I miss reading good YA.
They make me sink into the story, in a much lighter environment than say, serious fiction about post-war, but also carries much depth and development for the characters. That's why I love YAs so much, they carry us along in their journeys.
This one is my first Rainbow Rowell book, and I can safely say I'm now a fan. Well, it's not without great difficulty staying awake that I finish the first third of the book. Getting to know antisocial Cath takes some coaxing, waiting patiently for her to come out of her shell, and get to understand what the book is all about. I read without spoiling myself with the ending, not even knowing what the story is about except for fanfics. But then I stick around, and it's worth it.
Cath is a little like me - quiet, timid, doesn't like crowds, and would prefer staying in cramped space rather than socialize with strangers. But I'm more eager to please, and happy that Cath isn't. She'd rather let Levi out in the hall than let him in, and she's honest. I like her conversations with Levi, how they hardly beat around the bush and just say what's on their minds. Granted, I am not a fanfic fan (anymore), though I did write lots of them back in junior high school. That helps me understand her fixation with Simon and Baz, and the interweaving chapters are lovely to read.
I also love the setting, which is unfamiliar to me. It reminds me back of my university days, my first day though not at a dorm room but close.. I was doing homestays. And it was that familar scary feeling, stepping into unknown buildings, being in class and not knowing anybody.
The ending is quite satisfying, meaning we don't get happily ever afters but be present for the developing relationship between the characters - the main couple, the parents, the twins, the friendships.. we get the sense that we evolve with them instead of getting cookie cutter ending with long awaited anticipation building.
So.. 3.5 stars leaning to 4, and I'll keep my eye for the paperback version of Eleanor & Park.