Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky
|Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: Forget this being witty, and incredibly timely, it's also one of the most clever books you'll read this year.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: May 2016|
|External links: Author's website|
Rupert Pierpont has put his head above the parapet and taken his juggling act onto a Britain's Got Talent-styled TV show, as you do. Bizarrely there were three other Ruperts contesting, and all four got lumped into the same boy band – The Ruperts, as you do. Several massive albums and hugely successful tours later, the four lads are globally known, and have entered the world of true fandom – the realms where girls know to wear incontinence pads and live with it rather than forsake their front-row concert position, and where girl fans (with their own inclusive, tribal nickname, of course) send online death threats to anyone sexually linked to the stars. The band has got a showcase Thanksgiving TV special to perform in New York, and is in town at a hipsterish swanky hotel. And here is Rupert P waking up surrounded by four huge Ruperts fans, and hardly seeing anything other than girls' tights – as you do. But this is through no intent of his own – for he has been kidnapped by four of the very same fans he soon attests to hate…
In heavy contrast to my summary, however, is the narrative voice. Make no mistake, we're firmly in the head of one of the girls, and it's a delicious place to be. Without giving anything away, at least three of the girls come across as fully-rounded personalities, and the whole mindset of the modern groupie-styled fan is conveyed brilliantly. This is a teen drama with great contemporary relevance.
And the high drama of the piece just plain and simple works. Just as the girls find themselves on some inexorable path to nastiness, so the reader is with them all the way – whether or not they are likewise a teenage girl. You certainly get the same frisson as the characters, or at least share in the sheer bravura pleasure of it all. You're with them to such an extent you almost have a mutual complicity in what happens. This, you realise, is what the phrase 'guilty pleasure' should really mean.
I have to admit, when I paused the first time and saw the blurb call it hilarious, I did frown. But then came that joke about the hotel Bible, and from then on I think I was more in tune with all of that. I was, by the end, fully in tune with a book I found to be one of the more clever instances – and probably going to be my favourite in the teen category for the calendar year. It might have things to appeal to pre-teens, but the language is definitely worthy of a 15 certificate – when not using a very appealing and clever cult lingo of the type that so many people, in cinema and books, try and fail to get right. The girls are very quotable but definitely read as natural instances of their type. I'm not quite sure what's added by the USA/UK character split (has any recent boy band done well in the US? I hadn't seen anything about it) but there's no quibble to be had here.
I'm definitely a fan of this book.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
We found that Love Song by Sophia Bennett was great but not full-on enough when it comes to fandom and stanning – read it first then for a great before-and-after.
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