Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Synopsis: 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.
I read this in like less than 24 hours despite thinking it would take me a week. I loved this, loved every bit of this even when I thought I was not going to. I think I had the wrong idea about this book but Rainbow, clever as she is, essentially wrote about about anxiety and masqueraded it as chick-lit. I was not expecting that, it took me by surprise and despite my dislike of reading books about anxiety I found that it was best to let Rainbow tell me this story. Once I let go of that power-struggle, I enjoyed it.
Cath has social anxiety – perhaps it comes from her mother leaving her perhaps it comes from her Dad, perhaps it’s a coupling of both. Either way, Cath has pretty bad anxiety and she does things like going inside a building two times but not being able to see her professor because she gets anxious just thinking of what she has to do. Cath doesn’t eat in the cafeteria for weeks because she gets anxious just thinking about asking anyone where it is. In short, the only way Cath is OK is when she’s immersed in her fandom and her fanfiction writing.
As a once fanfiction writer (who was fairy popular in her own fandom) I totally get Cath, I’m here for her but having never had anxiety I often wanted to shake her and make her act normal and that’s when I realized this is what Rainbow wants us to do – she wants us to stop and get her side of the story. How horrible it must be to live with this day in and day out.
Once I realized that, I loved this story to bits. We have a very flawed character and Rainbow gives us a very sweet story of surviving the first year of school and of falling in love with an utterly delightful man. Because Levi, let’s be honest, is just icing to ANY cake. One of my favorite male protagonist in a YA Contemporary. LOVED him!
Overall, if you have not checked it out yet – do. Light read but with some nice undertones.