You guys, these chapters are the best! We have Emergency Kanye Parties, diner hash, fanfiction, and so much Levi. These chapters make me so happy that it’s hard to remember that some pretty upsetting things are the catalyst for most of the great parts.
Cath has her first academic disappointment, which can be incredibly daunting and make everything seem so hopeless. Class, especially fiction writing, was the one aspect of college where Cath had control, and the world of Simon Snow fanfiction is where Cath is her best — her most confident, most creative. In one terrible meeting, both Cath’s academic performance and her fanfiction are challenged — no wonder she needs an Emergency Kanye Party.
The Emergency Kanye Party is so perfect. It shows us how much the twins used to lean on each other for support, how much Cath is missing in her distance from Wren. It allows Cath to step outside of her role as a twin and to realize that she is authorized to call an Emergency Kanye Party. As silly as it sounds, realizing her own agency without Wren is a pretty big deal. And, lastly, for those of us who are always already swooning over Levi, it allows the two to have fun together, to let Levi into Cath’s world for a moment.
The rest of the events in these chapters follow those two relationships, exploring Cath’s growing distance from Wren and her closeness with Levi. It’s so heartbreaking to realize, along with Cath, that she was the “wrong C” in Wren’s phone. Not only does Cath not have Wren to call on when she’s having an emergency, but she can’t even reach out and help Wren in her bad situation (mostly because Wren refuses to believe it is a bad one). Here, Cath finally starts to let someone else into her world. She shares her worries about her sister and her writing with Levi over diner hash, which I want to eat so badly, and she is rewarded by his sincere concern and enthusiasm. Although I’ll never prefer the Simon Snow parts of the book to the Cath ones, I love how Cath is able to start to make connections to people in college through her fanfiction. And having a cute boy lay on your bed and beg you to read to him? Please. What a dream.
What else? What else!
- I always forget until rereading how upset Cath is that Levi would drive a truck. The price of gas alone! It’s a nice way to show that she can be a character who is very stuck in her ways and not always able to understand someone else’s point of view.
- The drunk leering at twins is so gross, and Levi is rightly appalled.
Since this is the first time that Cath reads her fanfic in the story, I figured I would recommend some fanficiton. I don’t read what most people would think of as traditional fanfic, like the kind Cath writes, but I do like when novels play with stories that I love. My favorite is The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly, which is about Lulu, Emma, and Sophia Atwater, who live with their mom in London, and are descendants of the March sisters. Not only do their personalities match those of the original little women, but Lulu finds her great-great-grandmother Jo’s letters in the attic, and the lives of the March sisters are woven into the Atwater sisters’.