Stranger Than Fanfiction
Stranger Than Fanfiction
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Annotation: Everyone learns lessons about life and empathy, friendship and fame, when the star of a hit television show unexpectedly takes four fans up on their invitation to accompany them on a cross-country trip.
Catalog Number: #127911
Format: Perma-Bound from Publisher's Hardcover
Copyright Date: 2016
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 295 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-38344-9 Perma-Bound: 0-605-95264-7
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-38344-8 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-95264-5
Dewey: Fic
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Topher, Joey, Sam, and Mo discovered they shared a passion for the Wiz Kids television show when they were in fifth grade. They are not alone: "Wizzers" across the globe obsess over the show and its stars, particularly handsome Cash Carter. Now the four friends have graduated from high school, and Topher has carefully planned a 2,000-mile road trip. Whimsically, Topher invites Cash Carter, who tonishingly ys yes. It quickly becomes obvious, however, that Cash is on a downward spiral, popping pills and drinking until he very publicly passes out on a dance floor. But he's able to connect with each of his new friends so intimately that they tell him their deepest secrets. An accomplished screenwriter, Colfer keeps the action moving while infusing plenty of emotional resonance. He has a flair for combining poignancy and hilarity so that readers find themselves laughing even as their hearts break a little bit. An excellent choice for readers looking for LGBTQ themes, as well as for fans of road-trip novels.
Kirkus Reviews
A young, white television star breaks away from Hollywood to go on a cross-country road trip with four of his biggest fans.Cash Carter, with his good looks and celebrity status as the lead on the wildly successful television show Wiz Kids, seems to have it all. The only problem is that he is miserable. Tired of feeling that he has no control over his life, he answers a fan letter inviting him to accompany four friends on their pre-college road trip from Illinois to California. While Colfer has some good insights into the realities of dealing with fame, this latest novel is a paint-by-numbers coming-of-age story with cringeworthy dialogue and a cast of stock characters whose racial and sexual diversity feels forced and provides little three-dimensionality. Every character-stereotype box is checked, from the mixed-race closeted preacher's son to the Japanese-American girl whose father barely understands English and is intent on pushing her into Stanford. The author clearly understands the downside of becoming a young TV sensation but struggles to translate that experience to Cash's character in a way that generates empathy. The supporting characters have their own struggles but are off on their road trip before those can resonate with readers. The novel's best scene is when Cash helps the closeted character accept himself. A standard novel about being true to who you are. (Fiction. 15-17)
Publishers Weekly
In Colfer-s (the Land of Stories series) first YA novel, four Illinois teens join the 20-something star of their favorite TV show, Wiz Kids, on a road trip. Topher Collins never expected Cash Carter to respond to his invitation to accompany him and three friends on their post-graduation tour of tourist attractions between Illinois and California, and he certainly didn-t expect Cash to be so reckless and candid. As the five veer from their carefully planned itinerary, hidden truths emerge, threatening to ruin their friendship, but eventually bringing them closer. Colfer touches on sexuality, identity, familial expectations, and acceptance through his characters, but many discussions feel rushed and deserving of deeper consideration, including when one character comes out as transgender. Attempts to make the characters relatable can turn cringe-worthy; during a confession while high, Topher confesses that he once dosed his younger brother, who has cerebral palsy, with cough medicine in order to sneak out and watch an episode of Wiz Kids. The book succeeds as offbeat escapism, but it doesn-t adequately address the serious topics it introduces. Ages 15-up. (Feb.)

School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up-teeped in pop culture references, this work tells the story of four friends, Topher, Sam, Mo, and Joey, who just graduated from high school and are about to embark on a two-week-long road trip from Chicago to California as one last hurrah before heading their separate ways. The common thing that has united them since adolescence is the popular show Wiz Kids. The friends regularly got together to watch the weekly episodes and have a shared sense of admiration for the star of the show, Cash Carter. The book opens with a chapter about rebellious Cash, who is going out of his way to do anything other than what his producers and costars would like. The production team would not like to see his recreational activities publicized, so Cash is immediately presented as the bad boy. Readers learn the history of the foursome and how they came to be friends before embarking on the cross-country rite of passage. These chapters go into more depth about each of the individual characters and their secrets. As avid computer and social media users who often send Cash fan mail, the four decide to invite him on their road trip. Cash responds with two words: "What time?" This quick read touches on many current trends, using teen jargon and references while also tackling identity issues of gender, race, and sexuality, among others. The characters all have absent parents, who neither understand nor listen to their kids. This title evokes a reality TV show, complete with teen angst and poor decision-making. VERDICT An additional selection.Jessica Lorentz Smith, Bend Senior High School, OR
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (9/1/16)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (4/1/17)
Word Count: 76,994
Reading Level: 6.0
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 6.0 / points: 12.0 / quiz: 189165 / grade: Upper Grades
Lexile: 880L

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Chris Colfer comes a funny, heartbreaking, unforgettable novel about friendship and fame.

Cash Carter is the young, world famous lead actor of the hit television show Wiz Kids. When four fans jokingly invite him on a cross-country road trip, they are shocked that he actually takes them up on it. Chased by paparazzi and hounded by reporters, this unlikely crew takes off on a journey of a lifetime--but along the way they discover that the star they love has deep secrets he's been keeping. What they come to learn about the life of the mysterious person they thought they knew will teach them about the power of empathy and the unbreakable bond of true friendship.

In this touching novel, #1 New York Times bestselling author Chris Colfer takes us on a journey full of laughter, tears, and life-changing memories.


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