For Angel Rahimi, life is only about one thing: The Ark – a pop-rock trio of teenage boys who are currently taking the world by storm. Being part of The Ark’s fandom has given her everything – her friendships, her dreams, her place in the world.
Jimmy Kaga-Ricci owes everything to The Ark too. He’s their frontman – and playing in a band is all he’s ever dreamed of doing. It’s just a shame that recently everything in his life seems to have turned into a bit of a nightmare.
Because that’s the problem with dreaming – eventually, inevitably, real life arrives with a wake-up call. And when Angel and Jimmy are unexpectedly thrust together, they will discover just how strange and surprising facing up to reality can be.
Wow. What a book. I am on such a contemporary kick right now and I knew Alice Oseman wouldn’t let me down! I think this ended up being my favourite novel of hers so far, and she is definitely worthy of auto-buy status.
First off, the characters in this book are just brilliant. Angel reminded me of myself from my early teens, with a passion and love for her friends I only hope has remained with me now. The cast of characters were immense and real, with each character dealing with their own problems. Angel herself is open about her own struggles throughout the book, and her friends are discussed in detail too. The band are vibrant and emotional, and I loved having the POV of both Angel and Jimmy – at first I questioned whether they would have too dissimilar lives from each other but their narratives work together beautifully.
That’s why people get into fandom and bands and stuff.
The plot, especially once it picked up, was so compelling I couldn’t put it down. The ending all happened so fast, but it meant I just wanted to rush through it and find out what was going to happen. If I had any small complaints about this book, it would be that the ending came across as a little rushed and I didn’t feel as satisfied as I hoped by the outcome of all the character ARCs.
But other than that, this book was excellent. I was blown away by the raw discussions it has about fandom, facing the good and bad side of fame and fortune and the internet. The most important factors for me were the blatant discussions about mental health, paranoia, anxiety and panic attacks that felt so real and naked. I went through everything with Jimmy and Angel, and I felt grateful for being allowed to be a part of it.
They just want something to hold on to something that makes them feel good.
Overall, another Alice Oseman gem! I can’t wait to read the last one for me, Radio Silence, and for Loveless to come out later this year.
4 out of 5 stars
May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