Cath isn’t trying to make friends, but it’s hard not to in the super social college environment. Even if she does want to ignore her well-meaning classmates, she can’t pull that off— she’s no Reagan. Despite having some new friendly faces in her life, the only people she spends time with outside of class (I’m not counting Nick since they hang out in the context of a class assignment) are still Reagan and Levi, who she says are “more like sponsors than friends” (143). It’s more than a little sad to me that Cath can’t recognize the genuine affection behind Reagan and Levi’s actions. Cath, they’re not just tolerating you. They’re not just distantly amused by your fangirling. You have a personality and talents and opinions and it’s possible that they actually like you! It’s clear that Cath’s view of herself and her social persona come from being a twin. Cath considers herself the uninteresting, expendable part of the “package deal,” at least in real life situations (FanFixx.net is another story). “What would I do at your party, Levi?” (145) is kind of a hilarious question, but she might as well be asking “who am I without Wren?” which is really a bummer.
These chapters also shed some light on Cath’s family issues. We learn more about how tough it was for her and Wren when their mother left, which is why Wren’s willingness to give their mom a second chance feels like such a betrayal. On the tail of the bar-tastrophe, Wren’s decision to keep it a secret for so long, only to let Cath be blindsided on Thanksgiving, must really sting. She’s left to process this bombshell without her usual confidant, her other half, and, in typical Cath fashion, she responds by “acting in.” The quiet Thanksgiving dinner in front of the TV pretending nothing is wrong is, again, a huge bummer.
In happier news, back at school, Levi and Cath get a little closer when he confides in her about his difficulty with reading and she helps him prepare for a test. Oh, and they kiss in her bed. No big deal. (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
- Um, can we please read more of “Shall We?” by Magicath? What a tease!
- Freshman months really are like dog months. So much growth in such a short time!
Reread The Outsiders, preferably with a cute, sleepy boy leaning on your shoulder. S.E. Hinton wrote it while she was in high school, which I’m sure would earn her much respect from a prolific young writer like Cath.