Reading until your voice is gone and then kissing tends to make a person tired, so it’s not wonder that Levi and Cath don’t wake up until Reagan comes home the next morning, Levi’s late for work, so he runs out, leaving Reagan and Cath alone for a very awkward confrontation. Cath starts crying immediately and Reagan’s voice sounds “serrated” (181). How did Cath think that Levi was still Reagan’s boyfriend for so long? Cath is too good at shrinking and avoiding anything that could cause conflict; she needs a friend like Reagan who can just cut through the bullshit. Cath saw Levi as off limits until she was too close and too tired to resist, so she hasn’t put any thought into why it could work, just why it can’t.
As Christine mentioned in her post, Cath has no idea about what she would do at Levi’s party. But after kissing Levi, she’s willing to give it a try. Of course Wren took all the good going out clothes, but Cath realizes that she can be the pretty twin too. I love how Rainbow Rowell does a makeover scene. Cath looks nicer, but it’s no Laney Boggs transformation. And then she and Reagan go to Levi’s party. Cath tries to play it cool, but all she wants to do is find Levi. AND SHE FINDS HIM KISSING ANOTHER GIRL! NOOOOOOOOOOO! She and Reagan make a hasty retreat and Reagan lets her pretend like it never happened.
Nick is THE WORST. Levi kisses another girl, and Nick is still the worst. I want to crawl inside the book and strangle him. Let me list the ways Nick is an inveterate ass—his pretentious love of only writing by hand, his obliviousness, his manic pixie dream girl fantasy story, his refusal to admit that he’s taking advantage of Cath. After her fanfiction disaster with Professor Piper, Nick’s betrayal makes even less disposed to write her final story.
- “Levi’s lazy hips and loose shoulders” (187)—swoon.
- I love that the spells in Simon Snow are common phrases.
- I hate that Levi misspelling pumpkin in a text makes Cath wince (195). People make crazy errors in texts all the time. It’s part of the charm.
- Cath has real live fans!!!
Like Anna’s last recommendation, I’m suggesting a retelling of a classic tale. Two companion novels actually, because I love them both so much I can’t choose. Diana Peterfreund’s post-apocalyptic novels For Darkness Shows the Stars and Across the Star-Swept Sea retell Persuasion and The Scarlet Pimpernel, respectively.
No story deals with romantic misunderstandings and disappointed hopes like Persuasion. Elliot North wanted to run away with Kai, but she chose to stay and run her family’s estates. Now Kai has returned as the intrepid Captain Malakai Wentforth and Elliot is struggling to survive. The letter is just as wonderful in this version.
Persis Blake pretends to be a vapid lady-in-waiting who only cares about extravagant gowns and having fun, but really she’s The Wild Poppy, Albion’s greatest spy. Justen Helo is a brilliant scientist, but he’s afraid his most recent discovery will cause more harm than good if his uncle, the de facto ruler of Galatea, is allowed to use it.