“Because the truth is, it isn't worth loving something if you aren't going to love it all the way.”
This book is definitely different than any book, and definitely any book about fandom, that I have ever read. It follows four girls (Erin, Isabella, Apple, and the unnamed narrator) through a crazy adventure full of kidnapping, crazy fangirls, and murder. What I loved most about this story was how much it delved into the psyche of the fangirl, something that will fascinate me until my dying day. It's something I explore a lot in my own book. There are so many quotes from Kill The Boy Band that rang true for me, and made me smile as though I knew a secret. Which I suppose I do. I know how crazy and exciting and scary and dangerous and awesome it is to love something so hard it makes you hurt.
The thing about loving something that hard is that it's dangerous. It's a fine line you walk in fandom, especially bandom and celebrity fandom. You want to know every detail of these people's lives, what makes them tick, what they want, what they need. But at the end of the day, they're just people. One of the astounding aspects of this book is that the girls literally kidnap a member of their favorite band and yet somehow I still think it's a somewhat positive depiction of fans. Sure, there are some incredibly ugly and terrifying moments, but then you have moments like this:
“Maybe it was obsession, but it was also happiness; an escape from the suckiness of everyday life. And when you find something that makes you happy and giddy and excited every day, us fangirls know a truth that everyone else seems to have forgotten: you hold on to that joy tenaciously, for as long as you can.”
I couldn't have said it better myself. Sure, they got carried away, but...I kind of get it? I did have some problems with the book. I didn't find the band that was at the core of the narrative believable at all. I could understand that they were going for a 1D thing (again...I want a book about boybands in the 90's!! At the height of the mania! Someone write THAT book and model the band after BSB!!!) but I just didn't care about the band members in any way, which made it hard to get into the mind of the protagonist. I also feel like the book was campy and was supposed to be campy, but it took me a while to realize that it was poking fun at itself. The tone was a little confusing. Sadly, the best part of this book are the pull quotes.
I'm glad I took on this project and I'm happy to report that I think I have a story that is unlike any that has been written on the subject, so that's cool. I'm excited to share it...eventually.
Peace, Love, and Strepurs,