Cover Review: A lot of people don’t like this cover because it looks like it would be an ARC. I actually really like the simplicity, though. Underneath the dustjacket, the book is solid, hot pink with black lettering. It looks pretty cool, but if you read it without the dust jacket in public, everyone will be sure to look at you and realize that you’re reading a book called Kill the Boy Band.
Title: Kill the Boy Band
Author: Goldy Moldavsky
Description: Stand-alone YA contemporary
Publishing Information: Released February 23, 2016 by Scholastic, Inc.
First Line: People have called me crazy.
The book follows four friends who are self-proclaimed fangirls of a British boy band called the Ruperts. Each of them have their favorite member of the band, which is composed of four boys all bearing the name Rupert. After getting a hotel room at the same hotel that the boys are staying in, one of the girls accidentally kidnaps the least talented member of the group. The girls dig themselves deeper and deeper into trouble as they try to figure out what to do with him.
When I review books, I try not to compare them to other books. There are so many different genres and goals for different pieces of writing, so I just don’t think it’s fair to match them up against each other. Instead, I try to think about what the book is trying to be (like, what the synopsis claims that it’s going to be) versus what it actually ended up being. If the book does exactly what it said it would, how can I say that it was a bad book?
From the synopsis, this book sounded absolutely ridiculous. Four fangirls “accidentally” kidnap a member of their favorite band? A band that is obviously parodying One Direction?
Well, this book was certainly one of the most ridiculous books I’ve ever read. So, kudos for that. The characters of the fangirls are so, so exaggerated (but at the same time, not that exaggerated? It’s actually kind of scary).
Basically, just ridiculous. It was exactly what it promised to be, but I can’t say I really liked it. Maybe that’s my fault for picking up a book like this.
A lot of my issues with it were personal things. There was more swearing than I like (and yes, I know that swearing is pretty much unavoidable in most books but there’s using it well and then there’s using it just to use it). Some of the motives that the characters had for acting the way they did were pretty extreme, and just not things that I like reading about.
None of the characters were particularly strong, either. They didn’t learn from their mistakes and they didn’t really reconcile anything by the end. They all had unique personality traits but nothing much deeper than those. The main character (I don’t think we ever learned her name? Which is interesting) had potential to have a really interesting backstory but the author didn’t tell us much about it. **mild spoiler ahead – skip to the next paragraph to avoid** One character, named Apple because she was eating an apple when her parents saw pictures of her and decided to adopt her, was portrayed as really just a fat, crazy girl. I was extremely hopeful that she would go through character development and we would learn more about her actual personality, but that was really all we got. Her favorite Rupert was Rupert P. It was speculated by the main character that she liked him because he was the ugliest and she felt like he was actually attainable for her. I wish there was a moment at the end of the book where Apple realized that she is beautiful and her life doesn’t have to centered around practically worshipping ugly guys because she feels like she deserves nothing better, but no such luck. In fact, the last we hear about her she is following a new boy band and in love with a new character, who is conveniently described as extremely unattractive. Sigh.
And speaking of personality (maybe for the first time if you chose to skip the spoiler), the mood swings in this book were unbelievable, and I don’t think they were written that way for comedic effect. If a character suddenly decided that they wanted to stand up for themselves, it wasn’t gradual. It went from timidness to full out yelling and storming out. It was almost cringe-y. Like, hey. Calm down, pal.
Negatives aside, the book made some interesting points about fan culture. I wish it would’ve had more parallels, though, showing both sides. The negative perspectives were plentiful, and the positives were really only represented by characters who had already been written to seem crazy. It did make me think a lot, though, which can sometimes be rare for a humorous, YA contemporary.
And it definitely was humorous. Most of the humor was found in the exaggerations of character, however, and if this isn’t really your style then you might find 300 pages a bit too much to suffer through. Another aspect I really enjoyed was the inclusion of supposed lyrics from the boy bands songs, which emphasized the cheesiness of it (because let’s be real – it can be pretty cheesy). In fact, I might even say that these were my favorite parts.
Coming to the hotel now was only the tip of the iceberg compared to some of the cray things other people had done. If you really thought about it, we were the rational ones. And for one night we would be sleeping under the same roof as The Ruperts. My feelings on the matter could best be summed up with lyrics from The Ruperts’ hit “I’m So Excited.”
Yeah Yeah Yeah!
I’m so excited!
Yeah Yeah Yeah!
Tonight is the night!
The parallels to One Direction were great, as well. Each member of the group audition separately on a British talent competition and were later grouped together. Some of their personality traits immediately made me think of specific members, as well. Considering I used to consider myself a pretty big fan of good ol’ 1D, I enjoyed making the connections.
Finally, this book was ridiculously fast-paced. I finished the entire thing in a span of maybe four hours? It almost read like a middle grade (although it is definitely not) just because the plot really held no regard for realistic-ness. I enjoyed how unpredictable it was – eventually you realize that there’s literally no way to guess what happens next because so many ridiculous things had happened already.
Though I liked reading something so fast-paced and easy (I’m a bit behind on my Goodreads goal) I can’t say I completely loved the content. Usually books put out by Scholastic aren’t too explicit, but this one had a bit too much for me. I certainly didn’t have any trouble finishing it, though. It really depends on your personal preferences. If you’re in the mood for something light-hearted and crazy, maybe pick this one up from the library.