In my last post, I reviewed Grace and the Fever , a book about band fandom and one that I loved more than I even expected to. Now, if you know me at all, you know that fandom is very important to me! However, you might not know that I have written a novel about it, and I am in the process of trying to get it published. So even though I really wanted to read Grace because of the subject matter, I also had to make sure I wasn't unknowingly ripping off Zan's work. Well...as I am want to do, I fell into a rabbithole of fandom books. After reading Grace, Goodreads told me to read Fangirl and Kill the Boy Band. I thought to myself, "Might as well make sure I'm not unknowingly stealing anyone's fandom fiction ideas, right??" So up first...FANGIRL!!
I think there is something about being a fan that is universal across all fandoms. I would never say I was in the Harry Potter fandom. I LOVE Harry Potter. I have read the books countless times, I own all the movies, and I've been to the theme park. I dressed up at midnight for releases. I waited in line for the last book, and stayed up all night finishing it. There will never be something like Harry Potter for me. But...HP was not what I made friends through, or wrote fanfiction about, or cried my eyes out over.
That certainly doesn't mean I can't appreciate this story, which is, in my opinion, a love letter to the Harry Potter fandom. The story follows Cath, a girl who is deeply committed to the Simon Snow fandom (a popular series of books and movies).
"Reading was too quiet - She needed to write."
I love this book's focus on fanfic. I have a lot of feelings about fanfic, and if you would like to talk to me about it, I would be more than happy to. To this day, fanfic is still my favorite hobby. It brings me joy even in the darkest of moments, and it helps me 100% of the time I have writer's block. I've been writing fanfic since before I can even remember. Seriously. I was unknowingly writing fanfiction from the time I learned how to spell. Cath is a well known fanfic author in the Simon Snow fandom, and has thousands of people reading her stories. She's grappling with trying to write original fiction while still keeping herself and her readers happy. The story itself branches out and explores her time at college, relationships with friends and family, and her first love. But at the core of all this is her deep well of passion for the characters of Simon Snow.
If you love something so much it hurts, or you love something so much you googled fanfic about it because you didn't want the story to end, or you love something so much you stayed up until the wee hours of the morning talking to your friends on internet forums dedicated to the thing, do yourself a favor and read Fangirl. Even if you can't necessarily connect to Cath's fandom (which mirrors one of the biggest fandoms in history so maybe that's silly to say), you will definitely connect to the comfort and happiness she finds in it.
"Sometimes writing is running downhill, your fingers jerking behind you on the keyboard the way your legs do when they can't quite keep up with gravity."