Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: 2013
Page Count: 445 (Hardcover)
Age Recommendation: 14
From the author of 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
This is one of those books that you want to like…but you just can’t. It reminded me why I (unsuccessfully) try to stay away from YA romance. The author managed to put every little thing that bothers me about that genre into this book. The main characters I could easily relate to (nerdy and doesn’t want to make friends), but halfway through the book she suddenly turned into this extremely narrow-minded melodramatic brat! I swear I’ve read so many versions of her character in so many different books. Her drama over the littlest of things literally snuffs out the life of everything else. (Like she started a fight with her boyfriend because he was so nice to everyone that she ‘couldn’t tell if she was special’? Like? Whaaaat?) And her lack of determination seriously ticked me off. She was a college student, on a scholarship, and got a second chance on a class-and she totally blows it off because she doesn’t want to? Like, I get it. Finals are way stressful. But to completely blow it off because you don’t want to after getting a second chance? NO WAY. Besides, NO ONE wants to do their finals so what makes you any different?
In YA romance, whenever the MC and their significant other finally get together, it seems like that other person is literally the only thing that exists in the entire book. I just realize now that that might be because they are the MC’s whole world, *finger guns* but, PLEASE I’ve had enough with the descriptions of their face! I KNOW THAT THEIR EYES SPARKLE LIKE THE STARS! I GOT IT! There were also some iffy lines that I felt were sort of ‘problematic’ but I’m not going to go into that. Honestly, most of my negativity about this book comes from my dislike of the romance genre (nothing against it, it’s just not my thing. I can’t seem to stay away though XD).
All negative thoughts about this book aside, this was a pretty cute book. The main character (especially at the beginning) is super relatable. I LOVE her relationship with her sister and her roommate it seriously awesome. And, although, at the beginning it seemed like I’d read this a thousand times before, by the end it had managed to stand out from the crowd. Plus, the cover is seriously amazinggg. Also I thought how the author added the chapters from Cath’s fanfiction or from the actual Simon Snow books was really clever. It’s such a huge part of Cath’s life that it definitely added some ‘deeper understanding’ of her character. Overall it’s a cute book, but I’m not sure if I would read it again.
“Since there isn’t a tree,” their dad said, “I put your presents under this photo of us standing next to a Christmas tree in 2005.
“So I was thinking, maybe this time I could let Kelly pitch his terrible ideas first. Cartoon beans with Frankenstein hair. ‘Monstrously delicious,’ whatever. These people always reject the first thing they hear-”
“You were asleep,” she said, setting it on the table, “so I made breakfast.”
“Oh, Christ,” their dad said. “Is that Gravioli?”
“No,” Wren said, “it’s new Cheese Gravioli.”
What Does the Cat Think?
I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5!
Also, on Wednesday my review of I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition) will be posted at Reading Violet so be sure to check that out!