From the author the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park
A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.
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. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from 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 fan fiction 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? Writing her own stories?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind? – Goodreads
I’m not sure what I can say about this book that hasn’t already been said. Yes, it is awesome, and yes, it is that relatable. This is the story of Cath, a girl who has severe anxiety, something I related to so well, I had to put the book down because it hurt my heart so much. (I actually tweeted about this and the author tweeted me back saying “It’s okay! It gets better!”) And better it does. Cath finds herself, like many do, in college. She also happens to be a fairly big writer in the fanfiction world for Simon Snow. Now I have never written fanfiction, but I’ve read more than enough that I got her feelings on the topic.
Cath enjoys her world at home. She has a safe boyfriend and shares her life with her twin sister. Then one day before college starts, her sister tells her that she doesn’t want to room with Cath. She wants to be her own her. While I understand why her sister wants to be her own person, I understand where Cath is coming from. Cath thought of her twin as her safety net. The one who got her through the time her mom left and her dad went manic. Cath doesn’t like change and going to school was going to be a big enough change for her. She’s going an hour away from home. To her that is all the change she needs and again, I get that. I went 45 minutes away from home.
Her first day is painful; she barely talks to her roommate, Reagan, she gets annoyed at her roommate’s boyfriend and she fears the dining hall so she decides to eat in her room until she runs out of food. Thankfully one day her roommate, who I love and adore because she is snarky, decides she’s had enough and she calls Cath on her bullshit. Or what she views as bullshit. She asks Cath if she is anorexic. Of course Cath finds this to be the craziest thing ever and from that moment the two begin to bond. What Reagan brings to the relationship, along with snark, is Levi.
Levi, my book boyfriend (*hearts in eyes!*). Rowell knows how to write men. Not everyone will enjoy Levi, but oh, did I enjoy him. He’s awkward, he isn’t perfect, he gets that Cath writes fanfiction and he embraces it. He is that guy who will do whatever you need and be nice to everyone. He grates on Cath’s nerves. Slowly however he begins to wear her down and there is a nice lovely slow burn (cannot believe I just said that). Levi and Cath have a moment, which is promptly ruined by both sides. But once again Rowell makes it work and makes it authentic to the characters.
Along with Levi there are growing pains with not only Cath, but with her sister and her father. The family dynamic is huge to not only this book, but truly Cath at her core. Throughout the story Cath discovers she can change while being true to herself. To say I loved and adore this book would be putting it mildly.
Bonus points: Rowell embraces fangirling. The photo with the tabs is how often I related to Cath.