By Erin Mayer
Source Received from the publisher
Published by Mira
on October 26, 2021
Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
In this raucous psychological thriller, a millennial office worker finds relief from her crippling ennui in the embrace of a cliquey fan club, until she discovers the group of women is bound together by something darker than devotion.
Day after day our narrator, a gloomy millennial, searches for meaning beyond her vacuous job at a women's lifestyle website—entering text into a computer system while she watches their beauty editor unwrap box after box of perfectly packaged bits of happiness. Then, one night at a dive bar, she hears a message in the newest single by child-actor-turned-international-pop-star Adriana Argento, and she is struck. Soon she loses herself to the online fandom, a community whose members feverishly track Adriana's every move.
When a colleague notices the extent of her obsession, she’s invited to join an enigmatic group of adult Adriana superfans who call themselves the Ivies and worship her music in witchy, candlelit listening parties. As the narrator becomes more entrenched in the group, she gets closer to uncovering the sinister secrets that bind them together—while simultaneously losing her grip on reality.
With caustic wit and hypnotic writing, this unsparingly critical thrill ride through millennial life examines all that is wrong in our celebrity-obsessed internet age, and how easy it is to lose yourself in it.
This was a dark, strange story that I quite enjoyed! I can see where some people might not, but I liked this one. As what I consider a devoted fan of some musicians and authors, there was a lot for me to take in and sit with in terms of the nature of fandom.
One of the things I really liked was the exploration of bonding through fandom and how that can lead to friendship, and being a woman in fandom. Obviously it also delves into the darker side of fandom and fan expectations. Also, I don’t know if it was intentional, but I thought the Adriana character was based off of Ariana Grande.
At times there was a strange, dreamy absurdity to this story and I think you have to buy into that absurdity for the story to nail the ending (which it did for me).
I wish I had more specifics to talk about, but I just liked the weirdness and the darkness of this book. Recommended!