I read this book between March 20th and March 23rd, 2020 and gave it three stars. The story revolves around a fictional fandom, and I know that’s one of those themes that YA readers either hate or love. Considering that I do not belong to any fandoms, I am not as passionate about the subject as other readers could be, but I still think that authors can either make or break a book with the choices they make involving fandom culture.
Something that didn’t sit well with me right from the start was that the book was narrated in the third person. I don’t like that in young adult books. To me, that automatically puts a distance between me and the characters. The redeeming quality was that the book contained inserts of texts, conversations held in forums and even pictures. I think that the “interactive” aspect made the story more fun and realistic, and I would’ve liked to read this as an ebook to see if the pictures came in colors.
From what I read about the author, Danika Stone usually writes adult books, or she did when this book was published, so that might explain why the characters sometimes sound too old for their age, and some others they sound super young. Liv is a freshman in college, so rather than YA I’d say this book falls into the “new adult” age range. Then again, let’s consider that it was published in 2016 when this category was not as defined as it is now.
I don’t think the author knew a lot about fandom culture other than what she researched. What I mean is that the whole conversation about the fandom Liv belonged to didn’t seem very authentic. It didn’t seem like the author was writing about her personal experience or something she knew first hand. Also, the jokes and comments were super dated, and I’m not talking 2016 dated but more like the early 2000s.
Almost right from the start, I could predict what was going to happen in this story, and I get that it’s not the author’s fault but something you kind of expect in YA romances, right? You’re not reading a romance to know what happens but rather how it happens. In this book, I didn’t really care for the “how” either. Liv is a huge fan of this movie series, but when it ends abruptly with the main character dying she is heartbroken, so she decides to recruit Xander, her best friend, who (conveniently) is an actor to start a “revolution” among the fandom and get the attention of the movie producers. We all know what’s going to happen next.
I’m not going to talk much about this because I will expand in another post, but oh, the romance was just horrible. Like I said, this book was tropey, but the tropes it included weren’t even the ones I liked. For example, towards the end, and I’m saying literally in the last chapter, there is an issue that stems from miscommunication. Seriously? Ugh. That being said, there was nothing I passionately disliked about this book, as there wasn’t anything I passionately liked. That’s why I ended up giving it a middle-of-the-road rating.
What is a trope that was super popular in books five years ago and that no longer stands the test of time? Let me know in the comments below.
Love, Miss Camila