A fun fact about YA authors: waaaaay more than you probably realize got their start writing fanfiction. Whether Supernatural or Harry Potter or Star Trek or Sailor Moon, fiendish love for existing characters and storylines, spun into their own creative worlds, has been around forever, but this season in particular is seeing a major (awesome) trend of fandom YA. Once you’ve got the more obvious pairing of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl and Carry On under your belt, here are five more fan-centric YAs that’ll make you LOL and give you all the feels.
Gena/Finn, by Kat Helgeson and Hannah Moskowitz
When former child star Gena and fledgling adult Finn meet in their favorite show’s fandom, it’s BFF-ship at first email. But as the two grow closer both online and off, it becomes clear the feelings between them are a lot more than friendly. But Finn’s life includes live-in boyfriend Charlie, and their futile feelings combined with Gena’s increasingly fragile mental state just might be more than they can bear IRL. Told entirely in IMs, Tumblr posts, texts—basically everything but your standard novel narration—this is a story not just for every member of a fandom, but for anyone who has ever made an intense friendship online. Dare you not to shout “Oh my God that is so me” at least twice.
Scarlett Epstein Hates it Here, by Anna Breslaw
Scarlett is miserable at school, but when she’s online, sharing her fanfiction, she’s as happy as she’s ever been. So when her favorite show is canceled, what better way to deal than by creating fanfic that’s actually a thinly veiled version of her real life? Her online community eats it up, but when the fic is discovered by her classmates, she’ll have to face the consequences and, more importantly, deal with what her online writing reveals about her very real self. Scarlett has a killer voice that’ll make you simultaneously crack up and wish you could give her an hour-long hug.
All the Feels, by Danika Stone
Liv is a die-hard Starveil fangirl, so when her favorite character is killed off, she knows she has to take action. Enter her best friend, Xander, some major vlogging skills, and a campaign to bring back her hero. But Liv has no idea how successful her plans are about to get, and she doesn’t quite know how to handle being the anonymous hero of the Starveil fandom, especially when she learns she’s not quite so popular with those whose opinions matter the most. As Liv learns to balance her secret identity, the fallout of her work, her failing grades, and her growing feelings for (already taken) Xander, she also discovers that perhaps there’s more happiness to be found offline than she’d previously thought.
The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love, by Sarvenaz Tash
Graham has a plan—get his best friend, Roxy, to ComicCon, declare his love, and live happily ever after. But ComicCon seems to have other plans, and so does everyone else. How do you tell your best friend you’re in love with her when you can’t get her away from the new guy she picks up in line? How can you impress her with tickets to your shared dream panel when a freak stampede gets in your way? What if he and Roxy are more NoTP than OTP? Between this newest and her YA debut, Three Days of Summer, Tash has officially established herself as a master of the sweet, funny, bantery Three-Day Romance. I had no idea that was a thing, but now I know I need every one in existence, or at least all of her future contemporary YAs, whatever they may be.
How to Repair a Mechanical Heart, by J.C. Lillis
Brandon and Abel may not have very similar lives or personalities, but when they’re vlogging, they’re a perfect pair. So there are plenty of fans watching as their beloved Castaway Planet takes them on a road trip across the country for a traveling convention. There are also some pretty creepy non-fans, in the form of shippers who’ve got some very different feelings on the show than our heroes do. Hijinx, wagers, and more spring out from every corner of their trip, but as Brandon realizes there’s more between him and Abel than a simple co-vlogger relationship, the Catholic guilt that’s been shadowing him heavily since coming out threatens to obliterate not only his fun but any chance at something happening. This is not only one of my favorite fandom reads, but one of my absolute favorite LGBT YAs as well, particularly for its focus on the intersection of balancing queerness with religion. Plus, it’s funny as hell.