Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky
Published by Pan Macmillan on May 19th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Humor, Young Adult
Buy on Amazon
Okay, so just know from the start that it wasn't supposed to go like this. All we wanted was to get near The Ruperts, our favorite boy band.
We didn't mean to kidnap one of the guys. It kind of, sort of happened that way. But now he's tied up in our hotel room. And the worst part of all, it's Rupert P. All four members of The Ruperts might have the same first name, but they couldn't be more different. And Rupert P. is the biggest flop out of the whole group.
We didn't mean to hold hostage a member of The Ruperts, I swear. At least, I didn't. We are fans. Okay, superfans who spend all of our free time tweeting about the boys and updating our fan tumblrs. But so what, that's what you do when you love a group so much it hurts.
How did it get this far? Who knows. I mean midterms are coming up. I really do not have time to go to hell.
Boy band fangirls are a species that are more focused, determined, and powerful in large numbers than just about any other group of people I can think of.
I thought this was awesome. It’s the kind of book you have to be in the right mood for – a dark, sadistic sense of humour kind of mood – but it’s a diverse, murderous and hilarious comedy about fangirls in the age of social media.
Kill the Boy Band has many laugh-out-loud moments that come with a side order of guilt because you know you really shouldn’t be laughing. But, despite it’s implausible plot and ludicrous characters, there are many underlying truths laid bare in this book. And the funniest things of all are the sad truths you have to begrudgingly admit to.
I must confess: I related to parts of this book, which may have affected my experience. I’m in my early twenties now, but I grew up when the digital age was just finding its feet. At age thirteen, most people I knew had some form of social media – usually myspace or bebo – and I witnessed the emerging culture of celeb stalking that redefined what it meant to be a fan.
My personal obsession (well, the main one) was Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and James Marsters (Spike) in particular. I would watch his interviews on Youtube, read every post on his website and, later, follow his movements on Twitter. In other circumstances, this level of stalkery would be illegal. In my early to mid teens, I felt attached to him on a weird level. I’d followed his life so closely that I felt like I knew him, something those of my parents generation simply couldn’t understand. Being his fan made me happy. Loving him made me feel good about myself. It sounds so silly now, but I think I truly believed that a) we were meant to be together, and b) this could eventually happen if I just attended enough signings and concerts.
Thankfully, I was too shy to do anything. I couldn’t tackle him because I melted into a puddle of emotions every time he was in the same room. But I can understand how crazy it could get if someone with my mindset *did* have the will and ability to take it to the next level.
That’s what this book is about. It’s about four teenage girls who are devoted to a boy band called “The Ruperts” – hilariously based on One Direction – and how their devotion escalates into something more sinister. The book makes fun of teen girl crushes on celebrities (lots of great parodies of real life, pop culture references, and some surprisingly graphic sex jokes), but it also has an anti-slut-shaming, feminist spin and, in a way, defends the girls’ right to their crushes and silly desires.
Did I love them because they were the only boys in my life who consistently told me I was beautiful? Probably.
I loved The Ruperts for who they were, sure, but I mostly loved them for how they made me feel. Which was happy.
The Ruperts made me happy. The simplest thing to be in the world. And the hardest.
It’s silly, for sure. Reminds me of a darker version of Rudnick’s It’s All Your Fault. But it’s surprisingly not as shallow as you might expect. It has lots of insights into the minds of teen girls and fangirls and, though comical, Moldavsky’s observations ring true.
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.
The plot gets darker and darker. The narrator grows increasingly unreliable. But the comedy is a strong constant throughout, pulling the book back into the light when it threatens to get too dark.
It’s funny, feminist, and diverse, with the Dominican Isabel and the fat, Chinese Apple. I will point out that some reviewers have taken issue with the way Apple’s weight plays into some of the comedy. To me, it seemed like an unapologetic embracing of size, but then I don’t have the same experiences and perspectives that bigger women do, so it would be stupid of me to dismiss these criticisms and not bring attention to them.
Anyway, for me, Kill the Boy Band was a fun, dark and interesting read.
By the way, for those of you who are now concerned for my sanity, I’m much cooler now.
But I can meet James Marsters and pose for cool pictures without being a total loser… 😀
I'm Emily May - a twenty-something year old book blogger from the North of England. Currently going wherever the wind or the storyline takes me. Find me on Goodreads
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