Fangirl: A Novel

Fangirl: A Novel

Hardcover | September 10, 2013

byRainbow Rowell

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#1 New York Times bestselling author!

In Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life-and she's really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it's what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath's sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can't let go. She doesn't want to.
Now that they're going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn't want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She's got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

A New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2013
A New York Times Best Seller!

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Fangirl: A Novel

Hardcover | September 10, 2013
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$16.17 online $21.99 (save 26%)

From the Publisher

#1 New York Times bestselling author!In Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life-and she's really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it's what got them through their...

RAINBOW ROWELL lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband and two sons. She's also the author of Landline, Eleanor & Park and Attachments.

other books by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park
Eleanor & Park

Hardcover|Feb 26 2013

$13.47 online$21.99list price(save 38%)
Carry On: A Novel
Carry On: A Novel

Hardcover|Oct 6 2015

$16.60 online$22.99list price(save 27%)
Fangirl: Indigo Exclusive Collector's Edition
Fangirl: Indigo Exclusive Collector's Edition

Hardcover|May 12 2015

$19.98 online$21.99list price(save 9%)
see all books by Rainbow Rowell
Format:HardcoverDimensions:448 pages, 8.45 × 5.69 × 1.38 inPublished:September 10, 2013Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1250030951

ISBN - 13:9781250030955

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my top pick books! I purchased this book randomly a few years ago and still to this day it is my favourite book ever! i love the character growth that is seen as the story progresses. I highly recommend this book to someone who want a light, beautify written, Rom Com, fun story!
Date published: 2016-08-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from perfect book if you want something light and fluff ♥ yes. iam one of those people that like books that are light and about school life + love. I like the characters and as a fangirl, I feel so connected with this book. How the main character writes fanfiction and hang her posters all around her room... If you are a "fangirl" ..yes. please do read this.
Date published: 2016-02-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful book I really really really really really REALLY enjoyed this book! I put 4/5 I had the same problem I always have with Rainbow Rowell's books: I get bored at the middle a little bit. But every time the last 100 pages are pure dynamite!
Date published: 2015-11-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Expected More I thought I was going to love this book and I didnt, I expected so much more from this book, the story itself was good and I liked the Fanfiction aspect of this book but it just lacked and I ahve heard people say this is one of rainbows best books, if thats the case I dont think I will be reading any others by her. :0)
Date published: 2015-10-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfection! There was nothing I didn't love about this book! Rarely do I see an author describe the love of reading, and devotion to fiction that Cath has. The honesty of the characters is moving, and you instantly feel connected to their struggles. Beautifully told, and extremely funny!
Date published: 2015-09-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Modern Great Coming of Age Story While everyone might not relate to the stubborn Cath, I think most readers can relate to the many situations she finds herself in. From fandom to first loves to family to starting college--there really isn't any experience Rainbow Rowell has left out on Cath's journey.
Date published: 2015-08-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cannot get over this book!!!! I managed to read this book in three days and would read it all over again!! Rainbow Rowell is such an amazing author and all of her books are so amazing, but I can't seem to get over this one I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!! Definitely worth buying.
Date published: 2015-06-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent book. Even after reading it like 6 times I can never seem to put the book down. It's always like I'm reading it for the first times. And each new time I discover something more, something magical.
Date published: 2015-05-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great It is really good. I Really. Enjoy. It. ....................... .................................
Date published: 2015-04-27
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not my favourite I'm sorry to say that I didn't love this book as much as the other reviewers. Although I thought the character's were extremely well imagined and incredibly written, I found everything overall to drag on longer than it should have for the material being covered. There were also a lot of loose ends which personally drives me a bit crazy. Not a lot seemed to get resolved which left me wanting more (not in the - I can't wait for the sequel - way, but rather in a feeling empty way). That being said, there were true moments of honest tenderness captured in the book. I wish I could give this a higher rating but for me (and this is purely a personal opinion), it just wasn't there.
