Cath and her twin sister, Wren, are first-year students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. While Wren is more outgoing and open to new experiences, Cath is stuck in her fan-fiction writing and introverted ways, which brutally impacts her social anxiety disorder. Because of this, Cath has a tough time trying to adjust to college life. However, her sister Wren seems to be having the time of her life without Cath. Thus, Cath and Wren slowly drift apart. As the days go by, Cath becomes more and more miserable, which stems her belief that it would be better if she went home, took care of her bipolar father, and started attending a community college.
When her roommate, Reagan, notices Cath’s strange behavior, she and Levi befriend her.
Rainbow Rowell, the author of this book, has a very unique and relatable writing style. While most authors write in a formal and dignified way, she writes the way most teenagers would think. She correctly spotlights the symptoms of social anxiety disorder, while also not going too far in her description of it. The book, however, does not just focus on social disorders. It also focuses on the importance of friendship, the role one should have in a family, and the world of fan-fiction. Rowell also portrays the characters in a realistic, relatable way. She does not make her characters do things that real people wouldn’t, but she does not underestimate the characters either. Her perfectly balanced writing and characterization should be celebrated by readers and other authors alike. Because of the romantic content, I would only recommend this book to people above the age of twelve. However, teenagers should definitely read this book because of the amount of relevant content in it. Overall, I would rate this book a 4.5 in a scale of 1-5.
Book Review by Alekhya Marapaka