by Rainbow Rowell
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin
Cath Avery is a fan of Simon Snow. (Think Harry Potter. He's that big in this author's world.) And Cath is the author of a fic called Carry On, which is the fanfic world's version of a best selling novel. She gets so many hits on this fic it is unfathomable. And in the world of Simon Snow, Cath is a rock star.
She goes off to college with her twin sister, Wren. Leaving their father, an advertising pitch man/idea guru, at home alone for the first time since their mother left them when they were eight.
The story follows Cath as she tackles her first year of college, her first year of being separated from her twin, who has pretty much embraced the entire college party life and fallen off the deep end. And their father does much of the same, except no partying and just working so hard he goes a bit bonkers. And this leaves the heroine of this story conflicted, worried and yes, extremely stressed.
I have to admit that this was one heck of a good book. It has great flow. It is SO easy to read. I love books like this. You really get into Cath's head and you wonder how Wren got so screwed up when on the outside it seemed she had it all. I loved how the author characterized all the characters. They are really fully rendered. So much that you think these are friends of yours and you're gonna see them next week and hang out.
I am a bit older than the normal reader of such a book. I am 45. Will be 46 in April. But I was in the first wave of fan fiction authors before there was even a term for what we were doing. I wrote a script for MacGyver back when I was in college in '87 called Murder Incorporated. And I went by the alias Bradygirl when I wrote Mike and Carrie Days of Our Lives fan fic. So this story completely resonated with me. I was fully "in" when reading it. And I suggest anyone who either loves fan fic or wants to know more about its inner workings should dig into this book and give it a go!