Photo courtesy of Pan Macmillan
Author: Rainbow Rowell (Note: awesome name)
Genre: YA, coming-of-age, romance
Eaten Thru At: 2:44am on January 31, 2014
It read like a fanfic. And I absolutely loved it.
My own fanfic-ting days came flooding back. All those years I spent in the world of another, exploring, discovering, falling in love with the characters and their loved ones rushed back to me. This is what immediately drew me to Cath and her story. I was just like her when I first crossed the threshold of high-school over and undergrad becoming. I might not have lived as much in my own head as she did, and my fear of the new reality of being a university student might not have manifested quite so physically as it did her, but it was there nonetheless and the world of fanfiction was an absolutely comfort to come home to.
The intertwining of two plots/stories was a wonderfully refreshing mix-up. The parallels between the main story and the snippets of Simon Snow and Cather’s fanfictions read well together. Cather’s state of mind and emotions nearly bursting through her Simon Snow fanfics, a clever new way to project what she is feeling and perceiving her own situation.
Warning: spoilers ahead.
Man, did Levi make me smile. He was an absolutely angel, definitely “the brightest thing in the room”. Of course, I didn’t appreciate his rash decision that hurt Cath, and for a second I doubted his genuine character. But I’m glad he didn’t turn out to be another Nick. I’m glad Nick wasn’t the male protagonist of the story. That final entry before the book finished off, pulled out of me an excited, yes-she-got-the-ultimate-revenge sort of “yes!”.
How did Cather end Carry on, Simon?!? I might have left my fanfic days behind, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have an inkling of that fangirl still with me. I really, crazily-and-desperately want to know what she decided on the finale. What happened to Baz?!? And more importantly, where can I find copies of all of Cather and Wren’s stories? I want to read them, to keep reading, so this story never ends.
On an objective note, there were certain things, conversations, words, that were too feely-touchy, mushy-gushy for me. Like when Cather kept repeating “I like you” in different versions throughout their make-out session. That was a little too much.
I appreciated the family dynamic, with their mother, sibling complications, father issues that Rowell inserted into the story. Wren was definitely an irritating, anger-flaring character for me. She got on my nerves like nobody else in the book. I can’t believe there are mothers (more like non-mothers) like Laura in the world. I vainly hope there aren’t. Reagan was lovely. Her abrasive, sarcastic, straight-forward ways produced a love in me for her, even though I rarely like anyone who cheats, especially on someone so lovely as Levi.
Cather, was much too anti-social at the beginning for me. It made me feel skeptical and to be honest, a little envious, that even with such high and thick walls she built around her, she was able to make a great friend like Reagan and meet someone as wonderful as Levi. I remember myself trying almost desperately to reach out to random people in order so I won’t be alone my first year of university. Even then, most of the people I tried to make friends with that year didn’t end up remaining in my life, and those who did didn’t stay close. I definitely wasn’t so lucky as to meet and date anyone. So yes, I was a little bitter at first. I got over it. I’ve learned how to deal with jealousy toward a fictional character the hard way: through experience. Lots of it.
Final Verdict: 4/5 chocolate cookies
Next Target: How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen