First Lines: The star freighter’s hangar lay destroyed in the aftermath of the massacre. Overhead fluorescents flickered on and off, yellow safety lights humming in darkened corners.
I’m starting to notice a number of books I read being published by SwoonReads…this one included. I may have to do a post about them…But that is so off track at the moment. We’re talking about fandoms and feels right now.
For Liv, the Starveil movies and fandom are literally her life. So when her favorite character, Captain Spartan, is killed, Liv can’t handle all the feels. Determined to bring him back, Liv starts an online campaign to revive Spartan. With the help of her best friend Xander, a cosplayer and actor, she launches #SpartanSurvived. As the campaign takes off, Liv finds herself struggling to balance home, school, and the fandom. Can a trip to Dragon Con help her figure out her priorities?
I’m going to sum this book up in one sentence: essentially, it’s Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, but not as good.
I don’t want to turn this into a direct comparison of both books for this entire review, but I’ll share a few similarities and differences. Both characters are awkwardly shy, big into fandoms, and tied to their fandoms by something emotional that happened in their past which is why they can’t let go. But Cath from Fangirl was just so much more likeable.
Alright, so I totally get being obsessed with a character or a movie/book. Been there, bought the t-shirt. And most of us went through that moment of depression at the end of Harry Potter or bawled our eyes out at the end of Mockingjay. But Liv almost sinks into an actual depression. She literally feels like her life is over. I mean, she’s practically a blanket burrito as she ignores the real world in favor of fanfics.
And let’s talk about Xander while we’re talking about characters. Xander is obsessed with Steampunk. So much so that he actually dresses up as a Regency-era rake Every. Single. Day. We’re talking waistcoats, walking sticks, and pompadours. It’s this weird mix of charming while still being unsettling. You know if you saw someone like this in real life, serving you coffee or whatever, that you’d stare. It just seemed…unrealistic.
What I really didn’t like about Liv was her attitude that nothing mattered if it couldn’t be tied to Starveil and you didn’t matter if you didn’t like the movies. She never came out and said that, but just about everything in her life related back to it. She saw it everywhere.
Since this was published by SwoonReads, I was expecting quite a bit of romance. But it wasn’t. Way more romance in Fangirl, and that one was a real love story. This was rushed and more or less emotionless. I could never tell what they would do because clearly, I didn’t understand them as characters to know how they’d react.
Something I thought was pretty cool was the fact that each chapter started with a quote from a fandom familiar to us. Supernatural, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, The X-Files, even The Princess Bride. I kept reading to see what quote and fandom would be featured next. And sometimes, these fandoms even earned a mention in the book.
Also, the theme wasn’t half bad. It’s all about being true to yourself, blah blah blah. It just took a loooooong time to get there, with all these unresolved detours with Liv’s mom and her mom’s boyfriend. Seriously, what was that about?
I know I’ve been ragging on it pretty hard, but I didn’t hate it. It just wasn’t great either.