siminiblocker:Cath is very subtle about her fandom. An old piece…

Friday, February 6th, 2015


Cath is very subtle about her fandom.

An old piece from the Fangirl reblog book club, that I got stalled on and recently went back to. Reagan is one of my favorite parts of the book. She makes me miss my college roommate, even if they are not at all similar in the details.

I’ve reblogged this before, but I’m reblogging it again. Simini!Reagan is the best Reagan.

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flutish: rainbowrowell: siminib: brofisting: lotstradamus: […

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014







Guys, did you know this? Now you know this.

Exciting news!!!


Here’s more info about my next book:

Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything. Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.  

I’ve been waiting months for this news. And it turns out even better than I expected.

Supposedly there’s some other additional Fangirl news coming later this week. Movie deal, maybe?

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laurenbaldoart: Art of the Day: Loving Glances and Smallest of…

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014


Art of the Day: Loving Glances and Smallest of Smiles

Tools: Watercolor and ink on watercolor paper // Edited on PSCS5

Whoa, did I just write a fan fiction of a fan fiction?

Characters are Simon and Baz from the book Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. A book which I cannot recommend enough.

P.S. It’s totally normal to wear elbow patch sweaters and tribal scarves while hanging out in a tree. It’s their thing. Or, at least I made it their thing.

In which I reblog the author’s reblog of an artist’s fanart of her (the artist’s) fanfic of the author’s canonical fictional fanfic of her (the author’s) fictional canonical work from the author’s canonical work of fiction.

Ho hum.

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yulinkuang: So I’m taking a quick break before I dive down the…

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014


So I’m taking a quick break before I dive down the Kissing in the Rain fan-canon rabbit hole to post some stills from another weekend directing project of mine.

Some of my Tumblr friends might be familiar with a directing series on my personal channel, I Didn’t Write This, in which I take short excerpts of poetry and literature written by other people and adapt them as a directing/filmmaking exercise. We did an episode in which I adapted a short excerpt from John Green’s Looking for Alaskasince we had already recorded the audio for the Kissing in the Rain trailer.

A few weeks ago, I decided to finally check out Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl. I’d known about the book for a while and had been putting off reading it because I knew it would hit far, far too close to home (I’m a filmmaker whose creative origin story is tied pretty heavily to writing Harry Potter fanfic.) Reading Fangirl was like finding a long lost diary I’d forgotten I’d kept. I read it in two nights and fell completely and totally in love with these characters and the worlds they lived in, both in fictional fandom and IRL. Since I Didn’t Write This is my way of playing with source material I love, I knew I absolutely had to do a Fangirl episode of IDWT. I want to direct this feature so badly it hurts YOU GUYS ASDLKFJLSDK FLERMMMMMMMM.

I reached out to a few fanartists in the Tumblr tag because I thought it might be fun to use actual Fangirl fanart in my fangirl-directed fan-adaptation, so thanks goes to toerning for the sketches on Cath’s desk and doctorhooper for the fabulous poster design on the wall! We shot one scene adaptation and a few would-be promo stills as well. Much love to the always wonderful Mary Kate Wiles and the awesomely talented Denver Milord for being my Cath and Levi.

This episode of IDWT might take another week or so to come out while I work on Kissing in the Rain (which everyone should go watch Mary Kate being awesome in), so keep a look out and subscribe to my personal channel, maybe? If you like literary adaptations and shippy short films, it might be your kind of thing.

And just because it’s topical, hey look, here’s my old profile. #nostalgia

Much love,

Yulin Kuang
writer  //  director  //  fangirl

Haha. About five people I follow reblogged this in the short time since Yulin posted it, so my dash right now is basically Yulin!Fangirl / Yulin!Fangirl / Yulin!Fangirl / Yulin!Fangirl / Yulin!Fangirl…

Which is perfect. :-)

I know it’s greedy of me, but I really want to see Yulin’s Reagan. But I’m guessing that may have to wait for the feature. Also, Mary Kate as both Cath and Wren. Heh.


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clavisa: marykatewiles: thismostamazingday: rainbowrowell: im…

Monday, February 17th, 2014

“I don’t trust anybody. Not anybody. And the more that I care about someone, the more sure I am that they’re going to get tired of me and take off.” – Cather

“If you study something that nobody cares about, does that mean everyone will leave you alone?” – Cather

“Nothing can break me unless I let it.” – Wren

“Happily ever after, or even just together ever after, is not cheesy.”






Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

The amount of care that went into this …

It’s really, really beautiful. That top image is so powerful. Thank you.

I was all WAIT, is that Mary Kate as Cath? Cos if it is, that is perfect.

Oh, hey me. What is this?

EDIT: I have been informed that this is a book and I should probably read it cause it sounds cool. 

Okay yulinkuang, the tumblr fates have spoken. You need to film marykatewiles to an excerpt from Fangirl. seanpersaud would also make a pretty great Levi I’m just saying.

Whoa. My fandom streams just crossed Ghostbusters-style.

Excuse me. I need to go lie down.

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bookishwallflower: So beautiful ❤️ happy to finally have this…

Thursday, January 30th, 2014


So beautiful ❤️ happy to finally have this in my hands

Whoa; wait. The paperback edition is illustrated? I did not know that.

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readitand-leap: Excited to start this new read! Huh. New…

Saturday, January 25th, 2014


Excited to start this new read!

Huh. New cover. And what’s this about bonus content?

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Did you see that E&P won its catagory for Goodreads 2013 awards? :)

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

I did not, but it makes me very happy, as it always does when someone I’ve voted for actually wins. :-)

Heh. And in looking at Goodreads’ Best Young Adult Fiction for 2013, I see that second place went to Fangirl.

Clearly it’s Rainbow Rowell’s world. The rest of us are merely privileged to live here, and occasionally get a new book of hers to read.

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capsicleized: okay but did Cath ever talk to the girl who called her her favorite author and…

Friday, November 15th, 2013


okay but

did Cath ever talk to the girl who called her her favorite author and absolutely loved “Carry On” again? did the girl ever find out she was Magicath?


I wondered about this one too. Maybe if you ply her with Pumpkin Mocha Breve at an author event, Rainbow could be persuaded to reveal her headcanon?

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One for me, one for the library.

Friday, October 11th, 2013

One for me, one for the library.

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rainbowrowell: siminiblocker: Cath and Wren. (Fangirl) I think…

Sunday, October 6th, 2013



Cath and Wren. (Fangirl)

I think  the Reblog Book Club ended? Had this sketch to finish up though. I love when books have great sister characters. Yay sisters!

I swear Simini Blocker can see inside my head …

The details are so perfect: hair, clothes, body language, expressions. I assume it’s a particular scene. Maybe somewhere around:

“I try to write around it.” Cath was giggling, too.


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Warning: Never-ending wall of text. Also, Fangirl…

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

Warning: Never-ending wall of text. Also, Fangirl spoilers.




confession: i think having cath and wren’s mom leave on 9-11 (that 9-11) was a lazy way to really try to gut-punch the target audience.

her leaving on any day would have been devastating and horrible and traumatizing to cath, wren, and art, but putting it on 9-11 immediately makes everyone sympathize that much more with the scenario.

sub in any holiday and you get the same effect. it didn’t have to be 9-11 to get the point across…

Interesting point.

I do think it pays off with the inclusion of the lone plane in the sky in Cath’s original piece at the end of the book, though, don’t you? (We’ve gotten that far in reblogbookclub, right? I can talk about that now without spoiling most people?)

If it were a holiday, as you mention, what would you have used at the end of the book in place of that as a signifier that something is incredibly wrong and ultimately broken, not just in Cath’s home but also in her world?

Now that I’m finally caught up (shame on me!), I can properly respond to this!

I think you’re right, in that it ties into her original piece at the end (and someone else was right in saying that it was probably an easy way to explain why adults weren’t taking more/faster notice of their problems at the time), but you can make symbolism out of anything.

Say they had their huge fight on Christmas: The lights blinked on next door – then three houses down, then at the brick house with the pool, then where the red shutters clashed with the blue roof – every house in the neighborhood began to shine through the yelling, until theirs was the only house on the block that hadn’t turned their Christmas lights on yet.

Say it was Easter: Her sister stepped on another egg, crunching then squelching, as they somberly walked the yard, dutifully trying to collect green eggs that matched green grass. Hands clasped, neither could see their spoils through the yelling behind closed doors. Crunch. Squelch. She stepped on one this time, her sister squeezing her hand when she heard the soft sniffle that escaped.

