What Would Felicity Do?

Obsessed with Felicity, a college freshman attempts to reinvent herself in Stacey Kade's latest novel.

What Would Felicity Do?

BOOK REPORT for Finding Felicity by Stacey Kade

Cover Story: Dear Sally
BFF Charm: Elena
Swoonworthy Scale: 2
Talky Talk: Straight Up
Bonus Factors: Felicity, Freshman Year of College
Relationship Status: The Greg to My Felicity

Cover Story: Dear Sally

Heart eyes! The only thing missing is a tape recorder (and a little more frizz in that hair). While this cover obviously appeals to fans of Felicity, it still conveys a college freshman vibe to people who have never seen the show*. 

*Tragic!

The Deal: 

Caroline Sands is the quiet, awkward type, which explains why, when she discovers the show Felicity, she feels an intense connection to its heroine. Never one to have many friends, Caroline's social life becomes nonexistent after she and her mom move to Arizona following her parents' divorce. Well, I should say her social life in reality. To allay her mother's concerns about the transition to a new school, Caroline tells her all about her new pals, Felicity and Julie and Elena and... yeeeah. It's all made up, and while Caroline knows the difference between what's real and what's not, she wraps herself up in the security of this lie. 

Her mom discovers the truth about Caroline's fabricated clique on the night of high school graduation, but after a summer of therapy, she allows her daughter to head to Ashmore University, where, you guessed it, Caroline's "Ben," Liam, is enrolling. Determined to reinvent herself, Caroline pushes herself to try new things--attending frat parties, talking to boys, befriending her roommate Lexi (who bears a distinct resemblance to Meghan)--but she quickly discovers that change isn't as simple as a makeover montage on TV.

BFF Charm: Elena

I tried to be patient with Caroline, I really did. She obviously suffers from severe social anxiety, and there were passages like this that made my heart go out to her:

It seems that if you're going to form any real bond, people either have to really like you (my mom) or really need you (my dad).

But I've never been able to figure out what happens if you're not enough to make them feel anything.

And it's not just about an inability to interact with people--Caroline simply doesn't want to be herself. So she hides in books and movies and, specifically, in her favorite show, and she doesn't understand why she can't create a life for herself like Felicity does. It's painful and it's sad, and when she gets to Ashmore, it becomes downright cringe-worthy. As the book went on, I wanted not so much to hug her as I did shake some sense into her. Girl is in dire need of some real talk from a real friend, so much so that I found myself wondering when the HELL her real-life equivalent of Elena was gonna walk through the door. Maybe it's because I didn't connect with Caroline (or maybe I'm just a bad person), but my sense of empathy was completely overwhelmed by her terrible choices and excruciating cluelessness. Sure, I could say the same for Felicity in certain episodes of the show, but I was always invested in her development, whereas I found little satisfication in Caroline's eventual growth.

Hmm. Maybe I should have changed this charm to Season One Meghan.

Swoonworthy Scale: 2

Suffice it to say, Liam is no Ben Covington, and Caroline's continued attraction towards him is one of the things I found most frustrating. Understandable, maybe, but mostly just frustrating. Again, where was Elena when I needed someone to say, "Wake up, girl, he's an asshole! You deserve better!"?

There is a Noel-type character who definitely seems promising, but unfortunately he's not prominent until the last quarter of the book. 

Talky Talk: Straight Up

It's easy to breeze through this book thanks to Stacey Kade's ear for dialogue and her direct, no frills approach to contemporary storytelling. The downside to this style is that it lacks emotional resonance, and the more serious aspects of the story fail to make the appropriate impact. 

Bonus Factor: Felicity

In Caroline's defense, who hasn't fantasized about living in the world of Felicity Porter? Kade clearly understands the greatness of this series, and it was fun to encounter references to the show peppered throughout the book, though I wish there had been a few deep cut Easter Eggs for us swimfans. 

Bonus Factor: Freshman Year of College

I still dream of the day when "college" will be the new dystopia of YA lit. Like high school, it's such a liminal time packed with "firsts," especially if you're a late bloomer like Caroline or Felicity (or yours truly). I wouldn't say I necessarily lived vicariously through Caroline, because my freshman year was light years better than hers, but I savored the nostalgia of reading about move-in day, settling into a dorm room, meeting up for meals in the cafeteria and finding bizarrely specific clubs to join. Like, seriously, there's a group for everything in college (my roommates and I definitely rocked the unofficial Felicity Fan Club, with weekly meetings on our couch). 

Relationship Status: The Greg to My Felicity

Greg Stenson is one of Felicity's boyfriends in Season Two, and initially they seem like a good match--they're both smart and ambitious, plus they kiiiind of look alike? But eventually (spoiler), they realize that they're not cut out to be together. That's basically how it went down with this book. The premise seemed PERFECT for me, but after unsuccessfully trying to connect, it was clear that we weren't compatible. However, we certainly parted on good terms, because any fan of Felicity is a friend of mine. 

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, but got neither cocktails nor money in exchange for this review (dammit). Finding Felicity will be available on March 20, 2018.

Posh Deluxe's photo About the Author: Sarah lives in Austin, TX, where she programs films at the Alamo Drafthouse. Sarah enjoys fancy cocktails, dance parties and anything that sparkles (except vampires).