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? [Goodreads]
I can’t believe this book has been out for almost three years and I’ve never gotten to it until now. I’m disappointed in myself, because I am seriously in love with this book. Once again, I don’t want to give it back to the library (someone should buy it for me so I can always read it). Rainbow Rowell is such an amazing writer and is one of the reasons I love contemporary novels so much. People assume this book is just about an introverted girl who has to grow up, but it’s a lot more than that. Cath is so much more than a stereotypical geeky girl, and I love that she’s not ashamed to be such a huge fan of these books and movies, because there are times when people feel embarrassed to have a blog or write fanfiction, which is dumb. You shouldn’t feel weird about loving something. Anywayssss, moving on: THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD.
First of all: the characters. Rainbow Rowell rights the most amazingly beautiful real characters any reader could ask for. Cath’s narration was spot-on with the right amount of emotion and sarcastic quips. Her twin sister, Wren, (Cather, Wren, Catherine?) is a trainwreck for most of the book, but just like sisters do, they come back to each other. Their relationship is so awesome, even if they are fighting for a lot of the story, it’s obvious how close they really are. The people that Cath meets at school are probably my favorites, Reagan and Levi. Reagan, Cath’s roommate, is mostly cold and rude, but there are those rare moments that she shows that she has the capacity to be a softie (she turns out to be a pretty good roommate and friend, I have to say). And then there’s Levi, who I’m pretty sure almost everyone adores. At least I did. Kind of a stereotypical farm boy who wear plaid and drives a red truck, but he’s so innocent and kind and funny that I didn’t realize I was rooting for him (that’s a reference if you’ve read the book, by the way) until it hit me like 100 pages in. And when I finished the book, I re-read it like two times before going to bed. Pretty great Friday night, if I do say so myself.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes realistic/romance, and if you understand the struggle of preferring other worlds to the real one, this is probably the book for you. Bonus, the cover is super cute, and there’s an edition out with fan art and extras. (Also, Rainbow Rowell wrote Carry On so that we could all truly live in Magicath’s world. I’m excited to read it!)
Rating: 5 stars (duh. It’s Rainbow Rowell.)
Favorite Quote: “To really be a nerd, she’d decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one.”