It could have been Arbor Day: Lightning had struck the weeping willow – the one they’d planted three years ago almost to the day – the crack of branches sending them rushing down the dark hallway into the safe cover of their parents’ bed – there was enough room for the both of them to snuggle into dad’s side. In the morning, they found him on the couch, jumping on him when he hadn’t woken before their stomachs. Now, out on the porch and snuggled together once more, they listened to the thunder and lightning roll through their home and watched the broken branches sway in the breeze.

I pulled a Cath and just wrote downhill, but I think you get the idea here…

I don’t think the decision to have Laura leave shortly after 9/11 was arbitrary. I think it made sense in terms of her character. And I think the way Cath talks about the date, and about her mother’s leaving then, was not just a ploy for cheap sentiment. I think it reveals a lot about Cath and Laura, and does it in a way that another date would not have.

Unlike Cath (and unlike a lot of Fangirl’s readers, probably), I didn’t experience 9/11 as a child, but as an adult with children of my own. One of my memories of that day is of my 10-year-old daughter asking me why it was such a big deal that those buildings fell down. “Because,” I told her, “when they fell down they were full of people.” She hadn’t thought of that before I told her.

A child of that age (or the slightly younger age Cath would have been) is not responsible for processing an event like 9/11 in terms of its larger significance, at least not right away. For my daughter, as for Cath, 9/11 was something she experienced not in terms of tragic events playing out far away, but in terms of what was going on in her immediate vicinity: The adults in her life acting strangely, and the impact those actions had on her.

As an adult, and especially as a parent, the experience of 9/11 was very different. The need to deal with the event, to try to make sense of it and find an appropriate response, felt like an immediate, overwhelming imperative. How to explain what had happened to my child? How to keep her safe in a world newly revealed to contain such dangers?

When you first look at your child, there is a crushing sense of being ill-prepared for the responsibility. It’s not just an intellectual response. It’s a visceral gut reaction. This impossibly helpless, vulnerable, and precious thing is wholly dependent on you. There’s no backstop. There’s only you.

It’s terrifying.

The events of 9/11 dredged up all those feelings and amplified them. I don’t agree with the choice Laura made, but I sympathize with the feelings that drove her to make it. Her character seemed real to me in that moment, her decision to change her life by acting on the belief (long held) that she was not prepared to be a parent a believable one.

I think there may be a fundamental divide between those who experienced 9/11 as adults and those who experienced it as children. As a member of the first group, I would never think to mention it in the same breath as Christmas or Easter or Arbor Day. It’s not a holiday. It’s not an annual observance like those others. It was a singular event.

That we mark the day each year is a sign of our lingering need to try to make sense of it, because collectively we’re still traumatized. That people who were children on 9/11 might see it more as just another day that rolls around each year with its particular observances is actually kind of comforting. It reminds me that since they were children when it happened, they may have been insulated from some of its emotional effects.

The way Cath thinks about it is interesting:

Cath still found this incredibly embarrassing; it was like their mom was so self-centered, she couldn’t be trusted not to desecrate a national tragedy with her own issues.

That Cath spares no thought for the people who died that day, or for what Laura must have gone through to reach the decision she did, is a perfectly normal and age-appropriate response for an 8-year-old. It’s also understandable that as Cath grew into a teenager she developed a deep sense of betrayal and resentment over her abandonment. Her criticism of her mother in the passage above is ironic, though, because in a sense Cath is doing the same thing she accuses Laura of doing: being so self-centered as to elevate her personal issues above any appreciation of the larger significance of that day.

Her resentment of her mother is a burden Cath carries, one she’s not interested in leaving behind. Even as she learns to move beyond her other fears and blockages into adulthood, that one remains, largely unresolved. I think it’s interesting that Rainbow leaves Cath in that place, and that she commented recently on Tumblr that she doesn’t believe Cath ever does reconcile with Laura. In all three of Rainbow’s novels there’s a protagonist who has a problematic relationship with his or her mother. (It’s less-obvious in Attachments, but I think it’s there if you look for it.) For it to keep showing up makes me wonder if Rainbow is drawing on personal experience.

Regardless, the relationships Rainbow writes between her protagonists and their mothers ring true to me, and I thought the use of 9/11 as the instigating event in Fangirl made a lot of sense.

