A fanfic writer, a taxidermist, and a percussionist attending three different conferences at the same convention center befriend and help one another.
Callie Buchannan is in Orlando to assist her father at their first World Taxidermy Championships without her mother, who left the family and moved across the country to “start over.” She wishes her intense, perfectionist dad would treat her less like an unpaid intern and more like a daughter. Phoebe Byrd’s at the same conference center to compete with her high school band ensemble in the annual Indoor Percussion Association Convention. After a disastrous luggage mix-up forces Phoebe to play the xylophone with taxidermy scalpels, she injures her hands, has a disappointing competition, and hooks up with her smirky-but-sweet band mate. And Vanessa “Nessie” Montoya-O’Callaghan is at her first We Treasure Fandom con to finally meet her co-writer and internet girlfriend, Soleil, face to face. But older, polyamorous, pansexual Soleil seems more interested in meeting attentive fans than being alone with Nessie. After slightly formulaic meet-cutes, Callie, Phoebe (who are both white), and Vanessa (who’s half Mexican, half Irish) become instant friends and swap stories. Not only does this three-author, three-protagonist contemporary easily pass the Bechdel test, but it also explores fascinating subcultures and highlights how young people with diverse identities, backgrounds, and interests can bond in an authentic manner.
Charming and realistic look at the fast but meaningful friendships formed at cons. (Fiction. 12-17)