Read: March 2016
My second Rainbow Rowell read, I downloaded this up after really enjoying Landline back in February. I don’t remember there being a real reason behind picking this one, it was probably the cheapest one available on kindle when I looked.
Spoiler free summary time, Cath and Wren are identical twins both heading to the same college but with very different ideas about what college life should be like. Up to now they’ve shared everything from their bedroom to theirs and Cath wants this to continue when they get to college. Wren has very much the opposite view and opts to a different dorm from her twin and cuts her hair to separate their identical looks.
Cath struggles to settle in, living on protein bars for the first month to avoid facing the social interaction of the dining hall without her sister. Her new roommate has very little interest in getting to know her and her new roommate’s boyfriend has a bit too much.
The novel follows Cath as she struggles to find a way to balance college life, her concern for her father back home and her sister across campus.
Sandwiched between each chapter is snippet from the world of Simon Snow, the main character of a major book series and Cath’s fanfic writing. Cath or ‘Magecath’ as she’s known online is on a mission to complete her Simon Snow fanfic novel ‘Carry On’ before the eighth novel is released.
I thought the characters in this were brilliant, I can relate a lot to Cath’s settling in struggles, particularly the eating in public side of things. There were some parts which I felt needed more depth, for example the twins have been raised from a young age by their father and during this book their mother attempts to re-establish contact and I thought this could have been used as more than another stress for Cath. I’m also fascinated by any film/novel based in an American college to compare to my own UK university experience.
My only problem with this read was the parallels with the world of Simon Snow and Harry Potter. I don’t think it’s been ripped off; I just have Potter engrained in my head so any magical school or world is instantly compared.
I really enjoyed this and gave it 4/5 stars on goodreads. A sequel for Fangirl was released last year so that’s another one added to the TBR, though I believe this expands on the world of Simon Snow rather than Cath & Wren.