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Reblog Book Club: Some Thoughts on Quotes

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Reblog Book Club: Some Thoughts on Quotes:


“To really be a nerd, she’d decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one.” – Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell

When I read this quote I paused for a moment. Did I agree with this? Not quite, I decided. But not in a oh-my-gosh-that-is-so-stupid disagree. More of a…

The thing is, this line shows Cath reflecting on what she’d previously decided. It’s not necessarily what she still thinks now. Her thinking is evolving.

The whole point of Cath’s climactic struggle over the timing of completing Carry On, Simon, the whole point of the book, really, is Cath’s having to make exactly that choice, between the fantasy world and the real one.

I think the line is supposed to be problematic, because her younger self’s view about what it means to be a true nerd, with the fantasy world always winning out, is increasingly in conflict with the demands of adulthood.

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Rats. One result, but not the one I was hoping for.

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Rats. One result, but not the one I was hoping for.

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To really be a nerd, she’d decided, you had to prefer fictional…

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

To really be a nerd, she’d decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one.

— Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl

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Tolkien and Fangirl

Monday, September 30th, 2013

I’ve mentioned before how some parts of Fangirl remind me of Tolkien. I know it’s a silly comparison; they’re apples and oranges. But this is about my response to the book, not anyone else’s. LOTR was my Harry Potter. It was the fantasy world I wanted to live in growing up, then followed into online fandom when the movies happened. So maybe I couldn’t help being reminded of it by Fangirl.

Anyway, I was. One similarity I noticed was the multi-layered nature of the story, and the way I responded to it. (I’m sure there’s a better term for what I’m describing, but I don’t know what it is.) On first reading, the songs and poems in LOTR bothered me with how they slowed things down, interrupting the main narrative. I was impatient. I wanted to skip them. On some of my umpteen readings, especially early on, I actually did skip them.

Fangirl’s extended quotations from the Simon Snow novels, and the fanfiction based on them, felt the same way to me. At least on my first reading, I wanted so badly to find out what was going to happen next that I felt frustrated with Simon and Baz for getting in the way. I wanted to skip those parts (though I didn’t).

But then an interesting thing happened. Just as with Tolkien, I found on subsequent readings (I’m on my third reading of Fangirl, plus some bunnyhops through my favorite parts) that the extra material really added to my enjoyment. There was so much more to the world in those extra passages. There was all this room for speculation: Fleshing out the Simon Snow novels from the excerpts, analyzing the departures from canon Cath and Wren made in their fanfiction and the differences in the fic they wrote together versus what Cath wrote alone, and then the excerpt from Cath’s story. All of it was related, interwoven with and commenting on the main story, and just like Tolkien’s songs and poems, they made the world more complete, more real, because like the real world, there were all these deeper layers to dig through.

Rainbow isn’t Tolkien, and Tolkien isn’t Rainbow. Their strengths and weaknesses are in different areas. But as Tolkien was to landscape, Rainbow is to characters. In completely different ways, each of them has imagined and conveyed a world that feels so real that it hurts that it’s not.

I want to live in that world.

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caseylikesstuff: Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole…

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013


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. Handing out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fanfiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere. 

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from the 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 fanfiction 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?

I must be honest here: It’s been more than a month since I picked up or finished a book. However, Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell, has restored my faith in the written word. Sometimes, it takes a book like this to kick me in the ass. To make me search for books that could even compare. 

I loved this book. I’m a sucker for anything even remotely romantic, so to be honest, the blossoming relationship between Cath and Levi was really the only thing important to me. Of course, I cared about her relationship with her sister and her father and less with her mother, but I knew that once she could invest herself in Levi, he could put her mind at ease and keep her grounded. 

I’ve also previously read Rowell’s Eleanor & Park and I loved making a Cath to Eleanor versus a Park to Levi comparison. Eleanor and Cath are similar in that they are shy and different and don’t really care to make friends. And I’m not really sure if Park and Levi are that similar. 

While I loved what Park did for Eleanor, I adored and almost idolized the affection that Levi shared with Cath. Both loves were important, but Levi shines the brightest. 

Like Cath, I too kind of fell in love with Levi and at one point even had to remind myself that he wasn’t real and, that at times, he was an unrealistic character. Yet, I loved him anyway. He was sweet and endlessly, unabashedly caring. I fell for him with every word that Rowell wrote. 

