Stranger than Fanfiction by Chris Colfer
Book Review by Ashley Huang
Picture this: You and your best bunch of chums have been glued together at the hip for as long as you guys can remember, thanks to the shared love for a certain TV show. Fast forward a few years later, and as a final parting gift before heading to college, you all decide to go on a 2,000 mile ROAD TRIP! Right before heading out, you jokingly invite the star actor of the show, and suddenly, as if you’re in a dream, the star ends up on your front porch with his luggage!
This is exactly what happened to Topher, Sam, Mo and Joey when they embarked on a weeklong wacky fender-bender with Cash Carter, biggest star of the hit show Wiz Kids and their literal idol since fifth grade. However, Cash isn’t the hero the high school graduates thought he was. From heart-wrenching secrets to killer drug abuse, the kids were simply dumbstrucken to see their idol be himself, and not his TV character. But that’s not it. Topher’s brother’s condition forces him to go to the local community college, rather than accepting his admission to MIT; Sam is transgender; Joey’s religious family will never accept the fact that he’s gay; and Mo is being forced to attend a college and major that she DREADS. Guilty secrets form walls between the friends, and it’s not until spending a week with Cash, do they find out more about each other than they ever thought they would.
This story was a teensy bit cliche, yet, it was crazily raw and realistic. Cash’s struggles must’ve been based of the author’s experience, as “Stranger than Fanficton” was written by Chris Colfer, who played Kurt Hummel in Glee. What I liked most about this book is how conscientious the characters are – as a fellow teenager budding into young-adulthood, my mouth was left gaping open at what went through the character’s minds – it’s almost relieving to know that there are thousands of kids around the world who fight almost the same battles as me… everyday! Secondly, this book just radiates teen energy. With curse words on every page and sexual innuendos every other minute, I was left giggling immaturely! Overall, this is a good teen read if you ever need some imagination-stimulation. I found myself daydreaming on what I would do if I was part of the gang, which was part of what made this so fun.