Author: Rainbow Rowell
Audience: Teens/Young Adults
Genres: Romance, Coming Of Age
Published: September 2013
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 …
I should explain before I get into the review – I read half of this book a few months ago, and the other half today and yesterday. So if I ever mention the ‘first part’ or second part’, I’ve split it roughly most of the book and then the last few chapter.
I found it quite hard to get into this book, and once I did I only kept reading because I hate leaving books half-read. I’m not sure exactly why, I just wasn’t interested and couldn’t get my head completely focused on the storyline and characters. However, part 2 exceeded my expectations and I really, really enjoyed it. I think this could be down to the fact that I feel like the romance picked up a little more, and I love a good romance.
There was also some great character development in Cath and Wren, as I feel like they learned more about just accepting each other and not dwelling on the past or small things. I found their personalities in part 1 quite irritating, and felt some of the qualities in one sister were the complete opposite of the other’s (I think I assumed they would be more similar since they had grown up together). In my head, I imagined their lives going in different directions, and when they would finally meet in the middle, they butt heads instead of carrying on together in the same direction (look at that for a metaphor).
The basic idea behind this book – a girl that writes fanfiction (obviously its not just that but) – didn’t really appeal to me at first, as I thought the idea of writing a book about someone writing fanfiction was quite a strange concept and I honestly thought it wouldn’t make for that much of an interesting novel. However, I was quickly proved wrong when all the other aspects of Cath’s life were brought into it, and more things happened to make you learn about the character. It’s definitely different to anything I’ve read before so I was quite interested in reading a novel from that perspective.
I feel like I can relate quite well to Cath, as she works hard at school, isn’t the most confident person at all, isn’t overly experienced, has a level-head and cares immensely for her family. I love that when I was reading some sentences, I was thinking to myself: ‘I would so say that’ or ‘I have literally done that before’. Being able to relate myself to a character instantly makes me love a book more.
The ending of the novel was quite abrupt for me – I think there could have definitely been a few more chapters and I would have preferred for it to end on a passage about Cath, as opposed to the Simon Snow excerpt. I have hope that there will be a sequel to the novel, as Rowell mentions in the Q&A in the back of the book that she isn’t quite finished with the characters yet, and I would love to find out what happens next.
I actually received this book for Christmas, despite the fact that it wasn’t originally on my Christmas book wishlist (my mom obviously knows me too well). Though, I had heard loads, and I mean l o a d s, about it online so I thought that it must be good!
If you’ve read it, what did you think? If you haven’t, do you want to?
Star Rating: ★★★☆☆