Grace and the Fever

Grace and the Fever by Zan Romanoff – Book Review

This is a must read for anyone who has ever been part of a musical group fandom. Fandoms never quite get the appreciation they deserve however author, Zan Romanoff reminds us that our fan theories about our favorite bands aren’t quite what we make them out to be.

Grace is just out of high school and not quite ready to leave her obsession with boyband, Fever Dream, behind. The unthinkable happens when she comes across one of the members of Fever Dream in his hometown late one night. Years and years of fan theories are brought to light when she starts hanging out with the band and sees them as real people and not just a “like” or a click through their social media profiles.

In a way, the author brings a case study of a fandom’s relationship with a band to life. Celebrity culture interests me because it’s there yet we can never quite figure it out. Very few people ever get to know members of their favorite bands personally. This book dives into why our view of celebrity culture can be skewed and what that does to how we view celebrities as people, but it is still told as a fictional novel and in a creative way.

We get so caught up in the idea of someone or the idea of what we think someone is like that we don’t always stop and remember that these are living, breathing humans who are put into unrealistic circumstances because of who they are and what their jobs entail as entertainers.

This book shows consequences and the highs and lows of being part of a fandom. While not everyone can relate to being in a fandom, I think that this book can be interesting to everyone because of how our society as a whole views celebrities. It highlights how people can obsess over people they don’t know just because they like the idea of them.

It also shows how people put singers on a pedestal sometimes because they are the ones that often create music that becomes so many people’s outlet for their emotions. Grace hears what it’s like from the band’s point of view to have thousands of people messaging them and thanking them for saving their lives because of their music.

While this book is loosely based on real fandoms, it shows the stress of what having such an in the spotlight job can entail. I enjoyed the main character Grace because she represents the many people who are part of fandoms who we often overlook and often look down on because of what and who they like. Her character helps to show how people can sometimes get caught up in fandom and she shows how real that world can be to someone.

Besides being very relatable because of my past and very present interests in musicians, I enjoyed the case study aspect of the book. I love the psychology behind why we put so much pressure on people we have never met because it’s often what’s missing in our own lives that make us look at celebrities as more than human. I could go on and on why I love this book, but it really comes down to the study of celebrity culture and how young adults often view celebrities as a fantasy. Something that feels like a safe community online can sometimes be detrimental to not only ourselves, but also to the celebrities we look up to.

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