Date published: 2015-03-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Cath is scared and clingy, insecure. Sometimes the things she says are so wrong. And then her character just grows a teeny tiny bit. She opens up little more and becomes social. I also liked how real her social anxiety is. It's an eye opener to see what others go through and that makes you that more empathetic, especially if others think they're just being anti-social. I like how clueless Cath is when it came to social activities and even her dating Levi. It's a wonderful experience seeing it all trough Cath's eyes. I liked the parts where she talked about her fan fiction with all the other characters. It seemed like such a fun conversation to read. But the again I stopped reading the Simon Snow parts. Only because it was too much like Harry Potter and I believe that can't ever be duplicated. Also I felt like it didn't add too much to the story. There was also a lot of it, and I felt that following it along would be like reading another story in itself. Not only did this book touch upon the cute and adorable but there was also some of the tough parts, like her mother, father and sister. Even her twin sister Wren goes through a wonderful story arc. Oh Levi, he's this wonderful male protagonist that I just loved and adored. First, he's respectful towards women and he messes up every now and then so he's not perfect. He's also a farm boy who works hard and loves animals and his family. He's an honest good natures character that is needed more in the teen books section. Just like Cath said, we all need golden retrievers in our life. What a wonderful and refreshing character who is warm and pleasant and doesn't play games. He told Cath exactly how he feels and he showed it too. Cath and Levi together is just too cute for words. I just loved how they tip-toed around each other in the beginning and then came the honeymoon stage where they couldn't get enough. Even their first argument was adorable. The pacing was dragged out. Way too much. I felt it too be soooo long. Maybe I'm impatient but sometimes when a book is so long, I start singing, “This is the book that never ends, it keeps going on and on and on.” Then there's the the TMI aspect. I didn't really think the reader had to know that Cath smelled Levi's deodorant or had to shower or what she ate for breakfast or even if she had to pee. Sometimes I feel like it's unnecessary? And the ending? I felt it to be the weakest part. What happened with her project? Her mom? Her dad? Did I completely miss that part? I wanted closure and I got none. I also felt the ending to be super anti-climatic. I turned the page and thought there would be more but I was staring at eh acknowledgments page. Overall, I am definitely liking more of her contemporary reads and I can't wait to check out <em>Attachments</em> and <em>Landline</em>, her more adult targeted books. Also, can you look at how adorable these covers are?? AHHH <3
Date published: 2015-01-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from this was a really good book!! i got this book about 2 weeks ago and i am so glad i did!! the book was really funny and interesting. i couldn't put the book down. i wouldn't suggest this book to everyone but to people who like reading big books this is a perfect book for you :)
Date published: 2015-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It was great! It was a great book, was a great love story, not many twists but still kept me hooked. You will love characters and hate characters but you will remember them all
Date published: 2015-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from S'good I felt like I was reading a book about my own experience about fangirls. Rainbow really captured the true fangirl in the character Cather and her struggle for acceptance from her sister. Overall this book was amazing and I enjoyed it.
Date published: 2014-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from If you love Harry Potter and fanfiction, you will love Fangirl I read Fangirl a few months ago, and it's stuck with me, it was that great. If you've ever loved a book series like Cath loves Simon Snow (ie. Harry Potter), or indeed, if you've ever been a passionate fan of anything and also maybe like a romantic plotline thrown in your YA fiction, this is the book for you. Rainbow Rowell perfectly captures what it's like to be a fangirl. Loved this book.
Date published: 2014-11-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lovely This was such a great read and I got SO connected to the characters. This was the first Rowell book I read and I'm glad that I chose this one to begin my new obsession with her novels. It was cuteness galore. There's not much praise I can give that hasn't already been given but it was absolutely lovely and I highly recommend it to everyone who has a weakness for teen lit.
Date published: 2014-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from FANTASTIC Rowell is such an amazing author. I loved everything about this book.
Date published: 2014-07-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Even Better than Eleanor & Park Kath is probably one of my most favorite book characters of all time. Her insecurities and attributes are so quintessentially human and relatable. I love the love story in this book too. The leading man is just dreamy. If only fiction characters were real. In short, read this book. You won't be disappointed. It is a worthy read. I couldn't, and did not want to at any point, put it down. This book deserves as many accolades as Eleanor & Park, if not more.
Date published: 2014-07-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from uhh Surprised at the ending. I wanted more.
