So after reading Carry On for the first time, I had to re-read Fangirl, which led, naturally, to poking around the internet reading reviews and interviews and such in a post-Rowell haze, and I learned that Cath and Levi of Fangirl had a cameo in Landline, Rowell's novel about a woman named Georgie who uses a magic phone to talk to her will-be husband Neal in the past.
I did not remember this, at all, but I went back and checked, and sure enough, there they are. Unnamed, but unmistakable--Cath is rolling her eyes, Levi makes it a Christmas Mission to get Georgie where she needs to be, the pickup truck he's driving has a heater that doesn't work... I can't believe I didn't catch it the first time around.
It's kind of funny, because the scene reads two ways depending on if you know who the two other characters are. In Landlines, there's no context for Levi's generosity towards an apparent crazy person, and his fiancee (!) seems ticked off at helping Georgie out. But if you've read Fangirl, you know that it's just Levi's way, and Cath really does love him for it--she's just really uncomfortable at having a stranger around, and can't help that.
That said, though, there are some lingering questions, and I don't know where to find people to answer them. This was the best forum I could think of to post them in. (If none of the above made sense...I apologize.)
Where was Levi, anyway? From Georgie's perspective, the two seem to have been apart for some time. But would he even have graduated yet?
So Levi and Cath are engaged. This makes me happy. But assuming there's no weird L'Engleish time shifts here, they would have gotten engaged less than two years after they first met. (Fangirl begins Fall of 2011, the Landlines scene is December 2013.) This seems...really fast for the 21st century. Cath is like 20. (I know, I knew people in college who did this too, but still..)
Are there any other subtle connections to other Rowell books that I've been missing all this time?
So Cath, lover and writer of magical fiction, was riding around with a woman who spent weeks talking on a magic phone to someone in the past. Magic is real in the world of Fangirl. But Cath clearly already thought Georgie was crazy, so even if Georgie had said anything, she would have dismissed it. But how many other times has Cath just completely missed magical goings-on? People are bumping into time-travel telephones and interdimensional portals, and she's just all "Hmm, I wonder what tie I should have Baz buy Simon for his birthday?"
Weirdest crossover ever.