Fangirl is a pretty good book by itself, I started reading it for the references to Baz and Simon though. This book is the genesis of Carry On because Simon , Baz , Penelope were drawn here as characters in the imaginary “Simon Snow series”.Because Carry On has such a fixed place in my mind now I think of Fangirl as two books, one where Cath Avery and Levi what’s his name are realistic characters leading realistic lives and another book of disconnected paragraphs about Baz/Simon.
Okay , so Cath is starting college and everything is changing. For Cath this means everything sucks. Her twin wants more space, her long time, though boring, boyfriend breaks up with her and she has to cope with living in a new place. She deals by continuing to immerse herself in her fan fic universe. She’s the most popular Simon Snow fan fic writer. In the middle of all this is a confusing situation with her roommate, her roommate’s possible boyfriend Levi, and Cath.
Obviously I LOVE all the Simon/Baz insertions. Cath thinks these characters are actually in love and writes about them like that. Cath’s own story is really nice.
But Fangirl and Carry On made me think about love stories. Compelling love stories need a really good obstacle. Something which makes you despair alongside of the characters, and which has enough gravity to explain everyone’s wrought up feelings. In fictional heterosexual relationships we usually depend on class or power battles. And that may make you weep especially in Romeo & Juliet but no longer today for I suppose at least some parts of the world. People can escape quite easily. 😀 They “move on” (classic phrase!), start a …start up or something , and find someone who doesn’t judge their lack of inherited wealth 😄. I think epic love stories kind of belong to works of fantasy. TFIOS was amazing but then the kid had to die , they were both fatally ill. Possibly because painfully true love can’t exist in realistic fiction(ha, ha notice I didn’t say in real life :D) .
In Carry On Baz has to be the perfect heir, which means hiding his vampirism and his feelings for Simon, while Simon dates the most perfect blond girl who would make a wonderful heterosexual companion for the chosen one. So it’s moments where Baz is hopelessly outside looking in, where the love story just becomes most potent.Rowell is also brilliant with economic, on target well placed dialogue and phrases (“All I do is lose.”) which just highlights an overwhelming intensity that you feel respectful of, and makes you weep buckets over the character. I’m re-writing my review of Carry On here seemingly. 😀 . But mostly I just wanted to compare realistic & fantasy romances.
Simon: “And I know you think we’re completely doomed Romeo and Juliet style.”
“Completely.”, I say to my knees.
Doesn’t that slight description of posture, immediately make you imagine the sense of despair and of being trapped implicit in that line?
If Baz was on a t-shirt I would totally wear him, I need Simon/Baz keychains or something.No, a pillow !!He needs a hug 😄.