Saturday, March 4, 2017

STRANGER THAN FANFICTION BY CHRIS COLFER - BOOK REVIEW

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, today it is Stranger Than Fanfiction by Chris Colfer. Thanks so much to Hachette Canada for sending me an ARC of this book for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.


This story sets itself up to be a light-hearted road trip with a group of friends before college - and I guess it is, but there is a much deeper undertone to the book.

The story follows a group of 4 friends who go on a road trip from Illinois to California before parting ways and heading to college. The group originally became friends because of a TV show called Wiz Kids, essentially the teen version of Doctor Who meets sci-fi. Topher is the trip's coordinator and after on the night before the trip, he writes an email to the star of the show Cash Carter. He's been writing him for years since the show started and has never gotten a response. However, after telling Cash about the road trip, Topher gets a response - Cash is tagging along.

The group travels across the country and comes to terms with their inner conflicts. Each character has a secret, and each ends up telling Cash. I won't spoil anything, but I will say there was a great diversity among the group. I really liked reading a book about a diverse group of people, without it being a book about a diverse group of people. You know? Like it was a major part of the book and it was recognized and done well. But the diversity was integrated so well you almost didn't notice it - if that makes any sense.

The writing style of the book felt very movie-like, it was told in third person, but each chapter focused on one character's inner feelings. This gave a unique narration that makes the reader both an observer of the storyline, as well as a participant.

I think it goes without saying that I was ready to love this book for the road trip alone. I don't know what it is about them, but they suck me into even the most boring stories. This one had just the right amount of breakdowns, errors, and issues to create a realistic story without being too perfect. A lot of the places they went to see were kind of let downs. They were old, abandoned and disappointing. There were a few good places - but mostly they weren't anything special. And I think that was okay because it left a lot of room for the character growth. They discovered a lot about themselves and I think if there was a lot of flashy attractions in the background, it would have overwhelmed the story.

I didn't see the twist at the end coming, maybe it was predictable for some people, but not me. I was heartbroken for Cash, he had no one to share it with, so he ended up going on a road trip with four people who he's never met. I think I was just so sad that he had gotten into a position, either by circumstance or his own volition, and spends those few weeks with a group of strangers instead of anyone who cares about the real him.

This book looks at a lot of issues, and not just the obvious one, like the fact that Cash is a TV star. There were some moments where he told of the more sinister side of fame and fortune, but the book also talks about issues such as sexuality, racism, and even just being the person you want to be, and not the person others (i.e. your parents) want you to be.

The ending of the book makes it easy to feel bad for Cash, but I'm not sure I really liked him throughout the book. I understand he had his reasons, but he didn't have to be a jerk about it. He crashed their road trip and sometimes made it seem like they were inconveniencing him.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and look forward to more from this author.