Author: Rainbow Rowell
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: Listening Library
Voice Actor: Rebecca Lowman, Maxwell Caulfield
Awards: Goodreads Choice Nominee for Young Adult Fiction (2013)
Finished Reading: September 18
About: “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 fanfiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere. Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath just 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 roomate with a charming, always-around boyfriend; a fiction-writing professor who thinks fanfiction 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? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?”
Why I thought I’d love it:
- Rainbow Rowell. I’ve been into her other books recently. I really enjoyed Eleanor & Park and Landline. She has a way with her characters and her dialogue that just holds on to me and doesn’t let go. I love it.
- Rebecca Lowman. I love her as a voice actor. More specifically, I love Lowman as a voice actor for Rowell’s work.
- Cath writes fanfiction. This is definitely something that I can relate to. While I was in middle school and high school, I read a ton of fanfiction. It didn’t really matter what it was either. I read Harry Potter fanfiction, band fanfiction, actor fanfiction. I read and loved it all. So, I was super pumped to read a book about an author of fanfic.
A huge reason why I didn’t LOVE this book was because of Cath. Why I didn’t like Cath, like, at all:
- She claims to be super conscious of her GPA and her classes and blah blah blah, but when given the chance for an extension – she blows it off. Now, I’ve already been through college – all four years of it, so I know that when a teacher graces you with an extension – you best be taking it and writing the best you’ve ever written. For someone who claims to love writing and claims to love that class, she’s got a funny way of showing it.
- Dating. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely times when I still have no idea what I’m doing. All the same, I know that you should at least put a little effort into your appearance when going on an actual date – even if you see them all the time. It sets that a date is different than just hanging out reading fanfic. There’s actually a whole slew of things that I really just wanted to slap Cath for when it came to her relationships. Quit being a baby. Maybe I’m just over the whole YA approach to sex or even holding hands. Or maybe I just want to slap Cath. (I’m thinking it’s the latter.)
- She chooses fanfic over everything. I, myself, am an introvert. I have a really hard time talking to people – just ask pretty much anyone. I would rather be sitting at home reading than most things that I need to or have to do. But this one over here (motions to picture of Cath on the cover) is just .. I can’t take her. Rather than going down to the cafeteria she’s sitting in her room eating protein bars. Good god. Cath. No.
Maybe the storyline had some redeeming parts, but here’s why I didn’t like the storyline:
- Humor. I didn’t really find it all that funny. Something that I’ve been able to count on from Rowell is her awesome subtle humor, but it just wasn’t really there this time.
- Mother. The whole mother being gone/not gone thing really drove me crazy. Pick a side.
There are definitely some redeeming aspects!
Regan, Cath’s roommate, was probably the best character – in my humble opinion:
- She is an upperclassman (I think a junior), so she knows the ropes of being in the college setting.
- She’s been described as mean to Cath, but I would act the same way. Regan calls Cath out on her stupidness. IE: going down to the lunchroom. After Regan basically told her she’s ridiculous, she made Cath go down to get food with her.
- Regan’s reactions to Cath or what’s going on aren’t that far off from what mine would be.
Levi, Regan’s boyfriend, is just amazing:
- He walks Cath around campus after dark. From personal experience, it’s not horrible being on campus in the dark, but you can definitely freak yourself out – it’s always good to be walking with someone anyway.
- He doesn’t get annoyed with Cath, which is definitely unlike every other character in the book.
- From the sound of it, he’s not half-bad looking either.
- He does audiobooks! Umm hi, my name is Megan and I love audiobooks. There’s a whole thing about whether or not audiobooks counts as reading and it was great to listen to ON MY AUDIOBOOK.
My rating and why: I gave this book three stars. It was just an ok book. It wasn’t something that everyone absolutely needs to read. It’s not going to be something I remember reading a year from now. It was just ok. I mostly didn’t like it, but gave three stars as a benefit of the doubt type of a thing.
Have you read this one? Am I crazy with my criticisms? What’s your favorite Rowell book? Let me know in the comments below. Like. Comment. Follow. New book review to come tomorrow.
Until next time my fellow bibliophiles!