Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Fan the Fame by Anna Priemaza

Title: Fan the Fame
Author: Anna Priemaza
Genre: Contemporary
Source: HarperTeen

Equal parts Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl and Jennifer Mathieu’s Moxie, this fiercely crafted, feminist YA novel takes on fandom, accountability, and doing the right thing. Even when it hurts.

Lainey wouldn’t mind lugging a camera around a video game convention for her brother, aka YouTube superstar Codemeister, except for one big problem. He’s funny and charming online, but behind closed doors, Cody is a sexist jerk.

SamTheBrave came to this year’s con with one mission: meeting Codemeister—because getting his idol’s attention could be the big break Sam needs.

ShadowWillow is already a successful streamer. But when her fans start shipping her with Code, Shadow concocts a plan to turn the rumors to her advantage.

The three teens’ paths collide when Lainey records one of Cody’s hateful rants on video. Because she’s determined to spill the truth to her brother’s fans—even if that means putting Sam and Shadow in the crosshairs.

Told through three relatable voices and arriving on the heels of the author’s widely praised debut novel, Kat and Meg Conquer the World, this sophomore novel is a nuanced and timely story about followers, fame, and fighting for what’s right.
Review by Nara

One thing that I really like about Anna Priemaza's books is that they focus on online gaming culture and the incredibly popular streaming community. I myself really enjoy both playing games and watching others play games and I love that her books spotlight this.

Fan the Fame features three quite different people who are connected through the legendary LoTScon, a convention for online game Legends of the Stone. I'm generally quite wary about there being multiple points of view in a contemporary, especially a relatively short book. However, I actually thought all three in this novel were warranted, particularly as they link together quite nicely and represent three quite different people in different stages of their Youtube/streamer careers (or in the case of Lainey, the career of her brother rather than her own).

The novel also touches on a number of other relevant issues, including sexism and mental health. Also quite relevant was examining how streamers should use their "influence" to change the world for the better (or not, in the case of Cody).

Would recommend this book to someone looking for a contemporary novel focusing on the seldom represented aspects of gaming culture.

Really liked it
Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 3.5/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 2/5