Book Review: Fan Club by Erin Mayer

Devotion is thicker than blood.

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Release Date: October 26, 2021

Publisher: MIRA

Price: $14.49 (paperback)

Plot Summary:

Day after day our narrator searches for meaning beyond her vacuous job at a women’s lifestyle website—entering text into a computer system while she watches their beauty editor unwrap box after box of perfectly packaged bits of happiness. Then, one night at a dive bar, she hears a message in the newest single by international pop star Adriana Argento, and she is struck. Soon she loses herself to the online fandom, a community whose members feverishly track Adriana’s every move.

When a colleague notices her obsession, she’s invited to join an enigmatic group of adult Adriana superfans who call themselves the Ivies and worship her music in witchy candlelit listening parties. As the narrator becomes more entrenched in the group, she gets closer to uncovering the sinister secrets that bind them together—while simultaneously losing her grip on reality.

With caustic wit and hypnotic writing, this unsparingly critical thrill ride through millennial life examines all that is wrong in our celebrity-obsessed internet age, and how easy it is to lose yourself in it.

Grade: B-

Review:

When I first dove into the novel I found the protagonist’s ennui relatable, as we both have boring office jobs that feel limiting to our capacities. And although as an adult I couldn’t relate to her obsession for a pop star, I can understand as a teen when I was so swept up by a certain celebrity that I had to buy any magazine they appeared in or view every single movie they were ever cast in no matter how terrible. The protagonist finds herself getting immersed in the devotion for Adriana Argento (who is a stand-in for Ariana Grande) and soon she finds like-minded stans who will do anything for their idol. I don’t know why this book was marketed as a thriller because we never fear for the protagonist’s life, and the death of a fan happened prior to the protagonist getting involved with the fan club. This isn’t a thriller but more of a women’s lit for disillusioned millennials. It’s not the genre that slowly turned me off of this novel rather the fact that not much happened. During the middle-end portion of the book, the pacing was turtle slow and I truly struggled to complete it. I also wish that the author would’ve written about an original pop star rather than take Ariana Grande’s life details and create a fictional character out of it. Many readers seem to have enjoyed this so if you like celebrity-obsessed groups you may be into this, if you’re looking for a thriller, then you may want to skip it cause this isn’t one.

*Thank you so much to NetGalley and MIRA for the digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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