This is an unconventional review of the young adult book, “Kill The Boy Band” by Goldy Moldavsky. Hannah and I read the story together, while texting during the entire time we were reading.
This is our review:
HANNAH: Anything with the word “boy band” on the cover is going to catch our eyes obviously. I saw this in Barnes & Noble awhile back, thought it was dumb… Then Karah found it and was like “hmm”… next thing you know I’m flipping through the first chapter in Target like “oh my God it’s my life story” and the rest is history. Although, for Nick Carter’s sake, I hope it’s not *actually* my life story. But we’ll get to that.
KARAH: I’m not much of a fictional reader. I don’t know why. I prefer biographies and this book pretty much seemed like the story of Karah, Hannah, Julia and our other friends until we got to certain parts of it, and then it didn’t. But it was scary how each character fit one of us.
HANNAH: For real. I swear the author had a spy drone on our lives and was like “oh that’s a cool character” and then wrote this book. Like Erin reminded me a hundred times over of Karah. Every time she took charge and the narrator, Sam, followed along like a puppy, I was reminded of some of our experiences on cruise last year. Like when Karah chased off a psycho fan that tried to cut in front of us at one of the deck parties. Like a crazy (I mean that lovingly haha) momma bear protecting her cubs. Erin had qualities like that.
KARAH: And Hannah at the very beginning was a little Apple, but then we got to know the narrator Samantha more and she was very much like Hannah (especially after we learned about the rotten fruit). And I found a little of myself in Isobel because she’s so obsessed with her website and being online and at one point, I’ve been like that, but don’t really let it dictate my life anymore. And back to Apple, there are tons of Apples out there. They may not go toward the ugly member of the group like she does (because really, there was no uglies in Backstreet Boys), but there are some Apples. We know of them. And we feel sad for them.
HANNAH: I might not be an Apple, but I’ll gladly re-enact that scene when she’s on Rupert P’s lap and licking his face. Licking. His. Face. Because that’s where I would end up after dragging Nick back from the ice machine, unconscious by his ankle after attacking him with my love.
That’s the kind of dark places this thing went.
Karah, if that happens on cruise…. Don’t stop me, ok? Let me be an Apple for a minute.
KARAH: I’m not totally like Erin… I mean, I haven’t done some of the things she’s done. Yeah I hung out with Nick Carter in a bar and the next morning he called me sexy, but that’s about as far as that went and I went back to my hotel and slept in my bed there. Actually I think I slept on the floor but that’s what happens when you share a hotel room with five people. But I am her in a way that I’m pretty much like “fuck nice.” Being nice all the time really gets you nowhere in life and gets you nowhere in a fandom because I’ve learned people will run over you, lie about you, use you, etc. Maybe that makes me a little more Isobel. I would end up being the bitch of the group.
But if there were boy bands around when I was 15 (I was in high school in between the NKOTB and BSB phases), I would have probably been a Samantha. I wasn’t as blunt then as I am now. I would have been the follower.
HANNAH: I cannot picture you following anyone. Except a Boy bander.
KARAH: Well, back then it was country singers. Ask Thomas Rhett’s daddy Rhett Akins.
HANNAH: I think one of the best things about the book were some of the hidden gem quotes that really summarized what fangirling feels like. Mixed in with multipurpose tights and psychotic breaks were a few moments where the narrator, Samantha, kind of nailed us in the feels and reminded us of us in the sense of how much she freaking loves the band and why. In the book, Samantha’s just lost her dad and she talks about the Ruperts (aka BSB/1D/whatever boy band you want to picture them as) being there for her when she needed them most. I mean, we’ve all been there. And we’ve all been in that place where we lose our shit when the Boys appear before us.
Like she kept calling them “OUR boys”.
KARAH: One of my favorite paragraphs of the book was on page 32 where she said, “There was no point being a fan these days if you weren’t willing to go the extra mile for your idols. It wasn’t enough anymore to send them fan mail and kiss the posters above our beds. These days you weren’t a true fan until you engaged in Twitter death threats and endless stan wars. The fandom landscape was peppered with landmines, and there was no other way to navigate it until you hit one. You come out the other side a little crazier, yeah, but you’re also stronger. You are a true believer. You will do anything for the object of your affection.”
I might not have ever kissed a Nick Carter poster on my wall because I was almost 18 and just out of high school by the time I actually put up my first Nick poster, but everything else about that quote was straight on. Until you get in an argument or “stan war” on Twitter, have people harass you, and even threaten to cut you on a cruise (yes, I’ve had that happen), you’re not a strong fangirl. Of course, the funniest thing is, maybe the girls in this book would have done something to someone they beefed with him online, but in real life, they rarely ever do.
HANNAH: I have a confession. I used to kiss posters of Brian. *fangirl shameface*
KARAH: It’s okay. I write (or wrote – still negotiable) dirty Nick stories.
