As a fan girl, do you:
A. Stalk your celebrity crush online and have a secret stash of his merchandise?
B. Believe that when he is singing onstage, he is singing to you—and only you?
C. Willingly agree to do anything he asks?
D. Leave your life behind and follow him to the ends of the earth?
, being the ultimate fan means doing all four. When the insanely good-looking half-Filipino frontman of hot local band Violet Reaction, Scott Carlton
, singles her out, Summer knows her life is finally going to be spectacular. Only it doesn't turn out that way. Scott leaves and becomes a huge star in the US, and where does that leave Summer? (Hint: check out letter D). Intrigued yet?
From the author of Table For Two
comes another gut-wrenching story tale of romance and growing up. Follow Summer's adventures in love and celebrity-stalking as she makes a choice most of us can only dream of by grabbing a copy of Fan Girl
by Marla Miniano
. Check out the excerpt linked below for a preview.
Summer knows who he is—of course she does. But when Scott Carlton saunters across the stuffy school gym towards her to claim his freshman year second semester grades, a self-satisfied smirk on his face, she has to ask, “Your name, please?”
“Scott,” he says in a slightly irritated voice, like she shouldn’t even be asking. He is wearing a short-sleeved black and gray button-down that looks expensive and brand new, a sharp cologne that reminds her of tuxedos and prom night, and black and gold aviator shades glinting impressively underneath the fluorescent light. His forehead and cheekbones are damp with sweat, and beads of perspiration cling to his thick, dark eyebrows and the stubble lining his jaw.
“Your full name,” she says patiently, smiling up at him from a small wooden desk marked Report Cards: Q-S.
“Scotty,” he replies curtly. Summer imagines him rolling his eyes behind his designer sunglasses, exasperated with this poor dumb girl who wasn’t cool enough to keep up.
The guy behind him, almost completely obscured by Scott’s bulky, towering frame, pokes his head out and raises his eyebrows at Summer. “Why is it taking so long?” he whines, sounding like he is about three years old. Summer wants to stick her tongue out and tell this skinny boy wearing a red fleece hat in the middle of summer to zip it, but reminds herself just in time that she is in college, not kindergarten.
Summer ignores Fleece Hat Guy, looks up at Scott, and tries one last time. “May I have your first and last name?”
He sighs, shifting his weight from one artfully worn-out Chuck Taylor-clad foot to the other. “Scotty Carlton,” he tells her.
“Oh,” she says, feigning surprise. “You shouldn’t be here. Please proceed to the desk marked A-C.” She feels sorry for him and adds, “We distribute report cards according to family name.”
He takes off his sunglasses, looks at her like this is all her fault, glances at the long queue for the A-C post and says, “You mean you’re going to make me line up again? I’m late for band practice.” Summer knows which band he is referring to, of course—he is the frontman for Violet Reaction, a group whose members all happen to be half-Filipino and insanely good-looking. They were a staple at every university event and they had one song that was a hit all over the country; you had to be living under a rock under a haystack inside a cave to not know who they were.
Summer wants to ask if they’re working on a new album, but she shrugs helplessly at him instead and says, “You can come back this afternoon. We’ll be here until five.”
He shakes his head at her and mutters, “This is ridiculous.” His shoes make squeaking noises on the hardwood floor as he storms off.
“Finally,” Fleece Hat Guy says as Summer hands him the brown envelope with the university seal and asks him to sign the confirmation sheet. He whips out his card, scans his grades, and says to nobody in particular, “If these numbers are crappier than that pretty boy’s, I’d have to choke myself with an H&M scarf tonight.” He chuckles, satisfied with his own joke (and lame Katy Perry reference), and walks away.