Date published: 2014-05-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sweet and easy read ! I picked up this book on a whim, and I was pleasantly surprised! I usually do not read these type of books, so I wasn't completely sold in the beginning, but the as I kept reading I found that I was convincing myself to staying up an extra 20 minutes to finish another. The story line is cute, fun and easy to read, and there are twists a long the way. I found myself connecting with Cath, especially in terms if her struggles with her emotions. However, I do have a con for this novel, in my opinion the ending felt rushed and was kind of out of the blue. All of a sudden i realized there was only two chapters left, but so much to wrap up. I also know people who love the ending.
Date published: 2014-05-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Rainbow Rowell's "Fangirl" Fangirl is all about exposing yourself to new things. The main character Cath, and her twin sister Wren both start new lives in college without eachother. Cath being the anxious and reluctant sister, doesn't want to grow up and leave Simon Snow - a book series with great impact upon its large number of fans is basically Harry Potter in that world - and her popular Simon Snow fanfic behind and meet new people. At first, this was really engrossing, describing how actual fans behave and everything, but after reading into the middle of this series, it eventually became draggy, uneventful, and quite boring. After forcingyself to continue reading it, it redeemed itself with the family drama and reconciliations made. Honestly, it ended quite abruptly, not really giving much closure on some characters. Rainbow Rowell rushed its ending, even with much still going on. But overall it was an okay book.
Date published: 2014-05-05
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Fangirl A nice read, too, but not as fun as attachment.
Date published: 2014-04-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from *sobs* so it felt better now that i got a closure, but i'm not sure whether i like the ending or not. to be honest, it was a GREAT book, with every detail of it, but i don't know, there's something that bothers me.. it was a great book, a book that got me addicted, actually, but the best part was the characters. they were so real, and they had moments. just, umm, you know, i would want to be friends with them... *duh* well ugh it was great. being a fanfiction writer myself, i'm a proud fangirl right now. thank you rainbow rowell for your great taste in choosing words and uniting them!!
Date published: 2014-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fan girl Loved this book!
Date published: 2014-03-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Fan girl I had fun reading it as I used to love fanfiction when I was younger.
Date published: 2014-02-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fan girl Rainbow Rowell wrote a beautiful book, full of characters who you can relate to. She also captures friendship, and first love beautifully. If you don't have a sister, or even if you do but haven't had the pain of her moving away or pulling away, you will still feel Cather's anguish and loss of a part of her when Wren pulls away from her. Levi is an amazing guy too.
Date published: 2014-01-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fan girl i really enjoyed this book. It is cute, funny, and a very lighthearted read!
Date published: 2014-01-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fan girl This was a super cute read. The characters are really lovable! Ahh the life of a fangirl
Date published: 2014-01-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fan girl The book was good, I would recommend this book to a friend.
Date published: 2014-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unexpectedly Wonderful I had this book recommended to me by a friend and while I was skeptical, this turned out to be a wonderful book. The characters become your friends and I was honestly sad when it was over. This book is wonderful and I will be recommending it to many people.
Date published: 2014-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing. Just amazing. Warning, this review might me a bit of a mess. It'll seem like a bunch of random thoughts thrown together because, well, technically, it is a bunch of random thoughts throw together. I didn't bother to piece it together nicely. Sorry. Anyway. Fangirl. Amazing. It's honest and heartbreakingly real, entertaining and is written so well. So well. Pretty much everyone can relate to it and you get hooked from the simplistic, easy to follow writing. Rowell balances romance with coming-of-age stuff that basically everyone goes through and with the deep personal and family stuff, which isn't heavy or dark just real. There's clever humor and each book of Rowell's has a different feel, a different voice but they are all her, and i love that. Fangirl is a coming-of-age novel about Cath, a teenage girl who is resistant to change and who tries to live on her own - she's never been on her own. Her twin sister, Wren, is branching off and leaves Cath to be her own person, which confuses Cath. It's always been 'Wren and Cath' or 'Cath and Wren.' They're never alone. So in her freshman year of collage, Cath tries to deal with an unconventional roommate, the dream professer who isn't as amazing as she seems, her dad being alone, and a cute, friendly guy who gets under her skin. All these things - change - is unnerving for Cath, who just wants to write fanfiction all day, every day, about Simon Snow, a fictional series of books she adores and lives by. But she's faced with more and more change and she has to try to figure out how to be her own person, and how to not let Simon Snow rule her life... But how can she let go of such a big part of her? Cath reminds me of myself so much. She's reserved and shy but whitty, always reads and writes and isn't very comfortable stepping out of her comfort zone. This is what a lot of people, teens and freshman feel like and deal with - like they're all alone and helpless. She absorbes herself in fanfiction - just like how i absorb myself in books and music - to disappear. I hold this novel close to me because i can relate so closely and connect so effortlessly. I'm sure so, so many other people go through this at different points in their life. Levi is freaking awesome. I normally dont like my guys as 'good guys' but he is awesome. The easy bantering him and Cath do is so fun and nice to read. Their relationship isn't all physical, but when it does get to that stuff it's thrilling. But even with the simple stuff - the '... then he pushed his mouth into her hair, "Read to me, sweatheart"' - gets to me and i can just hear Levi's soft voice and it melts me. SO refreshing. And I am not a Kayne West fan - i am THE anti-Kayne West fan. I hate him. But, i must say, these Emergency Kayne Dance Parties that Cath and Wren used to have seem like so much fun.  We dont just get Cath and her sister and roommate - we get a whole fictional world full of characters like Baz and Simon Snow and beyond that we get Cath's versions of Baz and Simon Snow - three books, (well i guess one book and two super-mini-stories) and three different worlds. And i love all of them. But that means three different endings and each hurts because i want Fangirl to continue, i want Simon Snow to continue but its the end. The book ended - each book ended - and i sighed and felt like this is the end. Because i want more, it is that good. MY ONLY COMPLAINT is that i wanted a fuller, more clear ending of the stuff that went down with her mom. A final piece. But in a way, i like it. I like how Rowell left us off. So that's a conflicting issue i'm not sure is even an issue - whatever. Moving on. So. Fangirl - five stars. All the way. It's an honest and compelling coming-of-age novel with a relatable protagonist and real life. Each character, from Cath to Wren to Cath's firey roommate, are all different and unique and i love that. Fangirl contains a lot of pointless scenes, conversations that don't mean a lot, but do not let that faze you! Normally all that stuff leaves me bored but this had the opposite effect - i HAD to keep reading, it's contagious. Those pointless scenes and conversations MAKE a book, they MAKE relationships. Seriously, this book is simple but complex at the same time. Rowell crafted a story that all of us can relate to in some way or another, but that so few can write about. And she does it effortlessly. I'm left with Fangirl in my mind and i don't want it to leave. Rowell is quickly becoming high on my list - I've read both Eleanor and Park and Attatchments, and i love both, including Fangirl. I want more, Rowell. I will be patiently (ugggh...) waiting for your next book. And all those other authors out there - step up your game. This is a big one, a one hard to compete with. And i love it. I smiles and laughed and sighed and gasped and felt my heart tear into pieces than warm up again. This simple book is powerful. I love it.
Date published: 2014-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Read, First Time Reader of Rainbow Rowell I've never heard of this author, nor Simon Snow. I was attracted to the illustration and the colour of the cover. I read what the book was all about, and was instantly hooked before reading. I could relate to the character so well from my past self with how the character is going through her first year of college. I don't have a twin sister, but I do hate being alone (as in not having someone that I know well to hep take that first step). I had to learn unfortunately, but it helped me to grow. I found it to be a nice, easy read. I had a week left of school, and those bus rides felt pleasant having this book to pull out every time I got on. I want to read more of Rainbow Rowell's work after reading Fangirl. Fantastic :D
Date published: 2014-01-08
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not in the same league as The Rosie Project! I bought this book because of the great reviews and it was in the same category as The Rosie Project. I was really disappointed and decided to leave it around page 80. I found everything about this book to be very sophomoric.
Date published: 2014-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So far so awesome! I'm only only into semester two of it, and already it's become a favorite of mine. I love Cath's character, she reminds me so much of myself. I also felt very lonely and isolated myself when I went to college. And I'm an avid fanfiction writer as well, and hearing the little shoutouts to her Simon Snow fic and how she has an uber fandom for 'Carry On Simon' just made me smile. I find the book is realistic, but it doesn't make the book too serious or too goofy. I find how the sisters are branching away from each other and falling apart heartbreaking. I also enjoy and feel sad reading the moments between Cath and her dad. As I said I'm still only halfway through the book, but I read during any free time I have and just can't put it down. Personally I wouldn't be surprised if ironically "Fangirl" becomes added to the fanfiction archives list.
