Rainbow Rowell burst on the young adult literature scene in early 2013 with her novel Eleanor and Park
, an unconventional romance about two misfit Omaha teens who meet on the school bus and fall in love. That book garnered a bunch of rave reviews and a sizeable following of fans, many of whom have been eagerly awaiting (understandably enough) the release of Rowell's second YA novel, Fangirl
Like her debut, Fangirl
is set in Rowell's home state of Nebraska. This time, however, the setting is primarily Lincoln, home to the state university. Cath is about to start her freshman year there, as is her identical sister Wren. Cathwho would always rather be squirreled away in her room instead of meeting new peoplefeels both terrified and betrayed when Wren admits that she doesn't want to room together. Wren, on the other hand, makes friends...
Beyond the Book
, Cath's story is interspersed with snippets of her fan fiction (or "fanfic") starring characters who, in Cath's world, are as well known as Harry Potter is in ours. This hugely popular (primarily online) genre of amateur writing is inspired by existing fictional characters, settings, and themes.
Writers of fanfic are part of a fandom, a whole community built around mutual admiration—and often enthusiastic imitation—of a fictional world. The most popular topics for fanfic include the Harry Potter
series of novels, as well as the television shows Glee
and several anime series. You can find fanfic on sites like Fanfiction.Net, which brings together thousands of fan-submitted stories in one...