From Goodreads.com: 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?
Why I Chose It: I read the book description and was really intrigued by Cath being a book lover and a fan fiction writer. I knew I had to read this book!
I had procrastinated on this book review really badly because I didn’t know how to write it. I still don’t, so sorry if this seems to be a mindless ramble.
You see, I really like reading. I read a lot of YA, and in recent books there have been a lot of female main characters. A lot of strong female main characters. Now these characters are great, but I often struggle to really connect with them. Don’t get me wrong, I love them and I love reading about them, but they’re not me. I can’t see myself in them. I’m not particularly athletic or outgoing, I’m not outspoken or confident or physically coordinated. Even Hermione Granger, who is a character I absolutely love for her love of books and libraries, for her need to know it all, even her I cannot connect with entirely because she is very outspoken and opinionated.
Cath is wonderful. She is a book lover, who feels connected to the characters she’s reading about. Cath is a person who lives on the internet. She grows as a person and shows her talents to strangers on the internet through her writing. She feels connected to those people. She dresses up in costumes and revels in the fandoms. She’s more concerned about the relationships between her fan fiction characters than she is her own.
Most importantly, in real life Cath has a comfort zone. She doesn’t like to go outside her comfort zone. She doesn’t like to hold up her hand in class, because it draws too much attention to herself. She doesn’t speak her mind because she worries what others will think of her. She likes to stay in her bedroom with her laptop, because that is where she can just be Cath.
The more I read about Cath the more I fell in love with this book. It spoke to everything that I am and that I feel. I think the really big part for me was that Cath was going to college for the first time, and she was finding it to be really hard, and a difficult adjustment to a new school, living away from home, and a lot of new people. I also found my first year really hard and difficult, and I felt like I totally understood what this character was going through.
The story is really good. Not only is Cath having adventures at school, she’s also dealing with the finale of the Simon Snow stories, and figuring out where the fan fiction fit into her new life. She’s discovering who she wants to be.
Rowell knows what it is to be the quiet invisible girl, and she captures it beautifully. Even if Cath is socially awkward and introverted, Rowell makes her beautiful. She makes her experiences beautiful.
This was a story I needed to read, and a story I want to re-read a thousand times.
Rating: 5 / 5
“There are other people on the Internet. It’s awesome. You get all the benefits of ‘other people’ without the body odor and the eye contact.” p 147
“I’m the kind of girl who fantasizes about being trapped in a library overnight.” p 186