Fun (it’s not fun) fact about me: I love fanfiction.
Specifically, I love Harry Potter and Stargate SG-1 Fanfiction.
When I read Fangio by Rowell I didn’t pay much attention to the fanfiction parts, I wasn’t bothered by Simon Snow in the slightest, I was more interested in the characters getting and not getting on. And I think that attitude helped me.
Because I love Simon Snow.
Specifically, I love Simon and Baz.
‘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.’ GoodReads.
I had expected this book to be a serious work of fantasy fiction, I’m not sure I would have enjoyed it. But, as fanfiction, it was just as wonderful as I needed it to be. It was nothing more and nothing less than a magical love story.
I was pretty impressed with the whole story really, it had none of J.K. Rowling’s intellectual Latin spells, but it has strong female characters (who aren’t all white!) and female characters you can admire and relate to.
As with any fanfiction you tend to know which character is the author, and I felt Rowell put herself mostly into Penelope. Agatha, the ‘pretty girl’ doesn’t even want magic, even if everyone thinks it is so great. Simon Snow, hero and protagonist, is just a regular guy with a lot of power he doesn’t understand. Carry On is an allegory for life. Simon and Baz got together as naturally as any two characters do in fanfiction. The only downside is that you get the feeling that publication was somewhat rushed. There are many a missing vowel to encounter.
I could say much more, but I wouldn’t want to spoil if for you.
This is better than Hunger Games.