‘The Fandom’ by Anna Day – Book Review

Blurb from Goodreads

Violet’s in her element.

Cosplay at the ready, she can’t wait to feel part of her favourite fandom: The Gallows Dance, a mega book and movie franchise that she and her friends know EVERY WORD of (canon and fanfic included).

But at Comic Con, a freak accident transports Violet and her friends into the story for real.

And in just the first five minutes, they cause the death of the heroine, and get taken prisoner by the rebel group she was supposed to lead to victory. It’s up to Violet to take her place, and play out the plot the way it was written.

But stories have a life of their own, and when you change the script in one place, the rest gets revised too… 

My Review

This book has such an amazing premise. People get sucked into the world of their favourite book and film and drama ensues…
Yes.
Sign me up.
Love it.

But then you open the book up to this message from Chicken House (publishers):

This book is the result of a very special collaboration. The originator of the brilliant concept is Angela McCann, one of the winners of our Big Idea Competition. The author, Anna Day, was a finalist in our Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition. The combination of a unique concept and an amazing new talent has resulted in a simply fan-tastic story…

FILLS YOU WITH JOY RIGHT???? That the author didn’t even come up with the idea… Yup no sense of foreboding at all that this will not end up a damp squib…..

LOL JK IT IS AN UTTERLY DAMP SQUIB OF A BOOK!!!!

This dystopian book feels soooooo stale!!!! I mean I can’t with it.

I JUST CAN’T!!!!

The book follows Violet, her bestie Alice, her younger brother Nate and their other friend Katie who are all attending a comic con event for The Gallows Dance which is a hugely successful book with a film adaptation.

Something weird happens. Can’t remember exactly. Like an earthquake or some drama… And boom! All four wake up in the world of The Gallows Dance and unintentionally do a whole Dorothy Gale with the Wicked Witch of the East and kill one of the main characters from The Gallows Dance… In this case it’s Rose, the Imp people’s heroine and so Violet has to step into Rose’s place and do all the heroic things she did, including falling in love with Willow (a Gem character) and basically save the whole society…

Imp people are basically you and me. They’re regular humans with no genetic interference.

The Gems are genetically enhanced and are all super pretty and disease free, supposedly smarter etc etc. And they oppress the Imps, use them as slaves… FUNSIES FOR ALL!!!!

Anyway the book sucks.
Let’s not sugar coat it.

  • It rehashes tropes from every other dystopian novel you’ve ever read and not in a good way.
  • It is filled with girl hatred and slut shaming.
  • It’s incredibly poorly written.
  • The prose is… Well it’s just sub par. There is no beauty to it, nothing to hook the reader. It lacks atmosphere, emotion… Just dismal really.
  • The characters are immensely underdeveloped and stereotyped.
  • Choices are made regarding the narrative structure that rob the reader of any sense of tension or imminent peril and/or doom for the characters.
  • It’s painfully drawn out, far too long and just generally dull to read.

I’m awarding it one star.

From here on out the review is filled with spoilery thoughts I had as I was reading….

Chapter 7

The constant talk of Alice’s appearance is annoying me. Look I get it. She’s pretty and beauty is a much craved commodity in this Gems society but do we have to disparage her in ways that are equating beauty with less intelligence? Like the whole she got her DNA costume wrong because oh how dumb she is…. Tired of that stereotype.

I’m not feeling this yet. The prose feels incredibly juvenile and I’m not all that enthusiastic about the plot so far. I like the premise but so far it made for an interesting opening chapter and now has descended into its own (dull) homage to ya dystopia.

Chapter 14

Alice makes a noise which sounds a bit like humph. “He only fancies you cos you’re so clearly an Imp”

Yay!
Let’s perpetuate the mean pretty girl stereotype and have her hate on her friends….

Oh and obvs a male character (Nate) has to step in and stop the “cat fight” because females need to be kept in line by males……..

I mean okay… Maybe there’ll be character development and we will learn about Alice’s insecurities that she’s only ever seen as pretty and not anything deeper than that…

But already she’s been portrayed as dumb. Now bitchy…. And I’m like can we just not?!?!???

Chapter 16

I have just died at the “wet gherkin in her mouth” description.

But seriously I feel weirded out.

Violet is in essence cat fishing Willow, tricking him into loving her and it’s just kinda creepy????

In ways this reminds me of issues I had with Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter when a Jason from one of the realities seduced and had sex with the wife (Danielle) of a Jason from another reality. To me it truly undermined the agency of Danielle and invalidated her consent because of the false pretences.

Chapter 20

Does anyone else ever just get the urge to slap a book???
Because it’s trying too hard to be self aware.