HANNAH: Haven’t we both done that? (Hint: yes.)
The book had an honest way of going about portraying how fangirls see their idols too. For instance, before all hell broke loose and the Ruperts P., L., and X., were revealed to be -ahem- “douchefucks” – Samantha’s view of them was open to loving mockery. At one point, she describes one of the Ruperts (L, I believe): “He was the group’s lovable idiot. (In this case “lovable” is used loosely and “idiot” is used emphatically.)” There was another point where a hipster bartender was making fun of the boys and her reaction was instantly that she, Erin, Isobel, and Apple were OK to make fun of the boys, but nobody else was.
God if I had a nickel for every time I’ve gotten mad at someone for saying the same garbage I say about Nick Carter (or Kevin or Howie or AJ or Brian), I’d be rich. So, so… SO rich.
KARAH: And we keep referring back to Nick because well, he is our favorite Backstreet Boy. And there are a few instances where Nick reminds of a Rupert, —
HANNAH: (especially the one that can’t tell time)
KARAH: — but not in the way that he’s a douchefuck or whatever it was they called them. I’ve never had any problems with Nick and that has really been one of my worst fears. That I would see that other side of him and everything I had in my head and in my heart would come crashing down, but thankfully, he’s not a douchefuck. Yeah, he’s not perfect, but I never really thought he was either. Maybe that’s why it’s a good thing I became a Nick girl and a BSB fan when I was a little bit older than some fans who literally think he hung the moon and everything else that can be hung. *ahem*.
HANNAH: Nick IS tall enough to reach the moon, I bet.
And God knows he’s shown us his moon a few times…
I was always afraid of that, too, like seeing the other side of them would be horrible. Like the girls in the book did. Which led to the killing of the boy band… the uh great fall, so to speak. I’d like to think we’d keep our cool in the same situation, but — well, would we?
KARAH: I would probably end up slapping a bitch or something to be honest. Or completely go senile and it would be worse than an episode of Jerry Springer.
But hopefully *knock on wood*, even though we’ve seen them drunk, they’ve never been that way around us and hopefully we’ll never have to experience that.
Howie doesn’t want to make me angry.
But if I ever got to do what Erin did…. Carrie Underwood… Jesus take the wheel!
HANNAH: I could see myself going more the way of Apple. Eating popcorn straight out of a suitcase and just not *getting it* (I know Apple wasn’t blonde but she should’ve been).
Basically, I think the genius part of this book was the fact that it made me feel less friggin WEIRD for being like we are. It was like a lifeline thrown out in the ocean of fandom-hood that’s like “guess what? You aren’t alone! There are other weirdos like you out there!” Sometimes, even surrounded by others, you kind of pause and wonder “is this normal?” This book kind of answered that. A little. Kinda.
Like we aren’t crazy. Like the book says in the very beginning – “fangirls get a bad rap all the time ….(but) Just because I love something a lot, doesn’t mean I’m crazy”.
That should be stitched into a pillow. A daily affirmation we repeat to our fangirling selves.
KARAH: Or at least a really big bumper sticker, next to a NKOTBSB4EVA license plate.
The book basically made us realize, “hey, this is what you look like sometimes even if you’re going on 36 and this story is about 15-year-old girls that could be your daughter.” It made me feel like I wasn’t alone.
Because I have Nick.
HANNAH: But you have to share.
And I guess Lauren (his wife).
And the other whatever million fans.
And at least, even in the height of our craziness – and this is important – we could always be even more batshit crazy.
Like the girls in the book.
Or, like, most of the rest of the fandom.
KARAH: Hell, I am in the height of my fandom. I’m going on a Mediterranean cruise with them for Howie’s sake. There’s no backing down from this. The only thing is, I’m not trying to kill the boy band… I’m trying to keep them alive.
HANNAH: We should write a sequel. “Long Live the Boy Band” in which we burst into the hotel room and rescue Nick Car— er — Rupert P. before any of the bad shit goes down…. Four stories down.
KARAH: BTW, what kind of name is Rupert? That is the name of an ugly boy band member, but ALL of them were named Rupert. Couldn’t there have been a Harry or at least like a Josh or something? Or Devon. Something. Rupert? All I can picture is the guy from the Harry Potter movies that is a Ginger.
HANNAH: RUPERT GRINT IS MY HOMEBOY BITCH! Haha
KARAH: Karah gives this book 6 boy band members out of five.
HANNAH: So basically she rates this book “BSB+Baylee”. (Baylee is Brian’s 13-year-old son).
KARAH: Or Joey Fatone. Because he’s everywhere.
HANNAH: …and was once the size of 6 boy band members?
KARAH: Atleast he wasn’t Chris Kirkpatrick. That’s the real Rupert P.
HANNAH: Quite frankly.