SPOILER FREE REVIEW
Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads.com):
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 Rating: 4.14/5 Stars
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
I first read this novel when I was a junior in high school and it quickly became one of my favorite novels of all time. I decided to reread it, to close out my 2016 reading, and to prepare myself to finally read Carry On. And, honestly, I can say that I am so happy with the choice that I made to reread this.
Although I may not be a fan of Eleanor and Park, I absolutely fell in love with the characters and plot of this novel. Cath was a character that I connected with, in that we both go to college, are heavily invested in fandoms, and enjoy writing fanfiction. More than that, Cath felt human to me. She’s simply another friend, hiding between the pages of the book and she’s always ready to be there when I need her to. Although I don’t have a Levi in my life, he was just a reminder of how important it is to make friends and to know how to trust.
More than just the characters, there is a beautiful flow to this novel. Usually I am wary of contemporary novels because of cliches and difficulties that come with pacing and keeping the story interesting. That is not the case that I have with this novel – I always find myself eating up the pages. Rowell beautiful paced this book with the perfect blend of college, friendship, and family issues. In addition, this book holds important messages for any student, young adult or teenager, to hold closely onto.
Now, I usually don’t read contemporaries because I prefer diving into other worlds and not into the reality that I know myself. However, this book flows alongside my reality in a way that I absolutely love – in that, Cath is an English major, and Rowell’s statements about reading and writing speak to my soul. Whenever I pick up this novel, it never fails to make me want to burn through the book or pick up my laptop and tear into a new story.
If you are looking for the perfect book to get you out of a reading slump or to fix your writer’s block, this book is definitely the perfect solution to both of those problems. Not to mention, for any college students reading this, it really helps to lessen anxieties you may have about college life.
“To really be a nerd, she’d decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one.”
― Rainbow Rowell,