracted these days to sit and read a full book… BUT not FANGIRL. I’m not a re-reader, but last weekend I sat and re-read FANGIRL and it was just as glorious as I remember it being. I now own a copy that is going on my “keep forever” shelf.