Saturday, March 11, 2023

I Was Born for This, by Alice Oseman

Angel lives for The Ark, a boy band she's been following since they were posting amateur videos on YouTube.  She's a obsessive fan for a band that has one of the hardest core fandoms in the world.  Hardly an hour goes by without her monitoring Twitter for the latest information about The Ark.  She loves them sooooooooooo much!

She's finally saved up enough money to travel to London to see them perform and spend a week hanging out with Juliet, another fangirl.  She's sure that it will be amazing and she's going to have a great time because every time she's hanging out with The Ark, she feels all the love the band gives out.

After five years, life as a member of the band in The Ark is wearing Jimmy down.  Secretly suffering with anxiety and panic attacks (which his PR people keep under wraps), he struggles to get through  days of pointless interviews and photo-ops.  He longs for the days when he could just go out on the street and not get accosted by some vapid fangirl who allegedly "loves" him.  How can they when they know nothing about him?  With the record company pressuring them to sign a more restrictive contract, he feels more and more pressure to just step away.  And as they return to London to finish up their latest tour, the band is falling apart.

In the week that follows, nothing turns out quite like either Angel or Jimmy planned.  Being in a band or being a fan of the band isn't what they imagined.  And as their plans come apart, both of them are forced to confront the fact that they aren't loving the one person they need to love -- themselves.  

With a ethnically and gender-diverse cast that is Oseman's signature, she explores fame and the people who put people there, the fans.  Despite such an unoriginal topic, Oseman has a surprisingly large amount of original things to say about it.  And a cast of characters who are not only diverse but original, vivid, and (at times) outrageously funny makes this a great read.

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