It’s these constant little references to other YA dystopias and they’re rubbing me up the wrong way. I mean I’m not the biggest Hunger Games or Divergent fan for instance but lol at this author trying to reference those books in some witty manner as if this was in the same league.

Like no…

For a start this ain’t witty and book… Book you only wish you could be as successful as those other ya dystopias. This is so insanely stale I can’t. Tastes and trends move on and this book is stuck about 15 years ago.

Chapter 21

MY EYES HAVE ROLLED SO FAR BACK IN MY HEAD I CANT!!!!!!

It’s the Gallows Ball and Alice shows up with Willow and of course she and Violet have a whole jealous mean girls vibe going on with their friendship and it’s just so melodramatic and I’m done. I AM SO DONE!!!

LAZY WRITING

INANE PLOTTING

UTTERLY UNORIGINAL

Can I DNF this turd yet??? (Apparently I can’t because *book group read*)

I am just so tired of pitting female characters against each other like this. Like make Alice a proper villain if you want but can we please spare the cattiness!!!

Chapter 26

This book is just irking me at every angle now.

It’s peppered with profanities and cheap innuendo which would imply an upper YA book but everything else screams junior YA because there is a distinct lack of character and plot development which I would associate with a younger book….

But then again in a younger YA I would still actually expect a decent plot. Every plot twist here is something I’ve either read in another book or seen in a film…

And granted I get that there are certain tropes that we all love to read over and over again… But this just doesn’t have anything extra to make me enjoy reading these same old tropes.

The prose is prosaic at best; utterly perfunctory and I feel lacking in emotion or tension. I’ve just read a scene where Nate was about to have his hands chopped up by a Gem because he took his gloves off… And I felt nothing. I just don’t think the book managed to convey that sense of hopelessness and anger well enough at all.

And to me when a book is overly reliant on profanities it just amplifies the sense of the limited vocabulary of the author. It’s the easy option to just have your characters swear but to truly give emotion and depth to a novel, profanities need to be carefully timed and only used in addition to other descriptors to get a true sense of feeling. Give a moment of anger, frustration etc the gravitas it deserves please. Don’t just be lazy and choose a swear word.

Chapter 33

Alice, a girl, is described as:

Filthy little slag bag
Dirty little slutmuppet
Skankosaurus….

~Whereas Willow, a boy,~

Poor lad
Got jumped…

Frequently Violet refers to herself as the virgin character which alludes to purity and goodness as she is the hero of the story. And I’m just tired of female characters being portrayed as *saints or sluts* in literature in general. Can we not just move past the name calling already????

Chapter 46

There are many paradoxes involved in transdimensional quantum resonance which I do not expect your monkey brain to understand

Excuse me while I wet myself laughing at this utterly ridiculous attempt to *science* this up…
What an utter joke.

Chapter 50

I WANT TO DIE OF SECOND HAND EMBARRASSMENT AT THE CRINGE FEST THAT IS ALICE’S LOVE DECLARATION AT VIOLET’S HANGING!!!!

Look I get it…

Yay female friendship but lol no…

Book you have crapped all over Alice’s character in ways that can not be forgiven and therefore this reunion of the *friends* is utterly hollow and meaningless.

God this book sucks

Chapter 52. The End

HURRAH

I MADE IT

I SURVIVED THE GALLOWS DANCE

I mean duh….

Like the whole coma thing that was alluded to throughout the book made this thing utterly devoid of tension and made it entirely obvious (and sad) that no character would truly die.

I wish Violet had died.
Like on page 2.
So then there would have been no book and I wouldn’t have had to suffer through this utter drivel.

Never been so happy to get to return a book to the library. Can you believe there’s a sequel to this mess???? So won’t be reading that!!!

14 thoughts on “‘The Fandom’ by Anna Day – Book Review

  1. OMG I laughed so hard reading this!!!! Its such a shame, because the blurb sounded SO GOOD. Someone else needs to take this concept and run with it!! I wonder how the creator of the idea feels, seeing her concept turned into junk like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You and your damp squib, lol!! I love it!

    I’m pretty sure I thought about reading this one and decided not to. I’m really glad for that now, haha. The premise sounds so good! Too bad it was executed poorly.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LMFAOOOOOOOOO

    WHAT IN THE HELL IS THIS BOOK EMER. holy hell.
    this entire post is gold. like…this sounds so bad that I want to read it because it can’t be real.
    DAMP SQUIB?!
    I…this is absolutely amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are welcome for this rant. I mean that’s why I don’t DNF these books isn’t it, so I can rant 😂😂😂😂😂
      Oh it was such a hot mess I can’t. Everyone in my book group this month is like lol what are reading this is a trainwreck 😂😂😂😂

      Like

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