This review is surprisingly free of any major spoilers.
The premise of Stranger Than Fanfiction (written by Chris Colfer) is four friends, bonded by their love of a tv show reminiscent of something Doctor Who-related, who go on a road trip the summer after they graduate as a last laugh of sorts. As a joke, they invite the actor who stars in the show along for the ride, and the actor agrees to come along. His coming along turns the trip- and their lives- completely upside down, and sets them on course for adventures and experiences that certainly are stranger than fanfiction.
My favourite thing about the book was how much time the author took in developing the five main characters, and how well those five characters molded together to form a group and grow together. Each character represented a different part of him, and each character was hiding something. As the writer stated in several interviews, all five characters united shared a fear of disapproval, a fear that I think governs a lot of this generation and motivates us to hide parts of ourselves. That human instinct is portrayed very well with Cash, Joey, Topher, Sam and Mo.
Another aspect the book I thoroughly enjoyed was the road trip itself. The team visited several landmarks along the way, yet my favourite scenes were the unplanned stops at the concert and at the abandoned water park. They made for the best stories.
I've noticed a lot of the criticism toward the book was about the writing style, yet I think that the simplicity in the writing leaves better place for a wonderful story to be told and characters to be developed. No, it isn't Shakespeare, but on the bright side,it isn't Shakespeare. (that totally wasn't a quote from the book)
I am very impressed with the representation in this book, and I love that one of the characters explains so well the concepts of gender and sexuality, and how they are different. Important messages can be found throughout the book in the characters' dialogue, and several times I wanted to pause my reading and highlight things, though I resisted the temptation. I will lovingly deface the book during my reread.
The ending is gut wrenching, and I am still upset, but I have realized that the book couldn't have ended any other way. It had to end the way it had for the characters to reach their full potential and complete their arcs. Nevertheless, I am sad.
I have yet to be disappointed by Chris Colfer's writing, and I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever been in a fandom. I rate it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.
If Chris Colfer wants to go on a road trip with his fans, I offer my terrible map skills and good taste in music.
P.S: Glad to be back!