Sunday, April 10, 2016


Published September 10th 2013 by St. Martin's Press

“To really be a nerd, she'd decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one.” 

Goodreads Synopsis

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love. 

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 Review

“There's nothing more intoxicating than creating something from nothing. Creating something from yourself."

It's not very often that I come across books that show me a reflection of myself, books that are so eerily relatable that it almost seems as if the author was thinking of me while writing it. This was one of those books. Every single fanboy and fangirl will be able to relate very strongly to the quirky protagonist Cath and the entire general theme of the story. 

“I'm the kind of girl who fantasizes about being trapped in a library overnight.” 

“The whole point of fanfiction is that you get to play inside somebody else's universe. Rewrite the rules. Or bend them. The story doesn't have to end. You can stay in this world, this world you love, as long as you want, as long as you keep thinking of new stories.” 

Cath's fascination with the Simon Snow franchise, her compulsion towards fanfiction, the bond she shares with fellow fans even when they're complete strangers, queueing up outside book stores hours before the book release to get a copy of the novel, the truckloads of Simon Snow merchandise that is the pride of her collection, having a completely different online persona amidst a fandom and getting teary eyed at the mere thought of the end of her favourite series- all of this and more made me nostalgic of the Harry Potter days. It wasn't long before I was reminiscing about that time in middle school where my little world revolved around JKR's franchise and the biggest problem in my life was the return of giant douchebag Lord Voldemort and his masked-and-pretentiously-named cronies. 

In short, this book was unlike anything I've ever read. The story of Cath begins with her arrival at college- a world completely different from the one she's used to. Her beloved twin sister no longer wants to share a room with her, her new roommate is an intimidating badass, her roommate's boyfriend constant presence is unnerving (especially since she's weirdly attracted to him), her fiction writing class is a disaster as it appears that the only thing she wants to write is Simon Snow fanfiction, her long absconding Mom wants to reconnect and of course there is the whole big issue of socialising. Out of her depth and comfort zone, Cath tries to flounder through it all, learning new life lessons along the way. I loved her bizarre analogies and the unconventional way in which she described things. Her peculiar adjectives had me conjure vivid imagery in my mind throughout the course of the novel. 

“Levi's eyebrows were pornographic. If Cath were making this decision just on eyebrows, she would have been "up to his room" a long time ago.”

“God, his chin. She wanted to make an honest woman of his chin. She wanted to lock it down.” 

“His mouth was small, but bowed. Like a doll's. She wondered if he had trouble opening it wide enough to eat apples.” 

The writing was natural and engaging, the characters were absolutely adorable and while there wasn't much plot development to the story there was a certain realness to it that made the book unputdownable. Highly recommended with 5/5 stars!

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