Cath is part of a set. She has a built in best friend in her twin sister Wren. They were a package deal, that is, until collage. Wren wants to be an individual and meet new people and go to big parties and have fun. Cath wants to stay in and write epic fanfiction. So Wren pretty much breaks up with Cath and goes off to do her own thing, leaving Cath to flounder in anxiety and worry. Lucky for her she makes friends in Levi and Raegan and they keep her from being too much of a shut in.
Holly sweet baby Jesus!
This is the best story I have read in a long time. The emotion, the drama… damn it. I want more. I want to re-read and see it all happen again. I was laughing out loud at some of the best lines. Rowella is amazing at writing conversations, firing one witty line after another.
Cath: Where do you want to touch?
Levi: Do you want me to show you on a doll?
It flows perfectly. Each character has their own unique speech patterns. As I was reading I could hear their voices in my head and they were distinct, some slow and a drawl, others hyped up, and the annoyed. Yes, this is another author who seems to despise “he said, she said” and occasionally as I was racing ahead, caught up in the heat of the moment, I would mix up the characters and have to pause for a moment.
Fanfiction is celebrated in this story. At first, it’s hidden. Cath is hesitant to tell people that she loves writing it and happens to be one of the most popular writers online at the moment. She fears the judgement; especially since she’s shipped two male characters from her fave book series. But as the story continues, and she starts sharing it with more people in her life and defending it when she’s accused of plagiarism by her professor (is it plagiarising when it’s fanfic? That’s an interesting debate) the people around her begin to understand more and support her.
That’s one of the best things in this story; it progresses beautifully. Cath grows and changes and so does all of her relationships as she does. Everything is dependent on her developing confidence in herself and trust in others. It’s hard to explain, but I like that she is a mess and still is a mess in the end but she has grown and isn’t hiding from people all of the time. She’s great as a character and exactly me when I go to some place new and have no idea what the social norm is so I hide, but as time passes and things become familiar, it’s easier. Routines. That’s what keeps us sane.
Things are left in the air by the end (spoiler-ish) like with her mother and the end of both the fanfic and the real novel it’s based on. But that’s life and the beauty of fanfic, there is no end to it.
Now, the mother. She annoyed me. I really wanted her to learn, to hear Cath when she told her to try harder because she was a parent and that was her job to keep trying, not to give up because her child pushes her away and blames her. I present to you the worst mother. Don’t be like her.
Dad isn’t too much better, he’s easily distracted and consumed by his work and passion. Meaning the girls had to learn to look after themselves from an early age as well as look after him. But he loves them and does everything he can to be there for them.
I can keep going, but maybe it’s time to stop. As I write this at my desk during my morning break, I’m smiling and hating that I left the finished book at home. Go out and find a copy and read it. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.