Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell I read Fangirl way back in July. I was lucky enough to win an ARC and couldn't wait to get started on it. Since I finished it, I've been trying to figure out what I could possibly say about it that would truly convey to you guys how much I loved it. Now it's finally time for Fangirl's release (Yay!) and I am out of time. I'm resigned to the fact that I will not be able to do this book justice but will do my best to share my thoughts on this book and my love for it with all of you anyway.Fangirl introduces us to Cather. Cath and her twin sister, Wren, are heading off for their freshman year of college. This past summer has been stressful for Cath because she's preparing to leave her father who has some stability issues and her sister told her she didn't want to room together. Now Cath, who is very introverted and nervous, is heading to school without the ability to depend on her sister and Cath is not happy. Another important part of the book is that Cath is a huge Simon Snow fan. Simon Snow is the equivalent of Harry Potter. The last book is set to release before the end of her freshman year and Cath has a huge following for her Simon Snow fan fiction. She has always wanted to finish her Simon Snow story before the end of the real series, but now that she's in an unfamiliar place surrounded by a strange roommate and her weird boyfriend without her sister's support and with the demands of college courses, she's unsure of whether she can keep writing her fanfic at all, let alone finish it. Fangirl follows Cather's first year at school and how she copes with everything that's new and different.First off, I have to mention how much I related to Cather. I grew up as the more quiet, introverted, worry-wart twin in a single parent household, though to be fair my mother is mentally stable and my father hadn't completely abandoned us. But right off the bat I felt like I understood Cath. When I moved away to school I had many of the same feelings she was having. When she mentioned not going to the cafeteria because she didn't know how it worked, I cringed because I understood all too well. I was lucky enough to have a high school friend close to me at school who walked me through things like this but I only went to the same cafeteria on my campus for months, no matter where my classes were located, because I was just too nervous to go to a cafeteria I hadn't been to yet. It's stupid, sure, but it was just how it was. I worried about everything, didn't make friends easily, and stayed inside unless I was dragged out by the few friends I did have. So all of the feelings Cather was having at the beginning of her freshman year were very familiar. But I can also see how someone who doesn't understand those feelings could find Cath completely annoying. So if you can't associate with any of those feelings or thoughts, you might not like Cather much and find her very irritating.Next, I must talk about Simon Snow. I am a huge Harry Potter fan who has never read fan fiction so the whole Simon Snow thing threw me for a bit of a loop in the beginning. Simon Snow is very similar to Harry Potter. But if I'm being completely honest, a few of the passages got a bit long for me. Parts of the Simon Snow books and excerpts from Cath's fan fiction are thrown into the book. At times I just wanted to get on with Cather's story instead of reading about Simon Snow. But the Snow parts are done in a way that you could totally skip over them if you want. If you don't skip them, they do pay off in the end. But it did take me a few passages to figure out that some of it was the 'real' story and some of it was fanfic. If you aren't a fan of wizards and fan fiction, don't let that keep you from reading this book, just skip those sections.Lastly, I must talk about the romance. I won't name names but I actually really enjoyed the development of the relationship and the characters qualities that brought them together. I loved seeing them leaning on each other and helping each other and growing together. I'm a huge fan of most of the characters in this book (except her mom) and think they all add something to the Cath's growth (even her mom) but I think the boy changes Cath the most in the best ways. And I'm always happy when there is no insta-love but a real relationship that develops over time because the characters actually get to know each other and challenge each other and have fun together. That's the best.Overall, I have to say again that I loved this book. Do I think that everyone will? No. It is a little slow with characters that not everyone will associate with or understand. And with fan fiction that could also be a turnoff, this book is definitely not for everyone. But this book does have some wonderful characters that I really related to, situations that brought out plenty of emotions, some really funny dialogue, and an overall feeling of authenticity. Plus, almost all of the characters in this book experience growth from the beginning to the end. My favorites are Cather, Levi, and Cather's dad. And of course, Simon and Baz. If you decide to give Fangirl a chance, and I certainly think you should, especially if you are heading to college, relate at all to Cath, or enjoy YA coming-of-age contemporaries, I really hope you'll love it.