Author: Rainbow Rowell
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: St. Martin's Press (September 10, 2013)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Coming of Age/Contemporary
My Rating: 3.5 to 4 Stars!!
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?
My Thoughts and Review:
This book is one of those rare books that you start with indifference but then slowly, before you even suspect it is happening, you are being shifted to the other side and before you know it you are completely and hopelessly in love with it.
Cath is a girl that is pretty hard to resist. She is innocent and awkward and completely naïve to the outside world. She gets lost in her writing and her writing becomes her world, so much so that it takes over her life and she has a hard time adapting outside of it in the real world. Her sister Wren has always been a big supporter and has kept her life balanced. Twins, they were pretty inseparable but once they go off to college, Wren decides that she wants to be her own person and doing that means letting go of Cath and doing her own thing. You can feel Cath's heart break and struggle as she tries to find her way in a world almost too big for her. In a place she never thought she would be without her sister by her side.
Cath grows a lot in this, in a very realistic, slowed paced way. No over night break throughs or a big bang, just a constant state of growing and changing and I actually really enjoyed that about this. I love that it felt more real with a slow pace.
Levi and Reagan were wonderful friends to Cath, in fact, they were exactly what she needed in their own way. Reagan was tough and comfortable with herself and really, everything Cath wanted to be and Reagan was there for her to help her step away, get out of the dorm and be the type of person that she wanted to be. To finally live her life outside of her laptop and the fanfiction world that she had created.
Levi was, well, honestly he was kind of perfect. Awkward himself but also extremely patient with Cath and most of all the friend that she needed most. A friend to encourage her and be there for her when she needed him most. Their friendship was very realistic and again, happened very gradually and over time.
If I didn't love this book for anything but how real it felt, that alone would be enough. But I loved how quirky Cath, Levi and Reagan all were and how this showed that sometimes love and friendship doesn't come in a whirl wind of destruction and chaos but instead in a soft healing summer breeze.
*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*