Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Grace and the Fever by Zan Romanoff Review

Title: Grace and the Fever
Author: Zan Romanoff
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance
Series: Standalone
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

I borrowed this book through my local library and reviewed it.

This book was a recommended selection for the month of May, and due to browsing, shifting, and my personal and professional life getting in the way, I only just finished it yesterday. And frankly, I was bowled over. I have been waiting for this book my whole life. I don't know a woman who didn't have a period in their youth where they were obsessed with boy bands. Grace and the Fever taps into that vein and cuts it open, creating a modern tale of fandom, music, self-discovery, first love, and, wait for it, my favorite part: feminism! This book! It made me laugh, cry, cheer, and cringe. I loved every painful, funny, almost too good to be true moment of it. Easily one of the best of 2017, hands down, and Zan Romanoff has become one of my new favorite authors! What a book!

Grace has been obsessed with Fever Dream from the time she was a teenager, though it is something that she tries to hide from her friends. On the Fever Dream fandom, she's known as Gigi, and she runs a very popular blog. But it turns out that Grace's two lives are about to collide. She meets Jes, one of the boys from the band, and before she realizes what is happening, she is drawn into a web of reluctant fame, shaky alliances, and maybe, just maybe, her first love, if she can make peace with her new, accidental fame.

I loved this book! It was pretty much perfect, and feminist, to boot! I've been waiting for a book like this since my teenage years. It brought back lots of memories, albeit ones before the rise of the digital age. It made me remember my first band crushes, all the days where I'd watch concerts on TV, wishing I was there. It brought back many good memories, and it was also a creative, tender, cautionary tale about privacy and online presence. But more than its themes and original premise, I loved the characters, especially Grace, whose personal and private lives blur when she actually crosses paths with her favorite band, and the boys of Fever Dream itself. I loved this story; the prose was beautiful, the premise weird, thoughtful, and original. What a novel, full of love and tenderness and understanding, and that ending! Just stomp all over my heart, why don't you, woman?! The bottom line: A feminist coming of age novel that explores identity and first love, Grace and the Fever is one of my favorite books of 2017! Next on deck: Ptolemy's Gate by Jonathan Stroud!

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