All day at work today, I could think of nothing but this story and these characters. During my breaks, I immediately rushed to a table and opened to the words I had read last. Even before I finished, I realized that these characters, Cath and Levi, were ones that I would miss dearly once I flipped over that last page. And I was very correct. 

It’s true. As Tolkien was to landscapes, Rainbow is to characters. They’re so real it hurts.

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Can you please address your decision to have Harry Potter exist in the Fangirl universe? I’m sure there are reasons behind and and I’d love to hear them.

Monday, September 23rd, 2013
So, Simon Snow, the character whom Cath writes fanfiction about, pretty obviously takes up the same place in her world as Harry Potter does in ours.
Simon is a very different character from Harry, but the Simon Snow phenomenon is definitely an analog for the Harry Potter fan experience. 
Here’s how Harry Potter is introduced in Fangirl — Cath is explaining slash to Levi, specifically why she ships Simon with his antagonist, Baz. And Levi says:
“I don’t know. It’s hard for me to get my head around. It’s like hearing that Harry Potter is gay. Or Encyclopedia Brown.”
My intention with that line was, one, to be funny. And two, to wink at the reader. Because anyone who tries to explain a slash relationship outside of fandom will inevitably hear, “But Harry Potter can’t be gay!”Or, “But Captain Kirk can’t be gay!”
This was me looking at the reader, winking, and saying, “Yep. That’s what I’m doing here.”
I thought a bit about how Harry and Simon could co-exist in Cath’s world, then decided it would be like Star Wars/Star Trek, ‘N Sync/Backstreet Boys or Marvel/DC …
Mostly, I figured people wouldn’t take the line very literally; they’d just wink back at me and move on. 
That said, this line was something I asked my editor, agent and beta reader about during copy edits. (I start questioning everything during copy edits.) I asked them all if the line bothered them, whether it gave them Simon/Harry dissonance. And they all said no — that they really liked that line, and that I was over-thinking it.
I pay a lot of attention to consistency and continuity in my books (I checked every reference in my first book, Attachments, to make sure they were accurate to 1999), so it drives me crazy that this line is driving anyone crazy. I hate that it’s a distraction.
The Harry Potter reference doesn’t bother me, personally, but the fact that it bothers other people makes me want to change it in the book. I’m actually going to talk to my editor about whether it’s even possible to change it.

Also, I’m going to make Greedo shoot first.


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The world in Fangirl

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

From the beginning, Fangirl lets you know that the book’s world is really close to, but not quite the same as, our own:

The Simon Snow Series
From Encyclowikia, the people’s encyclopedia

This article is about the children’s book series. For other uses, See Simon Snow (disambiguation).

Because Internet fandom plays such an important role in the story, Rainbow has created a fictionalized book series with a huge online following for Cath to be a fan of. By about the fourth line of page one, I was pretty sure that:

  • Encyclowikia is Wikipedia
  • Gemma T. Leslie is J. K. Rowling
  • Simon Snow is Harry Potter

Because the fictionalized analogs are so close to their real-world counterparts, it makes it easy to understand Cath’s backstory. But then in chapter 12, when Cath is reading her fanfiction to Levi and they’re discussing the Simon/Baz pairing, I read this line:

“I don’t know,” Levi said. “It’s hard for me to get my head around. It’s like hearing that Harry Potter is gay.”

It’s just a passing mention that isn’t discussed or repeated. But it really surprised me (and surprised other readers, too; I’ve seen it mentioned at least three times in reblogbookclub posts).

Whoa. Harry Potter exists in this world.

Harry Potter apparently is well-known enough in-world for Cath to know what Levi is talking about. Presumably Cath’s Harry Potter is more or less the same as our own. But that means that in the world of Fangirl there are two hugely popular seven-book series about a young orphan who goes to a British boarding school for magicians where he is viewed as a super-important potential savior against the forces of evil. And that just seems… weird.

I realize there have been knock-off series in our world that follow the Harry Potter format. But the Simon Snow stories follow the Harry Potter format really closely. The Simon Snow books were each published about four years later than the corresponding Harry Potter books. According to Wikipedia, the Harry Potter series has sold roughly 450 million copies as of today; according to Encyclowikia, the Simon Snow series had sold more than 380 million copies as of August 2011. Both Harry (at least in our world) and Simon (in Cath’s world) have spawned blockbuster movie franchises.

