Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: September 12th, 2013
Rating; 4.5 out of 5
Summary: “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
It’s completely unlike me to enjoy a book like this. It’s contemporary and realistic, with no defined climax or conflict. (The last one’s the kicker for me. Always.) That’s essentially the formula for Eli-Hinze-Repellent. But for some reason, not with Rowell’s writing.
If I had to sum up this book in a word, it’d be “darling”. It’s sweet without being sappy, has conflict without unnecessary drama, and is true to life without being mundane. (Not that I equate the real world with being mundane, but hey, when you have your choice between dragons and castles or taxes and homework, you know which I’d pick.)
The characters are realistic, with depth and flawed actions and charm, and the plot moves itself along with perfect pace.
I wish the ending wasn’t quite so hasty, and, though it tied up all of the lose ends succinctly, I was hoping for more time to feel the full satisfaction on the closure of everything Cath went through.
Overall, I’d highly recommend this book to anyone interested in a nice, quiet read that’ll tug on your heartstrings. A strong 4.5 out of 5.