Date published: 2013-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE! Rainbow Rowell is quickly becoming a favourite author of mine, her books are always so much fun and they are absolutely adorable! Reading this book it really spoke to me (though I've never written fan fiction, I can still relate to some things with Cath). Cath is a huge fan of this very popular book series and she spends her life writing fan fiction about two of the characters, the problem is that Cath has never grown out of this obsession even though her twin sister has. Now these two are heading off to college and everything changes for Cath. I will admit there were times throughout the book where I was not a fan of Cath or her sister, I felt that Wren especially was over the top dramatic. It was hard to really see sisters acting like that when they have been so close (but at the same time I understand trying to reinvent yourself in college). I really felt for Cath, whose sister has basically ditched her, in a way her sister is trying to help her out of her shell, but she didn't help all that much. I really connected with Cath on these things, it's hard to get out of your shell (my first year of University was difficult, I went home a lot and didn't really take part in a lot of things, I very much liked my shell and tried to stay there). I thought this story was so adorable, Cath is absolutely obsessed with Simon Snow (which is very similar to Harry Potter, probably where the idea came from), her life revolves around these books and writing the fan fiction. I have to say I loved that each chapter had quotes from either the Simon Snow books or Cath's fan fiction, it made the story so much more realistic knowing that Rainbow Rowell could probably go out and write those Simon Snow books herself. There was some cute romance in the book as well, I thought the love interest was really adorable and he was so nice. Levi was a character that I wanted to hug and wanted as my friend, he tries so hard to help get Cath out and have a life. I think the cutest thing was walking her home late at night (how many guys do you find will do that). Admittedly, there are a few parts where it seems the story would slow and I just wanted things to start happening, but it definitely went along with what real life is like. Life goes by slow at times, there isn't always action, and I think Rainbow really hit it with this book. Cath learns about life away from home and how to grow up. This book was absolutely adorable, Rainbow Rowell has written another amazingly cute and funny story!
Date published: 2013-10-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING and nerdy! I LOVED THIS BOOK. I read it one sitting, couldn't put it down. It was sweet and beautiful and as an avid reader/writer of fan fiction in my youth I could really relate!
Date published: 2013-10-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic!!! First I am going to put something out there that some of your are not going to be happy to hear! I didn't really like Eleanor and Park all that much! I mean, I liked it, But I didn't love it, and I didn't think it was this epic love story that brought me back to my teenage years- not at all. In saying that, I was maybe a little nervous going into Rainbow Rowell's newest novel, Fangirl. I honestly thought that it would take me forever to get into and that I would again be disappointed with what I got. However, Ladies and Gentlemen, I thought Fangirl was absolutely fantastic and I loved every minute of it. This book was SO much fun to read and it left me feeling happy once I had finished it. Fangirl for the most part fits into the New Adult category and Rowell's take on the genre was original and unique, incredibly realistic and relateable (to some extent at least). Fangirl is what New Adult should be. Just saying. The story surrounds Cather (Cath) as she enters her first year of University (or College). She had initially though that she would be sharing a room with her twin sister Wren. However, last minute Wren decided that sharing a room with Cath wasn't something that she wanted. Therefore Cath was stuck sharing a room with stranger and losing touch with her sister. This is something that Cath really struggles with as she is incredibly anti-social and is often anxious is new situations. Cath is basically a wreck her first few weeks of college and the distance she is feeling from her sister is not helping. One thing that Cath can and does get comfort from is the fanfiction she writes. I don't know how many good things I can say about this book. It was brilliant. Cath was not a perfect character. She was flawed and kind of strange and sometimes a bit extreme. But she was genuine and real. I could easily relate to her and the anxiety she felt being away from home and being unsure if she was in the right place. Cath's insecurities regarding making new friends and her ability to succeed academically were also things that I remembered feeling. Cath was an authentic representation of most people leaving home for the first time. What's funny about Fangirl is that a good chunk of this novel surrounds Cath's career as a fanfiction writer. This was not something I could relate to. Believe it or not I was never a fanfiction reader. It honestly never entered my mind to search up some good ole' HP fanfic. There were a number of chunks in this novel that were dedicated to the telling of the Simon Snow story, and honestly I either skimmed over these pieces or skipped them totally. I felt like I was okay doing that. I don't think I missed anything important in the story by doing this. But that's me. Overall, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell has everything you could ask for in a book. A fantasticly complex story, and slow burn romance and friendships that start off rocky but develop into something special. I loved every minute of this book and I am excited for you all to read it.
Date published: 2013-09-12

