(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Also by this author: 738 Days
Published by Simon and Schuster on March 20th 2018
Genres: Coming of Age, Dating & Sex, Friendship, Social Themes, Young Adult Fiction
Caroline Sands has never been particularly good at making friends. And her parents’ divorce and the move to Arizona three years ago didn’t help. Being the new girl is hard enough without being socially awkward too. So out of desperation and a desire to please her worried mother, Caroline invented a whole life for herself—using characters from Felicity, an old show she discovered online and fell in love with.
But now it’s time for Caroline to go off to college and she wants nothing more than to leave her old “life” behind and build something real. However, when her mother discovers the truth about her manufactured friends, she gives Caroline an ultimatum: Prove in this first semester that she can make friends of the nonfictional variety and thrive in a new environment. Otherwise, it’s back to living at home—and a lot of therapy.
Armed with nothing more than her resolve and a Felicity-inspired plan, Caroline accepts the challenge. But she soon realizes that the real world is rarely as simple as television makes it out to be. And to find a place where she truly belongs, Caroline may have to abandon her script and take the risk of being herself.
Stacey Kade is one of my favorite recent author finds! I’m still working through her backlist, but when I got my hands on her upcoming Finding Felicity, I just had to read it right away!
In Finding Felicity, we meet Carolyn Sands… just graduating from high school and ready to move on to college and reinvent herself. Having moved to Arizona three years ago, she never quite fit in socially and just didn’t ever make any friends, instead, immersing herself in the world of the TV show Felicity (yes that show!). In order to placate her mom’s guilt over uprooting her, she ends up making up fictional friends from the show with her mom none the wiser… that is until her mom organizes a graduation party and her fictional world comes crashing down.
In order to keep her plans in place to attend the college of her choice, she has to promise her mom that she’ll talk with a therapist and prove to her that she has friends.
Easier said than done.
When she arrives at her new school, it’s not at all what she expects and trying to fake it isn’t as easy as she thought it would be. The one person she was hoping to create a bond with is nowhere to be found, and add in a roommate who wants nothing to do with her, and Carolyn is ready to pack her stuff and head home early.
I really like that this is a YA book that is in a college setting. We don’t see enough of those, typically titles jump right to the new adult genre and what I found so refreshing here is it truly is a YA book, and it absolutely touches on the feelings that an incoming freshman to college might be dealing with. While I realize that Carolyn’s situation is somewhat unique, her stresses and fears are not. The fear of fitting in, the fear of making new friends, getting along with your roommate and testing the boundaries around you… not having a parent there to guide and help you make decisions. It’s all on you for the first time, and there can be some serious repercussions if you make the wrong choice.
Kade does an amazing job at really immersing you in what those first few months are actually like. Carolyn’s vulnerability and uncertainty were so stressful for me to read… I could understand it even if that wasn’t my experience, and I really loved the relationship development in this novel. While I was completely on the fence about Lexi at the beginning and worried greatly for Carolyn, I loved watching her relationship with Del develop.
Also I have to call out the Felicity references… if you’re young… you should definitely give the show a watch. I actually loved it (Noel anyone?) and a lot of it will be relatable even all these years later. (lord it debuted in 1998 ahhhhhh). That said, if you haven’t watched the show, it’s not necessary, just a bonus!
This is just a wonderful story of finding yourself, finding your people and learning you don’t have to fake or change who you are just to fit a mold you think people are hoping you will be.
Thank you so much to the publisher for an early copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.