It’s hard for me to imagine that in Cath’s world, Gemma T. Leslie is viewed as a great author, rather than someone whose work is really derivative of J. K. Rowling. It’s also hard for me to imagine how that fact wouldn’t come up in the course of Cath’s chapter 11 discussion between Cath and Professor Piper, given that the whole point of that discussion was Gemma T. Leslie and the nature of original work, plagiarism, and fanfiction.

The more I think about it, the harder it is for me to explain Harry’s presence in Cath’s world. But I’ve given it a shot. One explanation I thought of right away was: Maybe it’s a mistake. Since Simon is clearly a stand-in for Harry, maybe Rainbow just goofed at and typed “Harry Potter” when she meant to type “Simon Snow”, and for some reason no one caught it. But no: That doesn’t work with the line as delivered by Levi. It couldn’t have been intended that he’d say “Simon Snow” there; he’s comparing Harry Potter to Simon.

Or maybe the Harry Potter mention was a joke that was meant to be taken out, but was accidentally left in. But that doesn’t work either. The rest of the book (along with Rainbow’s other writing) is too good, too thoughtful and well-edited, for me to think they just missed something that significant. It must be there on purpose.

The likeliest explanation, I think, is that it was meant as a bit of an in-joke by Rainbow for fellow Harry Potter fans, a way of mentioning, if only in passing, the boy wizard who was so important to the online fandom at the core of the story. It’s true that it’s a little awkward if you think about the in-world implications, but it’s just a quick, throwaway line. And besides, there are ways you can make it work if you really want to.

Maybe the Harry Potter of Cath’s world is actually really different than our Harry Potter. Maybe he’s a macho action hero, more like Rambo or Jack Bauer than a boy wizard (which kind of works with Levi’s line, if you assume he was making a joke). Or maybe he’s the Harry we know, but in Cath’s world the Harry Potter books never caught on, and J. K. Rowling only wrote the first one before moving on to other endeavors. It eventually got made into a low-budget movie that Levi just happened to see, so he mentions Harry Potter in that line, but actually Cath has no idea what he’s talking about, and just doesn’t say anything out of politeness. Or it could be something else. The point is, you can explain Harry’s presence if you really want to.

Cath’s world is fiction, after all. It’s Rainbow’s book, and if she wants to populate it with Harry Potter and Simon Snow, that’s her prerogative. On some level, too, it’s kind of ridiculous of me to make a big deal about it, especially since my argument, boiled down, is that by including the real Harry Potter from our world in her fictional world, Rainbow is somehow making that world seem less real, rather than more.

But nerd that I am, I can’t help wondering. And maybe that’s the point of Harry’s inclusion: To make the reader think about what his presence means, to populate the made-up world with interesting enigmas, to layer the correspondences and meanings one layer deeper. Our world has enigmas and layers; why not the fictional world inhabited by Cath? Tolkien wrote about that in explaining his choice to include Bombadil in FOTR; maybe Harry is meant to serve a similar purpose in Fangirl.

I’d like to know the answer. I’d also like to know what was on Eleanor’s postcard. But until or unless Rainbow choses to answer those questions, I’m perfectly happy just thinking about them myself.

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inbedwithbooks: Want FANGIRL in glorious EPUB format?  Use…

Sunday, September 15th, 2013


Want FANGIRL in glorious EPUB format?  Use coupon code Sept50 at Kobo through tonight for 50% off.  With tax, that’s $5.40.  Quite the steal for a book that came out last week.

Plus you’ll get the book in time to participate in the spoiler-y discussion starting tomorrow!

This may be relevant to the interests of some of my followers.

Fangirl did not hit me quite as hard as did Eleanor & Park, but that’s a ridiculously high bar. In another sense, I think I actually found Fangirl more accessible than E&P, because the events it describes are not as far removed from me in time (by which I mean, I’m closer in age to a freshman in college than I am to a junior in high school). But that’s hair-splitting.

If you found, like I did, that E&P was an emotional thrill to read because of the believability of the characterizations and the intense sensation of being transported back to an earlier time in one’s life, then you owe it to yourself to read Fangirl.

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