Cath and Wren are identical twins moving away to college for the first time. Cath is worried about leaving her bipolar father by himself and she’s angry at Wren for not wanting to room together. Now she’s stuck in a room with her scary roommate Reagan and the ever-present Levi–too scared to go find the dining hall. This is the story of Cath’s first year in college and how she learns who she is without Wren, who she is as a writer, and most importantly what things matter most.
This is the second time I’ve read this book and it’s one of the few books that I own on my Kindle even though I was able to check it out from the online library. It’s just…THESE CHARACTERS. I cannot get enough of Cath or Levi or Wren or Reagan. I fully expect to drive to Nebraska and find these people living and breathing. It’s really amazing to me how even though Cath appears weak and kind of weird at the beginning of the book, I wasn’t annoyed with her, I just empathized. This was definitely not my experience with my first year of college (I was more like Wren, minus the alcohol) but I felt like I understood it anyway.
Now, don’t even get me started on Reagan. I take notes in a journal while I’m reading just so I know what I want to blog about later. This was my note on Reagan: “Reagan. Is. Awesome”. She’s strangely protective of Cath and I love it! She’s so fiery and strong but so kind at the same time. Just read this:
“I feel sorry for you, and I’m going to be your friend.”
“I don’t want to be your friend,” Cath said as sternly as she could. “I like that we’re not friends.”
“Me, too,” Reagan said. “I’m sorry you ruined it by being so pathetic.”
I don’t know, that might seem kind of mean for her to say, but really. Just classic. She’s an awesome character. Maybe you have to read the book to understand.
Levi’s great as well, of course. He’s an imperfect guy, but he’s almost perfect for Cath (I say “almost” because I think one of the points of this book is that no one’s perfect). I get tired sometimes of reading about guys who are “so ridiculously good looking” or who walk around all Adonis-like. Give me a break.
This book is definitely geared towards more mature YA readers. There’s nothing explicit in it, but I’d definitely say 16+ so just be prepared for that kind of content. Topics that parents may want to be aware of: Family issues exist from Cath and Wren’s mother leaving them at a young age, the family is dealing with Bipolar Disorder, and underage drinking. All major themes.
Overall Rating: 5
Sexual Content: Moderate. Mentioned quite a few times but not explicitly or crudely.
Language: Heavy. College language, but again, not too explicit.
Smoking/Drinking: Heavy. A couple characters smoke, one has a major drinking problem, but the main character does not do either.