by Rainbow Rowell
Plot Summary: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?
Review:A few up front thoughts. I freaking couldn't put this book down, the characters are amazing, their journey is amazing and I loved the romance. And I loved the way the author gets how being a fan feels. And just everything about this book makes me happy and gleeful and smiley. It's a wonderful book!
This is my first Rainbow Rowell book, and I completely fell in love with her writing which is so expressive and distinct that it made all her characters and setting jump out of the page - it all felt so real and relatable. I think that's it really, everything about this book is relatable for me. (Except for the perfect man part, but more on that later.) And that is why this book was so hard to put down, because I was so invested in these character's lives. There's not a lot of showy action but emotional dilemmas and issues that each character had to conquer in their own way. For a book that might seem to have a light-hearted premise, this book is anything but. It definitely has it's light and happy moments, but the very real drama in Cath's family grounds the story and gives it this wonderful dignity.
Cath as a nerd, fangirl and fanfiction writer, made the best representative of nerd culture I think. A little awkward and shy, but so full of enthusiasm and love for these stories and characters. It's interesting how the legitimacy of fanfiction is also debated in Cath's interactions with her professor. I can see both sides, and I'm glad that being such a fan helped Cath develop in the long run (with the help of her friends too!).
The romance is one of the other outstanding parts of this book. Cath's relationship with her sister stemmed from how alike they are, but with Cath's romance (and friendship) it was nice to see people who are not alike, but fit well together. Especially with the way Cath's guy is so encouraging and just nice. This nice guy will never finish last - he's so adorkable. The romance also develops slowly, with some hiccups along the way which was the best, and they didn't rush into declaring their undying love for each other in the usual unconvincing way of many YA novels. I really adored the couple in this book!
This is a remarkably astute, coming of age novel that focuses on those idiosyncrasies of a modern fan and nerd, and I have such appreciation for the depth and sophistication in which these characters are drawn. This story is so touching, humorous and absorbing and I hope to pick up more of the author's books soon!