Summer watches him leave. She is not surprised at the way Scott and Fleece Hat Guy (she checks the confirmation sheet for his name—Zachary Santos) acted around her. She is used to being treated like this, always straddling the fine line between feeling invisible and feeling inferior, and not knowing which one is worse. She has had enough practice within the four corners of her dorm room, which she shares with Roxanne, a tall girl with honey caramel skin, a tiny waist, blunt bangs, severely-layered pin-straight tresses tickling her ribcage, and a distinct smirk; and Meg, a bubbly, slightly overweight curly-haired Communications major with neon fingernails, a different eye color every day, and shoes that no longer fit inside her closet. Roxanne has a habit of looking Summer up and down, taking in her shapeless jeans, tiny pearl earrings, and safe one-hundred-fifty-peso trim from the guy who has been cutting her hair since grade school. She neither sneers nor smiles as she does this, and it is often difficult for Summer to tell whether she should be insulted or flattered. Sometimes, Roxanne would ask about her weekend plans, or whether she is seeing anyone special at the moment, or what she thought about the new James Franco movie. Summer is never completely sure that these aren’t trick questions. Meg rarely speaks to either of them, although her high-pitched voice is a constant presence in their room—she is on the phone every night, giggling and gasping and OMG-ing away with her girl friends from her exclusive high school while she paints her nails and lays out clothes on her bed, trying to decide what to wear to class the following morning.
Nobody warned Summer that college was going to be this tough. Back in June, when she and her brother-in-law Ken hauled boxes and bags out of his black car’s backseat and trunk, she felt optimism tiptoeing around her. Standing in the middle of the dorm lobby, where parents said tearful goodbyes to children who were attempting to put on a brave face, Summer’s sister Ellie clutched her husband’s hand, then turned to her and said, “I bet Mom and Dad would have been so proud of you, if they were alive.”
“Proud of me for what?” Summer asked. Ellie looked at the ceiling, like she was asking God to undo that tragic earthquake more than a decade ago, then down at her seven-month-big belly, like she was asking her unborn baby for help. “For embracing your independence,” she finally answered. Summer thought of the alternative—continuing to live with Ellie and Ken in their condo unit (the house Summer and Ellie grew up in had been sold one year ago when Ellie married Ken, a handsome surgeon nine years her senior), sleeping on the couch, feeling like a gate-crasher as they built a happy home and a loving family for themselves—and said, “Well, it had to happen sooner or later.” Ellie’s eyes welled up, but Summer shooed her hugs away, insisting she was going to be fine.
And she was. Until about the fifth time Roxanne gave her that head-to-toe and the third time she responded to Meg’s cheerful “How are you?” only to realize she was on the phone. Until that first red F on a quiz she stayed up all night studying for. Until she got used to having lunch in the cafeteria alone, surrounding herself with a mountain of textbooks and scattering her things all over the table so it would look like she was waiting for someone, or at least that she was crazy-busy and couldn’t be bothered with company. Until she started volunteering for all these organizations and committees, only to find out that all of them treated timid, unpopular, poorly-connected freshmen like crap. Until that time she first saw Scott Carlton from across a crowded corridor and immediately reeled from the hard, devastating truth that he will never, ever notice her the way she wanted him to. Until she figured out that she will feel like a gate-crasher—an uninvited, unwelcome guest—no matter where she went or what she did.
Since June, Summer has learned not to expect any form of interest or attention or even kindness from anyone in this place. She has learned to keep her head down, stay out of everyone’s way. But at ten minutes to five, as Scott Carlton walks towards her, smiling sheepishly, apologizing for his “honest mistake,” and proudly telling her he got better grades than he’d been expecting, Summer feels her hopes rising into the late afternoon air, like a couple of helium balloons escaping from a kiddie party and soaring towards the clear blue sky. She has to pinch herself back to reality; she has to blink twice, thrice, four times to make sure she isn’t imagining him standing right in front of her, talking to her. She almost asks him to repeat himself, but even someone like her couldn’t have made up something like this: “I think I owe you a drink for being such a jerk to you earlier. My band has a gig tonight at Liberty Bar. Are you coming?” She must have nodded, or opened her mouth to say “yes” or “okay” or “cool,” because he grins, checks her name tag, and says, “Awesome. See you there, Summer.” Read synopsis