“The joy you find as a teen, however frivolous and dumb, is pure and meaningful. It doesn’t matter that it might ferment and taste different when you’re older. That’s the whole point of being a teenager – not worrying about the future.”
Kill the Boy Band (63).
This past week I read the book Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky, and I have to admit I loved it. The quick summary of the book is that a group of friends decide to get a room in the hotel their favorite boy band, The Ruperts, are staying at. When one of the girls kidnaps the ugly boy band member, things begin to go awry. First thing you should be aware of before reading this book, it gets pretty dark. You’re going to be reading some pretty morbid stuff and it’s going to make you crack up laughing. Since I love reading and watching darker comedy this was right up my alley. In the book jacket, Moldavsky says that one of her influences was the movie Heathers, which I could totally see in this book. The dark comedy is all there, and the relationships between the girls is almost similar to that of the Heathers.
To start off with, this book truly embraces internet and fangirl culture, which was an aspect of the book I really loved. There’s numerous references to Tumblr, Twitter, and fanfiction – all things that I, as well as the target audience of young adult girls, use regularly. It really knows who its target audience is and it doesn’t talk down to them or dumb things down; this is a book about fangirls written for fangirls. The boy band in the book is almost obviously based on One Direction, which in and of itself is hilarious, but as someone who was obsessed with 1D for a time as a teen, I could really relate to the characters and really understand the fangirl obbession.
Speaking of the characters, I definitely had my favorites and least faves. To start off with, the narrator seems to be nameless/faceless, which was something I wasn’t too happy with. I understand that the narrator is supposed to be an Everyman sort of character, a place for the reader to see themselves, but I felt that it was almost to fanfiction-y at time because of the reader insert idea. I loved the depth the other characters had though, especially in both Erin and Isabel. The exploration of the power these teen icons have over their fangirls, as seen in the backstory of Erin, is incredibly interesting and a real conversation that needs to happen in fandoms. We’ve seen in the Youtube community what happens when people with a fanbase are able to take advantage of their fans, so it’s a relevant and important discussion. Furthermore, the feminism that is shown in the story is great, the girls are more than just their fandoms and the use their skills brilliantly within their passions. For instance, Isabel has amazing investigative reporting skills and she uses those traits to run a fandom Twitter account tracking the boy band’s movements and getting insider scoops. Basically, you don’t want to be on the bad side of these girls.
Overall, I’m giving this book 4 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed it and thought it was a fun read, but it did have some downsides for me. As I mentioned before it felt a little too much like fanfiction in some parts, but I thought it really had its demographics down well. It didn’t talk down to the readers and embraced the social media that is present in modern day fangirling.
I’m participating in the Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge (I’m going for 50 books read in 2016!), so if you’d like to follow along with my progress or just see what I’m reading you can check that out here. I’m also attempting the Popsugar 2016 Reading Challenge, which can be found here. Let me know in the comments any books you’d recommend and what you’re currently reading. See you all next time!