This is the first time that I had to renew a book THREE (3!!!!) times at my library because I just wasn’t getting through it. I checked Fangirl and Modern Romance out at the same time, and, even though both were on my reading lists, I really just didn’t feel like reading them. It took me almost 3 weeks to get 80 pages in… and then I read the rest in one day, so it is a pretty quick read, if you are into it.
So, if you don’t know, Rowell is popular for her quarky love stories, which typically can fall in the “young adult” category…. which this book, to me, is no different.
Cath, and her twin sister, Wren, are beginning their first year at college. Wren loves this college, and the opportunities it provides to meet new people… Cath, however, does not. Cath finds comfort in her FanFiction world, which revolves around a fictional novel by Gemma T Leslie. During the first semester, Cath struggles extremely with her anxieties, self-doubts, and depression. Somewhat abandoned by her sister, Cath feels truly alone at school. On top of that, she also is constantly worrying about her father, who is a bit “eccentric” and “manic” at times. It took her roommate being somewhat forceful to even get her to go to the dining hall (nothing like accused eating disorders to make a girl go eat, I guess….) She is truly an anxious introvert.
As the semester progresses, Cath somewhat opens up to a few people… A couple of people from classes, including Nick from a writing course, Reagan (roommate), Levi (Reagan’s friend/boyfriend??). She begins to find more about herself, especially after her and Abel (high school boyfriend) end things. That is until she is hit with blow after blow near the end of semester. Then during finals week, the final blow takes her back home where she questions whether she ought to go back to school at all….
Personal review (and spoilers!)
Alright, so I’ve read a couple of Rowell’s books and I’m never crazy about them. They are every bit of the weird teen craziness that I’m never super fond of. This is no different. Levi was the only character I was super excited for throughout the whole book… and he was just a weird smattering of personality quarks to me. So here are some complaints about characters:
-Cath: My only complaint with her character was that she didn’t stand up enough for herself in regards to her sister. I understand being reserved with other people, but allowing family to step all over her was so weird to me. They grew up together, she should have been able to lash out with anger at some point. I also didn’t like that she never made it clear, in front of everyone, what Nick had done. She should have been able to yell and get mad in that moment. Instead she ran in and didn’t mention specifically what happened to anyone.
-Wren: seriously, this character drove me crazy the entire book. She was so rude to her sister, blew her off as soon as they got to school.. and befriended a huge bimbo. If I had a family member that acted as Wren did the whole book, I would have blown up on them. Maybe that just says something about me though?
-Art: their dad. I still do not understand his character. Lack of development is my complaint here.
-Laura: their mom. again, lack of development. (I was happy Cath kept her stance throughout the book about her mom, though).
Overall, this book was… okay. Levi was probably the best character of the book- only because his character felt true and honest and patient throughout. Even when he messed up with *the kiss*, he still tried to make it right later on. I can appreciate that. I’m not huge into fanfiction, but this book made me see why it would be popular.. That part of the book was, to me, new and unusual. I haven’t read a book about a person writing fanfiction. Otherwise, some of the characters just lacked the depth that I would have liked them to have. It just felt so… stereotypical… to me.
Have you read this book? What did you think about it??
Have a great week, Friends!