Y’all, I knew this was going to be bad. The reviews are a mixed bag but the overall consensus was it was thinly veiled One Direction fan fiction and I’m not a fan fiction fan. I didn’t like Carry On for similar reasons but I was looking for a popcorn book to get me through my lunch breaks this week so… in I went.
Our narrator is nameless or I forgot it because she constantly uses fake names like Sloane Peterson and Diane Court. I really hate the new trope of Millennials being 80s obsessed and it being cool & different from their friends who are stuck in the present but this had the extra grating factor of it just being the wrong decade to be nostalgic for because now teenagers all like the 90s (and Tide Pods). I get that the authors writing YA books right now were likely born between 1978 and 1988 so they’re writing what they know but you’re writing modern teenagers! Set your book in the past if you can’t come up with any recent references.
Spoiler alert but also not because you’re not going to read the book anyway.
Please don’t read this book.
So Protagonist and her three friends are obsessed with The Ruperts, a boy band formed on a reality show in the UK, and they’ve gotten a room in the same New York hotel the boybanders are staying in. One of the girls, Apple (yes, Apple), sees her favorite Rupert, who no one else likes, knocks him out and takes him back to their room where all the girls decide to tie him up and hold him hostage. No one can agree what to do with him but Protagonist is the only one who thinks they should just let him go but gets outvoted and continues going with her criminally insane friends. Various hi-jinks ensue and eventually the least desirable Rupert is found dead in the room after being left unattended. So naturally the girls decide to frame the rest of the band whom they supposedly love more than anything. This was actually really annoying. Protagonist was constantly ragging on all the Ruperts, excluding her favorite, which rang untrue. I don’t think Moldavksy knows how real fan girls think.
“Did I love them because they were the only boys in my life who consistently told me that I was beautiful? Probably. I loved The Ruperts for who they were, sure, but I mostly loved them for how they made me feel. Which was happy. The Ruperts made me happy. The simplest thing to be in the world. And the hardest.”
All these girls are awful and they have no character development. There is Apple, the fat (so fat she knocked Rupert P out when she ran to hug him) rich girl who spends half the novel wanted to rape the least desirable Rupert. Erin, the defacto leader of the group, who doesn’t want to let the Rupert go because she hasn’t decided what to do with him. I also kept waiting for Protagonist to come out as a lesbian because she was probably more obsessed with Erin than Rupert K. And Isabelle who does whatever Erin says to do. She also writes a fan site and wants to keep Rupert around for information to draw traffic to her site.
Most disappointing was I got my hopes up when it looked like our narrator may have had a psychotic break and hallucinated her alibi and she actually murdered Rupert P. But no. Sure, it wouldn’t have saved the whole mess but it would have been a clever twist.