Weird Fit With It's Themes

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My favorite thing in books is the inclusion of multiple different types of media, such as news articles, text messages, and social media posts. So when I first opened this book and found page upon page of inclusions such as these, my hopes for the book skyrocketed.

I also really adored the writing style in this book. The characters sounded real and exactly like how my friends and I would talk. The line “My alarm goes off at 6:30, which is pure homophobia” could be taken directly from texts between me and my friends and I would never know.

However, this book is a trip.

A lot of this book focuses on Hunter, the main character, and his relationship to being a celebrity and in the spotlight as a gay boy band member. He fills that perfect niche of “gay” and “boy band member” that has fans going rabid with oversexualization and fetishization. I never again want to read a single twitter post about bottoms.

While I thought this book was going to focus on fandom culture and the fetishization of gay males–particularly twinks–on the internet, this book instead surprised me by focusing on Hunter’s search to find his place in LGBT culture and gave me a romance that honestly felt like a red herring. I had assumed the romance in this book was placed to help the main character find what he wants in life and to bridge the gap between his character arc. Instead, I was left with a weird feeling when I finished the book and found the romance to be true and endgame.

Another big dislike I have about this story is that the main character is 17. I think there is a time and place to talk about teenage sexuality, but pitting so many intimate details about a minor alongside rabid fangirls who want to read his sexts makes me cringe. If the character were aged up even a single year, this story arc would fit better with his development and make for a better story. Instead, I read a book about a gay teen getting sexualized by fans and the media without any comment of how that could be even a little bit fucked up, and the whole book felt like pandering.