What is this about?: Sam, Topher, Joey and Mo are part of a group of friends who have bonded over their love for the TV show Wiz Kids. That show and their friendship has seen them through the toughest times of their lives, and now on the cusp of college (or university) as the case may be, they worry about losing touch and growing up.
What else is this about?: They all have their secrets and are scared to share. The fandom has brought them together, but they still keep some things to themselves. This is also about growing up and stepping out into the world as who you are. Thing is, Cash, the TV superstar? Is facing those same demons.
Blurb: Cash Carter is the young, world famous lead actor of the hit television 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.
Fandom is this crazy, beautiful, fun, dark and disturbing place for fans, so you can well imagine what it must be for actors perusing their online fandom. It’s easy for the bad and the quirky fan stories to go viral, but beyond all that are the fans that bond over their love for a TV show, and know each better that anyone else can. The fandom is really just the beginning, and an online friendship can be just as important as one with your friend in school that you see every day.
And that’s where Sam, Topher, Joey and Mo are at when their stories open.
This is their last big hurrah before adulthood, and also a little bit to make them forget the next season of Wiz Kids is still up in the air, which yes, that matters and it’s agony waiting for that renewal announcement. So, the day before they’re off, Topher sends Cash Carter, the lead on the show a message inviting him on their roadtrip.
And then, Cash says yes.
The roadtrip is to all the most boring sites that you can imagine — yes, there’s a big ball of something involved. Cash is horrified at just how bored he is, and proceeds to invite them to do … let’s just say things they never really would ever before.
He opens their eyes, brutally.
Is tired. He’s tired of contracts, and the show, and the egos he has to work with every day. He wants out of his contract and his costars all assume his recent behaviour is his attempt to break his contract. But Cash doesn’t care — he is the Hollywood bad boy, and he is certainly living up to that label.
When he is introduced, he proceeds to break down the idealistic notions the fabulous foursome have of him, much to their horror. And while he may resent the pedestal fans have placed him on, he manages to win them over, and to astutely wheedle out a couple of secrets of the foursome along the way.
Sam, Topher, Joey and Mo
They are idealistic and worried about the concerns of their show as an escape from the problems of their lives. And anyone reading will be able to understand that easily. Into their fragile balance come Cash. He crashes into their lives and opens their eyes to the realities of his life, thanks to fans — not like them — but fans nonetheless. It’s brutal and eyeopening for them, and they resent him a little for it.
But he’s still part of their trip, and still manages to convince them into doing things they wouldn’t — and finds out their secrets.
This is all about reality and appearances, and what people and actors have to go through for both. Colfer plays with perceptions, and will give you pause about your assumptions by the end of the book.
However, there are some missed chances along the way here, and I would have liked to know more about the secrets and the fabulous foursome deal with their choices and secrets. Things are perhaps tied up into too much of a bright red bow. I will admit, part of me did think some of the characters were deserving of that red bow, so I didn’t mind it too much despite the missed chances.
Is just growing from strength to strength as a writer I think. I did wonder how much of his experiences were in this, and from what I’ve heard about some parts of the Glee fandom, I was kind of sad for him. But, trust him to make something wonderful and thoughtful out of it!