Extra Content

Read from the Book

ONE There was a boy in her room.Cath looked up at the number painted on the door, then down at the room assignment in her hand.Pound Hall, 913.This was definitely room 913, but maybe it wasn’t Pound Hall—all these dormitories looked alike, like public housing towers for the elderly. Maybe Cath should try to catch her dad before he brought up the rest of her boxes.“You must be Cather,” the boy said, grinning and holding out his hand.“Cath,” she said, feeling a panicky jump in her stomach. She ignored his hand. (She was holding a box anyway, what did he expect from her?)This was a mistake—this had to be a mistake. She knew that Pound was a co-ed dorm.… Is there such a thing as co-ed rooms?The boy took the box out of her hands and set it on an empty bed. The bed on the other side of the room was already covered with clothes and boxes.“Do you have more stuff downstairs?” he asked. “We just finished. I think we’re going to get a burger now; do you want to get a burger? Have you been to Pear’s yet? Burgers the size of your fist.” He picked up her arm. She swallowed. “Make a fist,” he said.Cath did.“Bigger than your fist,” the boy said, dropping her hand and picking up the backpack she’d left outside the door. “Do you have more boxes? You’ve got to have more boxes. Are you hungry?”He was tall and thin and tan, and he looked like he’d just taken off a stocking cap, dark blond hair flopping in every direction. Cath looked down at her room assignment again. Was this Reagan?“Reagan!” the boy said happily. “Look, your roommate’s here.”A girl stepped around Cath in the doorway and glanced back coolly. She had smooth, auburn hair and an unlit cigarette in her mouth. The boy grabbed it and put it in his own mouth. “Reagan, Cather. Cather, Reagan,” he said.“Cath,” Cath said.Reagan nodded and fished in her purse for another cigarette. “I took this side,” she said, nodding to the pile of boxes on the right side of the room. “But it doesn’t matter. If you’ve got feng shui issues, feel free to move my shit.” She turned to the boy. “Ready?”He turned to Cath. “Coming?”Cath shook her head.When the door shut behind them, she sat on the bare mattress that was apparently hers—feng shui was the least of her issues—and laid her head against the cinder block wall.She just needed to settle her nerves.To take the anxiety she felt like black static behind her eyes and an extra heart in her throat, and shove it all back down to her stomach where it belonged—where she could at least tie it into a nice knot and work around it.Her dad and Wren would be up any minute, and Cath didn’t want them to know she was about to melt down. If Cath melted down, her dad would melt down. And if either of them melted down, Wren would act like they were doing it on purpose, just to ruin her perfect first day on campus. Her beautiful new adventure.You’re going to thank me for this, Wren kept saying.The first time she’d said it was back in June.Cath had already sent in her university housing forms, and of course she’d put Wren down as her roommate—she hadn’t thought twice about it. The two of them had shared a room for eighteen years, why stop now?“We’ve shared a room for eighteen years,” Wren argued. She was sitting at the head of Cath’s bed, wearing her infuriating I’m the Mature One face.“And it’s worked out great,” Cath said, waving her arm around their bedroom—at the stacks of books and the Simon Snow posters, at the closet where they shoved all their clothes, not even worrying most of the time what belonged to whom.Cath was sitting at the foot of the bed, trying not to look like the Pathetic One Who Always Cries.“This is college,” Wren persisted. “The whole point of college is meeting new people.”“The whole point of having a twin sister,” Cath said, “is not having to worry about this sort of thing.  Freaky strangers who steal your tampons and smell like salad dressing and take cell phone photos of you while you sleep…”Wren sighed. “What are you even talking about? Why would anybody smell like salad dressing?”“Like vinegar,” Cath said. “Remember when we went on the freshman tour, and that one girl’s room smelled like Italian dressing?”“No.”“Well, it was gross.”“It’s college,” Wren said, exasperated, covering her face with her hands. “It’s supposed to be an adventure.”“It’s already an adventure.” Cath crawled up next to her sister and pulled Wren’s hands away from her face. “The whole prospect is already terrifying.”“We’re supposed to meet new people,” Wren repeated.“I don’t need new people.”“That just shows how much you need new people.…” Wren squeezed Cath’s hands. “Cath, think about it. If we do this together, people will treat us like we’re the same person. It’ll be four years before anyone can even tell us apart.”“All they have to do is pay attention.” Cath touched the scar on Wren’s chin, just below her lip.  (Sledding accident. They were nine, and Wren was on the front of the sled when it hit the tree. Cath had fallen off the back into the snow.)“You know I’m right,” Wren said.Cath shook her head. “I don’t.”“Cath…”“Please don’t make me do this alone.”“You’re never alone,” Wren said, sighing again. “That’s the whole fucking point of having a twin sister.”*   *   *“This is really nice,” their dad said, looking around Pound 913 and setting a laundry basket full of shoes and books on Cath’s mattress.“It’s not nice, Dad,” Cath said, standing stiffly by the door. “It’s like a hospital room, but smaller. And without a TV.”“You’ve got a great view of campus,” he said.Wren wandered over to the window. “My room faces a parking lot.”“How do you know?” Cath asked.“Google Earth.”Wren couldn’t wait for all this college stuff to start. She and her roommate—Courtney—had been talking for weeks. Courtney was from Omaha, too. The two of them had already met and gone shopping for dorm-room stuff together. Cath had tagged along and tried not to pout while they picked out posters and matching desk lamps.Cath’s dad came back from the window and put an arm around her shoulders. “It’s gonna be okay,” he said.She nodded. “I know.”“Okay,” he said, clapping. “Next stop, Schramm Hall. Second stop, pizza buffet. Third stop, my sad and empty nest.”“No pizza,” Wren said. “Sorry, Dad. Courtney and I are going to the freshman barbecue tonight.” She shot her eyes at Cath. “Cath should go, too.”“Yes pizza,” Cath said defiantly.Her dad smiled. “Your sister’s right, Cath. You should go. Meet new people.”“All I’m going to do for the next nine months is meet new people. Today I choose pizza buffet.”Wren rolled her eyes.