Humor is definitely subjective although I hesitate to include blatantly untrue sentiments under the guise of “just a joke”. Pair that with a lifestyle I don’t entirely understand and we get a book I just don’t get. I blame myself. I really need to start reading the summaries before I actually read the book. But even if I had, I still wouldn’t have been prepared to know how to react. Some people argue that it’s a parody and others are taking it seriously. I’m in the middle ground seeing that the plot seems far fetched for comical effect although it’s the characters that are the real problem. They bore me to tears and are straw men easily knocked down. They don’t challenge my perceptions of toxic fandoms so when the big speech occurs I couldn’t care less.
Apple’s fat and that’s funny because fat people are supposedly clumsy idiots. Isabel is the scary Spanish-speaking stalker and Erin’s a popular, pretty girl not living up to her intellectual potential. The narrator is our generic insert snarky protag that’s slightly above it all. Generally, that’s how comedy works as it inflate one trait and experiments how it’ll interact to affect the plot. But honestly, the humor is juvenile at best and simply not funny at worst. The jokes didn’t land for me and I found some characters to be simply off putting.
For example, WTF Erin. She trespassed into Rupert X’s backstage room, stripped naked with the expectation of having sex as if it would be outrageous to deny her (no means no), and feels as if she was the victim. Granted, she never consented to nude pictures of her circulating and Rupert X should have refused to have sex with her but she’s not entirely without fault. I also consider you a shitty person when you sexually harass others with unsolicited nudity. Imagine if it was a guy waiting for you with his sweaty asshole stinking up your couch cushion.
I do get that there’s a message buried underneath it all, but it’s sort of preaching to the choir for someone my age. Sometimes, the book offered great insight on character motivations. Their hopes hinging on a complex marketing warfare all with the goal to sell the band’s merch. The fabricated personalities to cater to any lonely girl out there and even those who want to exploit them. Yet, I wasn’t convinced that it had any lasting impact considering the unnecessary B plot that undermined the whole disillusionment warnings. Our wonderful protag miraculously has a heart to heart with Rupert K branded as the sensitive soul planning to make a debut in dubstep someday. In a couple of nods and silent misunderstandings, Rupert K projects his expectations onto the protag and quickly fashions together the idea that she’s different. In the end, it’s true love between two the out of reach star and the lowly commoner but I can’t tell if it’s fantasy or satirical.
It’s not that the author has to spell everything out. We can make our own judgements which evolves as we gain more experience. Maybe we still like OG Bieber or now we’re posing as jazz enthusiasts. I appreciate the consideration that we don’t have to be ashamed of our interests. Yet, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the actions of zealous fans who hold lofty standards for others but aren’t willing to measure themselves to it are guilty. Dedicated to living someone else’s life and going as far as to create elaborate conspiracy theories is not okay. For example, aggressively shipping celebrities so that it borderline categories as harassment is overwhelming. Following all social media to track their every movement so you become an all around the clock surveillance. These are snippets of the sense of entitlement that we fans feel we deserve because a public figure has a large following. We clamor to every detail and attempt to find that one connection explaining why our relationship is special. I don’t think this is healthy behavior and I wish that the novel explored the true obsessiveness.