YA Book Reviews by Amy: Fantastic Fandoms
Being a part of a fandom can feel like others really understand your interests and feelings; you can connect with a piece of art, videos, or writing. I have been a part of many fandoms in the past and ones that I still enjoy. Right now, I love viewing fanart of my favorite YA characters and books. I love seeing people’s different interpretations of my favorites!
If you are interested in drawing fanart look at our contest we are running during the month of October!
I wanted to select some of my favorite YA books that have fandoms surrounding the story. Some are fanfiction writers, other are involved directly in the fandom to celebrate (or change) the stories, and some are fanartists.
Grab your pen to sketch out or write because some of these fandom reads might inspire you to create.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Cath is beginning her freshman year of college; without her twin sister, Wren, by her side, Cath must navigate this new world of writing professors, snotty classmates, an out-going roommate, and trying desperately to step out of her comfort zone. If it was up to Cath, she would spend the entire year locked in her dorm without having to socialize and focus on writing her semi-famous fanfiction of her version of the conclusion to the popular fiction series Simon Snow. Can Cath finish her story before the actual canon version is released? Will she make new friends and potentially have a date? Will Cath reconnect with her sister and find some common ground?
Rainbow Rowell is able to capture what it is like to be a teenager that is a part of a fandom perfectly. Simon Snow is basically this world’s Harry Potter and Cath’s fame from writing fanfiction is a large part of this story. Cath is socially awkward and anxious that many will be able to relate to her, I know I did.
While not a sequel, you can also read Carry On by Rainbow Rowell that is supposed to be Cath’s fanfiction. Also available on Overdrive and as an e-audiobook on Hoopla. For a print copy check the library for the availability.
Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks
Miriam’s life has been surrounded by the comic fandom ever since her grandfather co-created the comic The TomorrowMen back when comics were starting to gain popularity again. When he sold his part of the rights to his friend in the 1960’s, he did not realize the fortune his family would be missing out on. Miriam and her family struggle for money and Miriam has no idea how she can afford college without making matters worse. She hates the comics for reminding her what could have been. When a new boy arrives in town, she begins to fall for him until she finds out he is related to the man who “stole” her families fortune.
For fans of comics, readers will get a kick out of the DC/Marvel vibes and get to see Faith Erin Hicks original artwork for this YA novel. Hick’s art is stunning and adds flare to this story.
Geekeralla by Ashley Poston
Elle has loved and lived for the popular series Starfield ever since she connected with her father in the past and now uses it to remember him after his death. She enters into a cosplay contest and wins tickets to attend big science fiction convention and the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball. She also gets to meet Darien Freeman, the star that will be in the reboot of Starfield. Darien has a love-hate relationship with the fame he has gained and wants to prove to the skeptic fandom that he is the right person to play their beloved character. Will there be love in the air for our characters in this Cinderella retelling with a fandom twist?
This is a predictable, but cute story that has been inspired by pieces of Cinderella. I absolutely enjoyed the little nods to the fairytale and clever ways that Ashley Poston retold the story with a great understanding of different fandoms and the convention passion.
Currently this is the first book in this three-book series call the Once Upon a Con. The companion novels are The Princess and the Fangirl and Bookish and the Beast. For The Princess and the Fangirl (a Prince and the Pauper retelling) is available on Overdrive and at the library*. Recently Bookish and the Beast (a Beauty and the Best retelling) came out and is available as an eBook on Overdrive and the library*.
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Eliza is a superstar in the world of the internet, when her webcomic called Monstrous Sea becomes a huge hit with a massive audience. But in reality, Eliza is a shy and nervous teen that escapes into her art. No one in her real life knows that she is the creator- not her classmates, friends, or her family. When Wallace, a nice boy, meets and befriends Eliza, they find out that they both like Monstrous Sea; while Wallace only believes Eliza is a fan like him (he is also quite famous with his fanfiction of her story) and she believes that she can’t entrust Wallace with her secret, the anxiety takes a hold of her even more as their friendship grows.
This was such a quick read for a pretty long book. The book is about fandom in both the fanart and fanfiction worlds. This novel also explores deeper and darker topics like depression and other mental heath issues. I found the characters relatable and easy to root for them.
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
Charlie is a famous Australian vlogger and is starting her acting career; she has been invited to a convention in America to endorse her new movie. Charlie takes her two best friends, Taylor and Jamie, with her to make the trip a little more bearable. Taylor thinks this may be the chance to let Jamie know her feelings about him and hopes that he will feel the same way. Charlie also meets a crush of hers that may not be just one-sided.
This book has VidCon vibes and has the reader live vicariously as a YouTube vlogger. The connection that these characters have with each other is strong and entertaining. I also loved the LGBTQ+ representation in this book.
Available at the library* to checkout.
All the Feels by Danika Stone
Liv is the ultimate fangirl of The Starveil movie franchise; so much so when she devastated beyond belief when her favorite character is killed off. Unable to move on she decides to take matters into her hands by starting an online campaign to bring him back from the dead. When Liv’s campaign starts gathering up steam, her real life starts suffering; trying to balance her freshman year at college, her nonexistent love life, and her new online presence in her fandom is beginning to become a problem. Will her best friend Xander be able to help?
This is my favorite book about being a part of the fandom world. I have felt the same exact way when one of my favorite characters was killed (can you guess who?). Liv was so likable, even though she had her flaws and Xander was such a great friend and support system. If you have read some of the more popular fandom books (like Fangirl) you should definitely check out this one.
Available at the library* to checkout.
Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner
Josie and Delia have their television personas Rayne and Delilah to host their late night (and mostly local) program. They dress up and watch B- horror movies with commentary. When Delia finds an opportunity to potentially fulfill Josie’s dream of stardom and a chance to meet her estranged father. This convention includes: rude fans, a crazy scheme for money, a fight with a person from the Russian mob, and a crazy expensive dinner.
This book was so much more than the horror convention they went to and the want to be famous; it was about friendship—the fear of growing apart over time and distance, it was about family—the parents that try hard for their children, but still make mistakes, and about love. I think many readers would find it enjoyable.
*Check library link to see the current availability at the different branches
Also check out my Blog about Fandoms!