“All right,” their dad said, patting Cath on the shoulder. “Next stop, Schramm Hall. Ladies?” He opened the door.Cath didn’t move. “You can come back for me after you drop her off,” she said, watching her sister. “I want to start unpacking.”Wren didn’t argue, just stepped out into the hall. “I’ll talk to you tomorrow,” she said, not quite turning to look at Cath.“Sure,” Cath said.*   *   *It did feel good, unpacking. Putting sheets on the bed and setting her new, ridiculously expensive textbooks out on the shelves over her new desk.When her dad came back, they walked together to Valentino’s. Everyone they saw along the way was about Cath’s age. It was creepy.“Why is everybody blond?” Cath asked. “And why are they all white?”Her dad laughed. “You’re just used to living in the least-white neighborhood in Nebraska.”Their house in South Omaha was in a Mexican neighborhood. Cath’s was the only white family on the block.“Oh, God,” she said, “do you think this town has a taco truck?”“I think I saw a Chipotle—”She groaned.“Come on,” he said, “you like Chipotle.”“Not the point.”When they got to Valentino’s, it was packed with students. A few, like Cath, had come with their parents, but not many. “It’s like a science fiction story,” she said, “No little kids … Nobody over thirty … Where are all the old people?”Her dad held up his slice of pizza. “Soylent Green.”Cath laughed.“I’m not old, you know.” He was tapping the table with the two middle fingers of his left hand. “Forty-one. The other guys my age at work are just starting to have kids.”“That was good thinking,” Cath said, “getting us out of the way early. You can start bringing home chicks now—the coast is clear.”“All my chicks…,” he said, looking down at his plate. “You guys are the only chicks I’m worried about.”“Ugh. Dad. Weird.”“You know what I mean. What’s up with you and your sister? You’ve never fought like this before.…”“We’re not fighting now,” Cath said, taking a bite of bacon-cheeseburger pizza. “Oh, geez.” She spit it out.“What’s wrong, did you get an eyelid?”“No. Pickle. It’s okay. I just wasn’t expecting it.”“You seem like you’re fighting,” he said.Cath shrugged. She and Wren weren’t even talking much, let alone fighting. “Wren just wants more … independence.”“Sounds reasonable,” he said.Of course it does, Cath thought, that’s Wren’s specialty. But she let it drop. She didn’t want her dad to worry about this right now. She could tell by the way he kept tapping the table that he was already wearing thin. Way too many normal-dad hours in a row.“Tired?” she asked.He smiled at her, apologetically, and put his hand in his lap. “Big day. Big, hard day—I mean, I knew it would be.” He raised an eyebrow. “Both of you, same day. Whoosh. I still can’t believe you’re not coming home with me.…”“Don’t get too comfortable. I’m not sure I can stick this out a whole semester.” She was only slightly kidding, and he knew it.“You’ll be fine, Cath.” He put his hand, his less twitchy hand, over hers and squeezed. “And so will I. You know?”Cath let herself look in his eyes for a moment. He looked tired—and, yes, twitchy—but he was holding it together.“I still wish you’d get a dog,” she said.“I’d never remember to feed it.”“Maybe we could train it to feed you.”*   *   *When Cath got back to her room, her roommate—Reagan—was still gone. Or maybe she was gone again; her boxes looked untouched. Cath finished putting her own clothes away, then opened the box of personal things she’d brought from home.She took out a photo of herself and Wren, and pinned it to the corkboard behind her desk. It was from graduation. Both of them were wearing red robes and smiling. It was before Wren cut her hair.… Wren hadn’t even told Cath she was going to do that. Just came home from work at the end of the summer with a pixie cut. It looked awesome—which probably meant it would look awesome on Cath, too. But Cath could never get that haircut now, even if she could work up the courage to cut off fifteen inches. She couldn’t single-white-female her own twin sister.Next Cath took out a framed photo of their dad, the one that had always sat on their dresser back home. It was an especially handsome photo, taken on his wedding day. He was young and smiling, and wearing a little sunflower on his lapel. Cath set it on the shelf above her desk.Then she set out a picture from prom, of her and Abel. Cath was wearing a shimmering green dress, and Abel had a matching cummerbund. It was a good picture of Cath, even though her face looked naked and flat without her glasses. And it was a good picture of Abel, even though he looked bored.He always looked kind of bored.Cath probably should have texted Abel by now, just to tell him that she’d made it—but she wanted to wait until she felt more breezy and nonchalant. You can’t take back texts. If you come off all moody and melancholy in a text, it just sits there in your phone, reminding you of what a drag you are.At the bottom of the box were Cath’s Simon and Baz posters. She laid these out on her bed carefully—a few were originals, drawn or painted just for Cath. She’d have to choose her favorites; there wasn’t room for them all on the corkboard, and Cath had already decided not to hang any on the walls, out where God and everybody would notice them.She picked out three.… Simon raising the Sword of Mages. Baz lounging on a fanged black throne. The two of them walking together through whirling gold leaves, scarves whipping in the wind.There were a few more things left in the box—a dried corsage, a ribbon Wren had given her that said CLEAN PLATE CLUB, commemorative busts of Simon and Baz that she’d ordered from the Noble Collection.… Cath found a place for everything, then sat in the beat-up wooden desk chair. If she sat right here, with her back to Reagan’s bare walls and boxes, it almost felt like home. There was a boy in Simon’s room.A boy with slick, black hair and cold, grey eyes. He was spinning around, holding a cat high in the air while a girl jumped and clutched at it. “Give it back,” the girl said. “You’ll hurt him.”The boy laughed and held the cat higher—then noticed Simon standing in the doorway and stopped, his face sharpening.“Hullo,” the dark-haired boy said, letting the cat drop to the floor. It landed on all four feet and ran from the room. The girl ran after it.The boy ignored them, tugging his school jacket neatly into place and smiling with the left side of his mouth. “I know you. You’re Simon Snow … the Mage’s Heir.” He held out his hand smugly. “I’m Tyrannus Basilton Pitch. But you can call me Baz—we’re going to be roommates.”Simon scowled and ignored the boy’s pale hand. “What did you think you were doing with her cat?”—from chapter 3, Simon Snow and the Mage’s Heir, copyright © 2001 by Gemma T. Leslie Copyright © 2013 by Rainbow Rowell

