All the Feels by Danika Stone
Okay, so here’s the deal: was this supposed to be a satire? A parody? An Oscar Wilde-like critique of the fandom life?
Because if so, five stars.
If not, I’m sticking with my three star rating.
This was one of my must read books is year. The fandom life had been calling me for years, and while I had never fully dived down the rabbit hole, I knew enough to get by. I could also appreciate a story about a fangirl, since books have often enough reduced me to the occasional neurotic behavior.
This story was about Liv, a college freshman, who is absolutely crushed over the death of her favorite character. I mean, crushed. So after days of wallowing, she decides to start a movement to help bring him back from the dead. However, it takes on a life of its own, and Liv is in way over her head. What will happen when it becomes very real and when Liv realizes perhaps she is developing feelings for her friend, Xander?
To me, this book took a bunch of fandom stereotypes and just kind of put them together
without really fleshing them out and making them real. Liv was the crying fangirl, the parents were the adults that just don’t understand!, Xander was…I’m really not entirely sure what he was. I don’t think he was supposed to make me laugh every time he came around, but he had me in giggles every time he called Liv, dearest or sweet. Everyone else seemed to just be cartoons of real people, and I felt like there was a majorly missed opportunity to flesh out the stereotypes that plague the fandom life. I didn’t relate to Liv as much as I thought; I just really wished she would stop crying. I started a game with my friend where I would text her every time she was crying. I’m not sure my friend was fond of that one. When she declared Christmas was ruined, I literally had to read it a couple of times because I couldn’t believe that. I also don’t get some of the superbly random events that went on. I was shocked when the whole thing with Granola shaped up and trust me, the the whole Mad Hatter thing had me in fits.
It was just a terrible characterization of fangirls, and the book kind of seemed like a Tumblr book? Like imagine every single cliche on Tumblr and that’s this book. And I don’t know what to do with that. Oscar Wilde, please come back from the dead and help me with this book.
Now, there were some things I majorly liked. I liked how the author subtly played out the romance with Liv and Xander. I thought it played off naturally, and I did feel the feels for them. I liked them together, and I wanted to root for them.
I also felt that the second part of the book was really good. I liked Danika Stone’s description of Dragon Con, and I thought her descriptions really made me believe I was there. Man, I also really want to go to a con now. Danika Stone also has a pretty good writing style, which I’m super picky about.
There was also a Princess Bride reference, and that makes anything golden in my book.
I also really enjoyed the use of multimedia in the novel. This was my first novel that included texts, tweets, pictures, and more in it, and I really enjoyed the format of it. It was cool, and it brought a new dimension to the story, I especially enjoyed reading her texts with Xander.
Overall, this was a very strange book, and I hate that I didn’t love it as much as was planning on it. It’s a good read, but I was surprised by how much it seemed like a satire of the fandom life instead of what I was expecting. There were some very good moments in it, and it’s a cute, campy read; however, I expected a lot more from it. I think The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love, another book focused on cons, is a book that perhaps tackled this a little bit better. Nonetheless, the writing is good here, and the romance is cute. It just missed the mark a bit.
Brb. I apparently must go cry now.
Three out of Five Crowns!
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