Author: Rainbow Rowell.
Published: January 30th 2014 by Pan Macmillan.
Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more - she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she's experienced in real life. Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. She's got a surly room-mate 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. Now Cath has to decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she's realizing that there's more to learn about love than she ever thought possible...
Cath and Wren are twins and they are huge fans of Simon Snow. They write their own Simon/Baz fan fiction until they go to university. Wren wants to start her own life and she pushes Cath and all their interests away for parties and new friends. Cath has a hard time adapting to all the changes in her life and she is even more obsessed with her Snow-fandom. The only people she allows are her roommate Reagan and her friend Levi, but even they can’t get Cath much out of her room.
I've seen people 'complain' about the fan fiction parts between chapters and while it was a little distracting, I also liked it. It gave me more insight in Cath and while it wasn't my favorite part of the book, it seem to complete the story for me. It also helped me to identify even more with Cath and we connected on a personal level. I’m not a party type like Cath and I never let other people talk me into doing things I don’t like. I’d rather sit on my room and read a book then leave the house to go to a party. Cath is shy and quiet, but at the same time a great character to be around when she opens up. She gets anxious when she meets new people or when she is thrown into new situations. This is exactly how I am and it was interesting to see my personality reflected in a book character. It was also a confrontation and it made me think about myself.
"It's not just that.. I don't like new places. New situations. There'll be all those people and I won't know where to sit - I don't want to go." - Cath.
Her connection with Levi is adorable. I liked how he challenges her, but at the same time he understands how she feels and thinks. It’s such a balanced and respectful bond and it made me smile. He is a genuine good person and he is always there for his friends. It wasn't strange she let him into her life even when she was scared. I was definitely rooting for them.
Wren left me confused, because I didn’t get her sudden change. I understand she wanted to define herself as her own person instead of being ‘the twins’ again, but she went loose. She throws herself into parties and drinks alcohol because ‘everyone drinks it.’ I don’t care for people who think that way. You don’t have to be a sheep to be liked. I guess it was also her way to deal with some hard parts in their life, like the weakness of her father and the abandonment from their mother. I liked how these tougher aspects provided some balance in the overall fluff story.
I was very surprised by how much I liked it, seeing I'm not a big contemporary reader. If you want to read a book about a girl who starts to adapt to her new life, while dealing with a boyfriend and real life problems, this is the book you want to try.