Monday, July 25, 2016

"Kill The Boy Band." Now That's Different.

Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky has one of the most unusual stories I can recall seeing in a YA book.

Yesterday Salon published an article on the decline in popularity of the YA movie genre"The trouble with YA adaptations is that they’re awfully samey," Nico Lang writes. "How many times can you watch teens topple dictatorships, wistfully battle cancer, romance the undead, or discover that they have very special powers that mark them for a greater purpose?"  The YA movie adaptations are samey because a lot of YA books that become movies are samey.

But Kill the Boy Band is a terrific break from fantasy, problem stories, romances, and the apocalypse. It is dark, but not dark depressing. It's more of a dark humor-type of thing. And, according to this review, I didn't even get a lot of the humor, because I didn't get the 80s movie references. I don't know where I was in the 80s, but I wasn't in movie theaters.

So what's happening here is four teen girl fans ("fan" does not begin to describe these people) of a boy band manage to get a room at the hotel where the boys are staying. One of the girls happens upon one of the boys in the hall. Things get out of hand.

As much as I liked the story, the characters, and the writing, I found the first half of the book a little slow. At which point it becomes what I think could be described as a thriller. Yeah. Picked up after that.

I'm not sure we ever know the narrator/main character's name because she gives a different one whenever she's introduced to someone. (They may be the names of characters from movies I haven't seen.)  But she's what passes for normal in that crowd. Every now and then she describes the joys of fandom, making it sound logical. Well, maybe not the fandom those four practice.

I have no idea if the fan world described here in an over-the-top way has any basis in reality. But it certainly works in the the world of  Kill the Boy Band.

I described this book to a family member this weekend. Oddly enough, we started trying to come up with people to play the fangirls in a movie. (This was before I read the Salon article I linked to above.) Melissa McCarthy was mentioned. Rebel Wilson. Mila Kunis. Everyone we thought of was wonderful, but too old. Hollywood would have to find an entire new generation of power actresses for this project.

Hmm. Tatiana Maslany might be able to play young. I think I read the clones on Orphan Black are her first adult roles. She always played younger people before.

But, you know, except for maybe her, they'd need all new people.


tanita✿davis said...

I read this review earlier, and decided not to pick it up. I'm also pretty crap at 80's references, so it's probably just as well.

Gail Gauthier said...

As I was reading this book, I was aware there are readers who would find Apple at least a problem, if not right out offensive. But I feel that way whenever I see a heavy character in a YA novel. (I haven't happened to see as many in adult books.)

In Apple's case, I wasn't aware of her size right away. She was the rich girl. Throughout the book, she's the spoiled child of a wealthy couple, the girl who doesn't have to know much because she's so privileged. It's her wealth that gets them into the hotel. It's her housekeeper who gets the room for them.

Additionally, as with all the girl characters, Apple's fan behavior is so extreme that it, I believe, overwhelms the weight issue.