For every book I read, I seem to add two more to the To Be Read and Reviewed pile. I really need to get out of this habit! One book I acquired, I read and now I will review is Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky.
Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky
Pub Date: 19 May 2016
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Okay, so just know from the start that it wasn’t supposed to go like this. All we wanted was to get near The Ruperts, our favorite boy band.
We didn’t mean to kidnap one of the guys. It kind of, sort of happened that way. But now he’s tied up in our hotel room. And the worst part of all, it’s Rupert P. All four members of The Ruperts might have the same first name, but they couldn’t be more different. And Rupert P. is the biggest flop out of the whole group.
We didn’t mean to hold hostage a member of The Ruperts, I swear. At least, I didn’t. We are fans. Okay, superfans who spend all of our free time tweeting about the boys and updating our fan tumblrs. But so what, that’s what you do when you love a group so much it hurts.
How did it get this far? Who knows. I mean midterms are coming up. I really do not have time to go to hell.
When I initially heard about Kill The Boy Band, I simply dismissed it as “not for me”. However, it seemed to dominate GoodReads in a matter of days, and I couldn’t escape the reviews. After reading a few reviews with varying opinions, I couldn’t resist reading it for myself. What am I like?
Kill The Boy Band follows four super fans; Erin, Isabel, Apple… and our unreliable narrator whose name I cannot remember off the top of my head (during the course of the novel she gives fake names, taken from her favourite 80s movies). Desperate to see their idols, they book a room in the hotel where they are staying, thanks to Apple’s rich parents. Disappointed that they could not afford to see them live at their TV special, they decide to stay in and watch it on the TV. However, when Apple spots her favourite member, Rupert P, at the ice machine, her enthusiasm and her delight upon seeing him means that when she charges at him, she knocks him unconscious. Delighted to have a Rupert in their possession, but frightened of what happens when he wakes up, they inadvertently keep him hostage… and things get even crazier from there.
First things first, let’s talk about the boy band, The Ruperts. They sounded very similar to a boy band we already know… The Ruperts are all called Rupert, they are British, and they were formed on a UK talent show. However, that’s where the similarities end (probably for legal reasons – haha!). Rupert P, the Rupert they take hostage, may be Apple’s favourite Rupert but he’s the “biggest flop of the group”. He’s mean, unattractive and doesn’t have much talent. It seems he can’t actually sing but was put into the group purely because his name was Rupert. The only thing he can do is juggle, and so he juggles during performances! Doesn’t he sound delightful? Of all The Ruperts to take hostage!
The tone and style narration of Kill The Boy Band is teenage but dare I say, modern. It is littered with mentions of Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, fanfiction as well as using all the sassy comebacks and the feeling of all the “feels”. As the events spiral out of control, our narrator become more and more unreliable which even had me doubting myself and my own guesses at what was happening. However unreliable she became, she was still a likeable narrator, and definitely seemed to have a mature head upon her shoulders. There has been some criticism over the portrayal of Apple, the overweight Chinese girl. As she knocked out Rupert P by charging at him, as well as mentions that she eats her own hair during times of stress, the inference is that she is a big girl. Some have rightfully criticised why it feels like the joke is often at her expense. Even after much thought on my part, I don’t have anything new to add to the conversation. I’ll be honest, I didn’t think about that much whilst reading. However, there are some great articles out there that address both sides of the argument which can be found via GoodReads.
I have to say that despite the story of Kill The Boy Band being completely silly and beyond farfetched, it was fun. I found it easy to get into, and I read it very quickly as well. I think overall it was just over two hours. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It looks at the world of fangirls in two ways; on one hand it celebrates their unbridled passion but on the other hand it scolds them for not having the passion for “worthwhile” things. It isn’t a love story, or a coming of age story. It’s dark and self-deprecating, but that’s what makes it such a fun read.
As Kill The Boy Band only covers about 24 hours in the story, it is a rather short read. I wish it had been longer and covered the following day/week. I would have especially liked an epilogue or something a few months later just to reflect on the events that happened.
I awarded Kill The Boy Band 3/5 stars on GoodReads – a quick, enjoyable read. Kill The Boy Band is not a book I’m going to shout about from the rooftops, but it is one I would recommend if you were already thinking about reading it. I’d be interested to hear what more people thought of it!