“That’s why people get into fandom and bands and stuff. They just want something to hold on to something that makes them feel good. “
If you’ve ever been involved in a fandom, especially a music fandom, you will fall in love with this story. I adored this book, I can’t believe I waited so long to read it. However I do believe I read it at the perfect time in my life, since I am currently deeply in love with BTS, and this book gave me all the feels! I loved this book so much and Alice does an excellent job at describing what it’s like being a part of a fandom.
We follow Angel Rahimi who is obsessed with The Ark, the boy band who are taking the world by storm. She is a super fan, she tweets about them,reads fanfiction and has a Tumblr dedicated to them, where she post about her theories on there relationships. She lives and breaths for this band. Our story starts when Angel travels to London for a concert, where she is staying with her internet friend Juliette. While waiting to get into the concert there was an incident and Angel’s path crosses with none other than her favourite band member Jimmy!
Angel Rahimi : Biggest fan of the Ark, she would die for these boys, Eighteen, Muslim
Jimmy Kaga-Ricci: Lead singer for The Ark. Eighteen, Christian, biracial (Italian and Indian), gay, and trans. He also deals with anxiety and depression.
“In an otherwise mediocre existence, we choose to feel passion.”
Told in alternating chapters between Angel and Jimmy, we get to see everything from both perspectives. Which is fantastic because they are both is such different places in there lives.
Alice shines a light on the importance of friendship both in person and online. Angel finally gets to meet Juliette a girl shes been talking to on Twitter about the ark. I really loved how this was included in the book, as i feel its important to show that online friendships are as real as friends you see in your day to day life. Online friends are people that share a common interest and you share a bond with, and that is so special.
This book also dives into the good and bad side of fandoms, until recently I have never been a part of a music fandom. But I can totally relate to a lot of Angel’s feelings, she puts so much love and energy into these boys. She is so passionate about the ark that its the only thing that matters, that make her feel like she belongs. Which I 100% understand the feelings now that I am in love with BTS.
“I don’t think I’ve ever felt anything except The Ark.”
Of course it wouldnt be an Alice Oseman book if she didnt discuss mental health, Jimmy has a hard time with the fame that comes with being in the ark. He gets panic attacks, and becomes really nervous around the fans. Hearing stories about other bands and what fans have done makes him worried about what could happen to them. The overall message of this book is to love yourself! Put yourself first, know what your limits are and when to say no.
I really loved this book, and Alice is truly one of my favorite authors. She is not afraid to talk about the tough topics but she also talk about relevant events such as fandoms and podcasts. She writes amazing character’s and I find myself revisiting her older books pretty often. I really recommend picking up this book.
Content and trigger warnings: Talk of suicide, depression, anxiety, panic attacks ,alcohol abuse.