Another batch of quality contemporary young adult fiction - three books from two authors with Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl and Eleanor & Park, and John Green's The Fault in Our Stars.
Let's start with the two books from Ms. Rowell...
Fangirl (2013) follows Cath through her tumultuous first year at college. She's an identical twin (with Wren, who is quite noticeably not having a tumultuous year) and a die-hard fan of the Rowling-esque "Simon Snow" series. Cath's dreadfully shy on campus, but on the internet she's the author of the Simon Snow fan-fic. (Although Rowell is very good about seeding the basics of fan-fic, I do suggesting reading something like Renay's fan-fic introduction first - it helps not to go into the vocabulary completely cold.)
Cath struggles at college. She doesn't like being separated from her sister (Wren's choice, by the way). She's terrified of her roommate. She struggles with her classes, boys, the dining hall... everything, really. Cath discovers that "all the trickiest rules are the ones that nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can't google.)" - where does she sit? What should she say in class? Can she let her roommate's boyfriend into her room? The list goes on and on, and despite her popularity and social profiency online, the offline world is all a little too much.
Curiously, I thought I'd enjoy Fangirl for the fan fiction element, but actually wound up skimming the "Simon Snow" inserts. In most situations, I'd say that was the lesson: it isn't about the magical online world of escapism, it is about learning to face reality, and 'real' [fictional] drama is better than 'fictional' [fictional] drama. But Fangirl takes an unexpected twist at the end, balancing both worlds equally. There's no cosmic, cross-dimensional intervention, rather, Ms. Rowell takes the approach that we're all secret 'geeks' - fans of our own special interests. And that's totally ok: the trick is to be open to everyone else's enthusiasms as well as your own. Cath never has to choose between her two worlds, she winds up happy in both of them. (Er. Spoiler. I suppose. But were you really expecting otherwise?)