Updated: Oct 23, 2020
Thanks for checking out my website. As I’ve been doing for the past couple of weeks, it’s Sunday so that means reading recommendation.
This week I’ve decided to suggest reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and that means also suggesting Carry On and Wayward Son.
Coming from Wattpad, a novel like Fangirl really hits home. In Fangirl, the main character Cath writes a fanfic about a super popular series, think Harry Potter kind of thing, and she’s obsessed with writing her fanfic version of the last book before the author publishes hers.
But she’s also starting college and discovering who she is, since this is the first time she won’t always be with her twin sister. Cath is awkward, kind of anti-social and just really lives in her fanfic Simon Snow world. That’s all she cares about.
But then she meets a guy. Wink wink, nudge nudge.
One of the really interesting things about this book is that Rainbow Rowell includes parts of Simon Snow’s universe, so much so that she ended falling in love with that world and actually writing the fanfic book that Cath is writing and publishing it, and that’s how we got Carry On and then Wayward Son too.
This book is really great for a lot of reasons, but I think the fact that Rowell was able to write a fanfic of a story that didn’t even exist and made us love it is really something. She wrote the last book of a series, it’s like reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows with some context but without the rest of the series. And she writes it so well that you completely follow and you get completely hooked. She wrote a second book, Wayward Son because that universe was fleshed out so well.
Why does this work so well?
Because, and this is something I repeat often, people ultimately care more about the characters than the plot of the story. You can start your story at the end of the plot, with a shaky plot, a barely fleshed out plot, if you have well developed characters, likeable characters, relatable ones, your readers will get hooked. It’s not always about big twists and big moments and big events. Sometimes it’s just the little things that your character does that make you want to go back for more.
Simon and Baz are just that. They're good characters. They're archetypes, but they're also unique.
And Cath is adorable. She doubts herself and she obsesses over things and she doesn't have enough self esteem. Cath is real.
If you read Fangirl, I assure you, you'll read Carry On and Wayward Son too.