By: Anna Day
“Exactly one week today, I will hang.”
Okay, I’m not a stickler for grammar and a no mistake book but there is a pretty important word missing from that sentence, right? Perhaps it wouldn’t have annoyed me so much if it wasn’t literally the first line. Not only that it was repeated in the exact same way later in the book.
I’m not going to lie. It annoyed me. But by that time I really just wanted the protagonist to hang.
You know what words I did learn from this book?
Slagbag and slutpuppet.
Needless to say this was not The Fandom I thought it would be. (Though unfortunately it did remind me of some of the worst parts of fandoms.) Violet, her younger brother and her friends are part of The Gallow’s Dance fandom a dystopian world where anyone who isn’t perfect is treated like a slave and the perfect people are horrible monsters. Attending Comic-Con one day they get zapped into the world of the book and must survive it.
I thought this sounded like something that I would love. Right up my alley and to be fair it did have some moments. It could have been a fun satire of dystopian worlds (I say worlds because though this is based on a book Violet and company often refer to and go from the movie) it even had a couple interesting threads about how creation and belief are enough to bring actual worlds to life.
I think besides the mistakes I really hated the friendship. Violet and Katie aren’t great to Alice (she’s the one those words are directed at- by them) in the first place. Once in the world she gets assaulted, threatened and beaten up all because she’s the most beautiful. A lot hinges on this so-called friendship and Alice which I never bought. Meanwhile Violet would have raced a gauntlet for precious Katie- whose kind of an obnoxious know-it-all.
And really? Who among us if they had the chance to hook up with their book boyfriend wouldn’t jump at it? I’m sure my friends would expect it. 🙂 So yeah, the friendship was a problematic mess for me. Nate (the younger brother) they stated his age several times but I couldn’t figure out if he was really supposed to be that old. He seemed there just for Violet to worry about (but she already had Katie) and she only really worried about any of them when she wasn’t worried about the guys.
Though I must admit the author did nail the totally bland male love interests here.
In the beginning it was set-up so that it seemed like an accident had knocked Violet into the world. But the explanation at the end seemingly forgot that…
The Fandom had some glimmers and it made me think what fun an (intentional) dystopian satire could be but otherwise it mostly just annoyed me with the problematic female friendship crap and all the wasted potential.