Rating: 5 Stars
Synopsis via Goodreads:
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?
I love Rainbow Rowell.
Like, seriously, I love the woman.
I read another one of her novels, Eleanor & Park, and I really liked it, but it was nothing compared to this novel.
Fangirling is something pretty popular right now. I do it. A lot. And I’m guessing most of you do it too. And there’s different types of fangirling . . . there’s 1D fangirling, celebrity fangirling, and fangirling over books (aka, fangirling over the hot men of books). I even have a whole page dedicated to fangirling over books!
But Cath takes it to a whole new level. She’s basically writing a BOOK online. The famous Simon Snow series is finally ending with it’s last installment in a few months, and Cath has been working on writing her own end to the much loved story for two years now. She wants to give the characters the endings they deserve, not the one she believes the author will give them.
And, personally, I think that’s great. What really interested me though, was when it comes up in this novel about copyright, and if it’s plagiarism to write fanfiction when the author or publisher owns the rights to the characters and story. Which is ironic for me, because I’ve actually been studying the blurred lines when it comes to copyright in college.
Personally, I think what she’s doing is fine. She’s not selling her idea for money, so it seems okay to me. And this is how I see it: If I was the author of the Simon Snow series, and I knew someone was writing their own ending for my characters, I would be okay with it as long as they weren’t making a profit from it. Because that’s what every reader does inside their heads after they finish a story, right? We imagine what happens to our much loved characters after the last page has been turned. Or if we don’t like what happened to the characters, we have to imagine our own ending, because sometimes it’s too painful to deal with the death of a character we fell in love with, etc, etc . . .
Cath is an amazing writer. She just is. Two years of writing fanfiction will do that to you. I personally think that you can take all the creative writing classes you want, but the only way to truly get better at writing is to read and read and re-read books and write like crazy. Because that’s the only way you’ll ever improve – experience. You have to love it too.
But the thing about Cath is that she doesn’t want to write anything but Simon Snow fanfiction. There’s one point when Cath even says that writing her own original story is like falling from a tree, and having to make up the branches to hold on to as she falls. It’s painful. Writing – real, good writing – hurts. It hurts in your gut and stomach. It hurts in your fingertips and down to your toes. But we do it because we have to.
We need to.
And I loved that about Cath. She is one of the few born writers. She feels every word, every syllable, in her gut. It comes out of her – pours out of her – until it hurts to not write anymore.