Read an extract from Fangirl

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
“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
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 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.”


Read the rest of the chapter here