Editorial Reviews

"Absolutely captivating." -Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"A funny and tender coming-of-age story that's also the story of a writer finding her voice...touching and utterly real." -Publishers Weekly (starred review)"The magic here is cast not with wands but with Rowell's incredible ability to build complex, vivid, troubling and triumphant relationships...Fans of Eleanor & Park and other bookish, nerdy types will thrill at finding such a fantastic and lasting depiction of one of their own." -Booklist (starred review)"A charming coming-of-age novel...filled with complex subjects (such as divorce, abandonment, and mental illness) handled in a realistic manner, and the writing effortlessly and seamlessly weaves these threads together." -School Library Journal (starred review)"Rowell manages to capture both the wildly popular universe of fanfic and the inside of an 18-year-old's head. Consider me a fangirl of this charming coming-of-age tale." -Entertainment Weekly"Eleanor & Park reminded me not just what it's like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it's like to be young and in love with a book." -John Green, The New York Times Book Review on Eleanor & Park"This sexy, smart, tender romance thrums with punk rock and true love. Teen readers--not to mention their Gen X parents--will swoon for Eleanor & Park." -Gayle Forman, New York Times bestselling author of If I Stay and Where She Went on Eleanor & Park"A breathless, achingly good read about love and outsiders." -Stephanie Perkins, author of Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door on Eleanor & Park"Sweet, gritty and affecting...an unforgettable story about two misfits in love" -Courtney Summers, author of This is Not a Test and Cracked Up To Be on Eleanor & Park"Rowell shows us the beauty in the broken." -Stewart Lewis, author of You Have Seven Messages on Eleanor & Park