Hello! Welcome to my stop on the Finding Felicity blog tour! I’ll be talking a little bit about the book, plus detailing some of my favorite quotable moments from the book (there are so many!!!) and letting you in on the awesome giveaway that’s being hosted!
I had an amazing time reading this book and one of the reasons why I joined this blog tour was because I wanted to read and review more college YA books.
Finding Felicity revolves around Caroline Sands who, after her parents’ divorce and her move to Arizona, isn’t particularly good at making friends. Being the new girl was hard enough and her social awkwardness didn’t help her case. Out of desperation, Caroline invented a whole life for herself with characters from the old show Felicity to assure her mother that she was okay.
But Caroline’s secret gets exposed right before she goes off to college and she’s left with an ultimatum: Prove in first semester that she can make friends (of the nonfictional variety) and thrive in a new environment or else she’s to come back to living at home and therapy.
Caroline accepts the challenge, hoping college will let Caroline leave her old “life” behind and build something real. But she’ll realize that the real world isn’t as simple as her Felicity-inspired plan made it out to be.
I had such an awesome time reading this book. I have been searching for something like it for years now and I’m so glad that this book is getting published because it’s just so important and something I think a lot of teens really need.
There’s tons of YA out there talking about the high school experience and making friends and all sorts of things like that. But college YA is severely lacking and a lot of teens end up heading into that territory unprepared.
The only books that are very college-focused on the experience that I’ve read are Fangirl and Freshmen, and while Nice Try, Jane Sinner and American Panda and The Big F have a college setting, the focus does lie in other places besides the college experience.
So being able to add Finding Felicity onto the lists makes me so happy. This is something I related a lot to and I know a lot of other teens will be able to also relate to.
It’s basically every teen’s fears of college–whether than can make friends, are they wearing the right thing, what activities should you join, do you have to go to this frat party–jammed together into one book.
It was amazing.
Caroline’s journey is just something so relatable and it’s those high school fears that are put into one book. And I know for some people (you very fortunate people) her fears might seem super extreme, but for many others, they’re legitimate worries.
Caroline does take it much farther than a lot of people–making up fictional friends–but the things she learns on the way really help shape the narrative. I found her to be wholly relatable and a very good representation of the anxious high school senior soon to be college student.
What I really loved was the timing of this novel. Kade could have told this story in a high school setting–writing about Caroline as she tries to keep the secret of her fictional friends–but she didn’t and I think this made it to be a much more impactful novel.
I also loved how present the side characters are and how real they were. They didn’t end up being just two dimensional clichés–the bad girl roommate, the party girl, etc.–but they had their nuances and backstories that helped really make them dynamic characters as well.
I sped through this novel in what felt like was only an hour. In twenty minutes, I seemed to have flipped through 75 pages. I thought it was paced really well and even though the plot is mostly character based, it had a very good balance of things that were happening in the real world and introspection.
I do think that some readers who can’t relate to this as much as I could would definitely be less inclined towards this novel, but I think that it’s a really great book. My only criticism would be that I kind of wished it was longer, which is something that I don’t say often, but I wished there were more trials for Caroline to go through to give an even wider view of the college experience.
I feel like if this is a novel that seems like something you could relate to, you should definitely check it out. Finding Felicity should become a staple for all high school students as its message is a very good one that helps effectively emphasize that your hopes of a “new you” in college might not be the most stable idea. You can’t just reinvent yourself in that way.
More about the Message + Some of My Favorite Quotes
This book has such a strong message about expectations, finding yourself, accepting yourself, and just life in general. Caroline’s roommate, Lexi, starts off as a very prickly character, but in the end, gives some really good advice and becomes a great friend.
Here’s one of the things she said in Finding Felicity:
“The mistake, I think, is believing that once someone else checks the ‘yes’ box on you, then you’ll have what you need. Then you’ll be happy, then you’ll be okay with yourself.”
This is so true and it’s honestly words to live by. You should determine your own happiness, not anyone else. I think Lexi’s idea of accepting yourself and finding happiness are totally spot on.
She’s so aware of what’s happening around her and while she does give out advice, she can also be aware of her own faults. This wasn’t one of the quotes I picked, but Lexi did mention that even though she wasn’t able to take her own advice, it didn’t discredit from the advice which I found to be really wise.
Here’s something else she told Caroline:
“I guess you have to decide if you’re going to try.“
I actually read an essay about this a couple days ago and it was talking about how trying and planning something is so sweet and amazing while you think about it, but once it actually happens it can become bitter for you.
I think this kind of mimics the same theme but this is like what happened before what that essay was talking about. If you never even take that first step to try, how are you ever going to get anywhere?
Caroline herself, near the end of the novel, said something that I bookmarked:
“I was too scared to be myself and try to find people who might like me, because what if they didn’t? What would that say about me?”
This is one of Caroline’s biggest insecurities in the novel and something she struggles a lot with because she’s in this state of perpetual fear of talking to someone, of saying the wrong thing. This was probably the most vocal of her concerns and this quote really just embodies the fear and the essence of the novel.
If this sounds like something that you’ve ever thought or related to, I definitely think you should give Finding Felicity a shot because this is a story about growth and becoming someone you’re happy with without becoming someone totally different.
And lastly, a quote from Caroline’s mom:
“Everyone makes mistakes, Caroline. The hard part is not knowing ahead of time which decisions will be the ones you regret. So, sometimes you have to choose what kind of regret you can live with.”
Although Caroline and her mom have a very large struggle and are at odds throughout much of the novel, how much importance they put in each other is clearly shown as what Caroline does in making up the imaginary friends is to assuage her mom and her mom just wants what’s best for Caroline.
Caroline, near the end, has to make some hard decisions and choosing what kind of regret you can live with is advice that I think one should definitely take if you’re stuck at a crossroad with no good option.
More about the Book
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.
More about the Author
The daughter of a minister and a music teacher, Stacey Kade grew up reading Harlequin romances on the sly in the basement. Kade is the author of two young adult series (The Ghost and Goth trilogy and the Project Paper Doll series). Her first adult contemporary romance, 738 DAYS, was released earlier this year.
Prior to writing full time, Kade worked as an award-winning copywriter for several Fortune 500 companies. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Greg, and their two retired racing greyhounds.
Click the Rafflecopter button below to enter to win a copy of Finding Felicity! Or, if you’re not up for leaving this up to luck, then you can check out the purchase links in the “More about the Book” section (no affiliate links :))!
Thank you to Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and the Fantastic Flying Book Club for providing me with an advance reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review & letting me be a part of this blog tour! Don’t forget to check out the other stops!
Are you excited for Finding Felicity? What did you think?