Author: Danika Stone
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Told: Third Person (Liv), Past Tense
Content Rating: Older Teen (language, innuendo, sensuality)
Format Read: ARC (trade)
Find On: Goodreads
Purchase On: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
College freshman Liv is more than just a fangirl: The Starveil movies are her life… So, when her favorite character, Captain Matt Spartan, is killed off at the end of the last movie, Liv Just. Can’t. Deal.
Tired of sitting in her room sobbing, Liv decides to launch an online campaign to bring her beloved hero back to life. With the help of her best friend, Xander, actor and steampunk cosplayer extraordinaire, she creates #SpartanSurvived, a campaign to ignite the fandom. But as her online life succeeds beyond her wildest dreams, Liv is forced to balance that with the pressures of school, her mother’s disapproval, and her (mostly nonexistent and entirely traumatic) romantic life. A trip to DragonCon with Xander might be exactly what she needs to figure out what she really wants.
* * *In a Sentence: An initially heavy but eventually light and fun contemporary romance for fangirls.
Considering the colorful cover and fangirl premise, I expected this to be a light romantic contemporary about love and fandom. So it was with great surprise that I found the first half of this seemingly vibrant story rather depressing. Nothing went right for main character Liv, and she had no real support from anyone IRL - her family, friends, their horrible significant others. I needed just one person who accepted her just the way she was, but although Xander came close he just wasn't close enough for me, and I absolutely loathed his girlfriend and couldn't forgive him for subjecting Liv to such a creature. Admittedly Liv's fandom obsession wasn't exactly the healthiest, but considering her whole IRL situation I couldn't blame her one tiny bit for losing herself in it, and was as miserable as she was when she was forced to step back from it for a while.
Once Liv decided to go to DC, though (and my most hated character went away), the weight on the book's mood lifted. Liv left her depressing life behind and immersed herself in con fun and games, rendering me reluctant to put the book down I was having as good a time as Liv was. Although I could barely follow the conversations sometimes (I'm what I consider "fangirl light"), I really enjoyed the fandom parts and learned a lot about how it can really bring people together that wouldn't otherwise socialize.
Despite her situation, for the most part I felt Liv was a strong character and enjoyed her fangirl triumphs story, even if it was rather unrealistic. And despite his flaws and extremely poor judgment in girlfriend, I adored Xander, although his character wasn't as smooth as the rest as his description, dialogue, and mannerisms always felt in flux. Together, while their romantic drama at the end was somewhat forced for me, overall theirs was a sweet romance I definitely rooted for.
Conclusion: Although the first half was oddly a bit depressing for me thanks to Liv’s anti-support system, the second half in DC was really fun and uplifting with a good ending. Would recommend for fangirls who enjoy contemporary romances.
For Fans Of: fandom