Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Review: FanGirl - Angel Lawson


My name is not Ruby Miller and this book is not about me. Although, it could be. 

Except it could not, never. I would never ever ever ever go and meet my idol. I’m too much of a coward. This is why I watch Buffy on TV—or DVDs now—and why I am not Buffy.

But Ruby Miller is the zombie slayer. Or at least she pretends to be. 

She’s a fan of zombie comic books and does all the things a young fan does. She spends too much time on the internet and discussing the comics with her friends. She also acted in a fanvideo and goes to the same school the creator of Zocopalypse graphic novels went to. She meets him, Gabe Foster, and ends up a little deeper in the fantasy world than any other fan.

As understandable as the situation in which Ruby meets Gabe for the second time is, I’m disappointed that once again the story starts with a guy coming to a girl’s rescue. After that, Ruby handles it all well, almost too well for an eighteen year old girl. She has her best friend Iris and her parents to support her, but how many of us would know how to act in the sudden spotlight of fame? 

In Fangirl, the fangirl gets to live the other side of the industry. Not just see it, but to live it. Or a fictionalised version of it. Of course there’s romance and predictable relationship drama thrown into the mix to make things more realistic.  

I had most fun with the fannish aspects like the lingo of the story even if certain nods to fanfics made me grit my teeth—Gabriel’s Inferno? Was that really necessary? The footnote commentary I found extraneous. It wasn’t there purely to add snark to Ruby’s voice and the informative facts for non-fans were useless to me because I know what IMDb.com is, but as I said, I’ve lived the fangirl side of things. I am still living it. It was a nice try to avoid infodumping, but it’d been better had the information buried within the body of the text. The romantic subplot was as predictable as ever as was Andrew’s secret.

This is a fun, straightforward Mary Sue self-insert novel for each and every fan of anything and everything ever. It’s labelled as Young Adult fiction but could be read by younger children and even people almost twice the age of the characters. 

3 stars

Series N/A
Pages 283 (kindle .mobi)
Publisher CreateSpace, Self-published
ISBN 9781478180296
Published July 10th 2012
Source Author


30 comments:

  1. I totally agree, it was a real fun book to read, Rameau. I actually love footnotes (always loved them) so this side didn't bother me at all. Thanks for a lovely review!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks.

      The footnotes effect is a hit-or-miss thing for me. If I truly think they add something to the story I'll tolerate and maybe even like them, but most of the time I just want to breeze through the text without stopping to investigate every note.

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  2. I thought FanGirl was a fun book. I do think you've missed the point of the footnotes, though: rather than an avoidance of infodump (which it does nicely), it seemed to me that they were an expression of Ruby's personality. She's a footnote/sidenote kind of girl, the type that will wander off into conversational sideroads at the drop of a hat. They also fit nicely into the 'documentary' style of narrative. Kids of Ruby's age (and I have a daughter going through this right now)are inundated with instruction about 'proper' writing style. Footnoting is a big part of that. To me, that added to the realism of the book.

    Just a few ideas! Thanks for a thoughtful review.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. I was hoping the footnotes would truly be an expression of Ruby's personality, but too many of them were simply quick facts for the people living outside the fandom loop. Even if Ruby was providing helpful information for the unversed, she could have done it with her unique voice. She didn't.

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  3. I would like the fun aspect but not so much the info dump!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, no. The info dump was avoided, I just thought it could have been done better. If that's what you fear, try borrowing the book before buying it.

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  4. I don't think I am in the right mood for such stories. I'm not much of a fangirl after all.

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    Replies
    1. There is a fangirl in each and every one of us. You just haven't uncovered yours yet ;)

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  5. Oh I like the idea it sounds so fun!

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  6. Sounds like fun and yet, that info dump. Hm...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I must have expressed myself poorly with this one. There wasn't info dump but the info dump was avoided with the footnotes. I thought it could have been done better.

      So, let's say you don't know what IMDb.com is, you can find it in the footnotes instead of reading a deftly worded sentence or a paragraph describing the function of said internet site.

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  7. This does sound like a fun book though I'm kind of nervous about reading self published books.

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    Replies
    1. Self-published books can be bit of an mixed bag, but none of my complaints were about the editing, grammar, or publishing quality. Those were good. It was the story I was criticizing as it wasn't a perfect match for my taste.

      As a rule of a thumb, when I don't mention editing or grammar, it's a good sign. Or course, there always are people more discerning than I.

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  8. This just sounds fun! Great review!

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  9. The premise sounds so fun. I'd probably enjoy the fannish aspects the most too.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe you should give it a try then.

      Delete
  10. I have zero experience with fanfics, and the language would be a riddle for me. Thanks for the review Rameau, but this one is not for me.

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  11. It sounds super cute! Probably not a book I would read but it does sound fun :)

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  12. Didn't sound too bad... but didn't sound great either :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was my take on it. It's the "I want to read something but nothing too serious" kind of book.

      Delete
  13. This sounds interesting enough, I think Self-published works can be hit or miss.

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    Replies
    1. Yes they can. On the publishing quality side of things, this is one of the better ones. The story is such that it might have been difficult if not impossible to get published through the traditional channels, and though it wasn't perfect for me I know people who've enjoyed it immensely.

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  14. The cover is completely cute!! I just might read this one if given the chance.

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    Replies
    1. If you do, I hope you like it.

      There's more art inside the book (which I completely forgot to mention) and every chapter begins with an appropriately themed pictures.

      Delete

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