“But if we can’t complete the story, if we can’t go home, we need to think about what sort of life we want to live here.” –The Fandom by Anna Day
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ A good plot idea and not challenging making it a pretty quick read. Main character comes across a little younger than her supposed age and friendships are not portrayed in the best of ways in this novel.
The concept of The Fandom is every book lovers dream. Wouldn’t you want to fall into your favourite book with your 2 best friends and become the protagonist? Haven’t we all had the one book crush which we wish was real? This dream becomes a reality for Violet, Gallows Dance enthusiast and massive fan girl.
The plot is pretty self explanatory, but I’ll give you a brief (spoiler free!) overview anyway: Violet, her friends and her tagging along little brother go to comicon to meet the stars of their favourite film, The Gallows Dance when they fall into it’s plot. Violet is forced to become the main character to complete the canon and go home, but things get a little more complicated when she finds herself choosing the rebellion she’s fighting for over the hot love interests she’s supposed to elope with.
Character development is basically the main theme in this book. Violet starts as a love stricken fan girl who seems quite self centred and lacks confidence in herself, but as she progresses through Rose’s story in The Gallows Dance the reader sees her develop into a more heroic character. She gains confidence in herself and starts to actually care about the cause that Rose gave away for a genetically perfected crush. Her character growth was one of the most rewarding parts of this book, making it a sort of coming of age (in the sake of about a week) sort of novel.
The writing style is very simple. I would have preferred more description but overall it’s quite effective, immersing the reader in the story while keeping the book engaging. It is a little repetitive at times, specially when it comes to describing main characters. The reader is often told that Katie has a Scouse accent and that Nate is pixie like, which was a little annoying as the plot progressed.
I also got a little bugged by Violet and her classmates seeming so immature at the beginning of the book. I could have easily believed that Violet was in year 10 throughout the novel but it was a little insulting that she and her class were meant to be in sixth from, given how they acted. Even Violet’s narration was a little immature for a 17 year old, she read more as a 15 year old maximum. Nate, who was meant to be 14, always read as more as a 10 year old also.
This book sells on it’s relatability and I thought it did this pretty well. I found Violet to be relatively realistic character on the whole- not suddenly becoming a superhuman when she became The Gallows Dance’s protagonist and genuinely crying when things go wrong (this would probably be my response to most dystopian novel situations and it’s nice to see that reflected on the page every now and then!). I found Katie to be believable as well, I have friends who are a very similar flavour of down to earth and not at all interested in the books I read, which made Violet’s friendship group dynamic familiar and realistic to me. And Nate was just cute, even if he was more of a ten year old than 14.
But the only character I just couldn’t see was Alice. Violet’s constant jealousy of her from the start made it clear there friendship was not healthy and the author pits them against each other so much. This was the most annoying part about this book- Alice and Violet don’t build each other up, they seem bent on belittling each other. I know their relationship was supposed to be one of the big things that improves and develops throughout the novel but the ‘improvement’ was just too quick, and their friendship had nothing to redeem it. This was the main reason I can’t give this book more than 3 stars.
So, there you have it. My opinions on The Fandom. It’s a plot with a lot of potential but just needed a little better refining. What did you think if you’ve read it? If not, do you think you will? Be great to hear what you guys think in the comments section!