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The Fandom by Anna Day – Blog Tour Book Review #JoinTheFandom


Cosplay ready, Violet and her friends are at Comic-Con. They can’t wait to meet the fandom of mega-movie, The Gallows Dance.

What they are not expecting is to be catapulted by a freak accident into their favourite world – for real. Fuelled by love, guilt and fear, can the friends put the plot back on track and get out? The fate of the story is in their hands…

How The Fandom Came to Be

Chicken House ran The Big Idea Competition and Angela McCann won with this concept. Anna Day was a finalist in the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition and has bought Angela’s idea to life.

What I Thought?

I received a proof copy of The Fandom at YALC (the Young Adult Literature Convention) in July 2017. YALC is part of LFCC (London Film and Comic Con) at the Kensington Olympia. The very Comic Convention Violet and her friends are attending in their The Gallows Dance Cosplay.

When I was younger my sister and two male friends of ours used to play this game where we’d ‘get sucked into different TV channels’ and act out a show from that channel. I was also a fan of the old cartoon Dungeons and Dragons… and who hasn’t wanted Hogwarts to be real? So the idea of getting drawn into your favourite work of fiction clearly holds some appeal to me.

Violet, her brother Nate, and her friends Alice (The Gallows Dance fan fiction writer) and Katie (who hasn’t even read Twilight!), find themselves walking into a photo shoot and ending up in a shoot out. The stakes for our foursome are high. From the prologue to the film outline given in the first chapter we know that despite the romance that draws the group into this Fandom the danger is going to be very real.

Violet is a normal girl, she faints – she’s only been on one date that didn’t end well and now she has to play the heroine, the love interest on whose head the fate of an entire society rests. It’s a good thing she has an expert knowledge of the story canon. Except knowing the words isn’t always enough, especially when it’s not clear who’s good and who’s bad, you start to fall for the wrong guy and it really looks like going home is an impossible dream. Violet is a really likeable character and all the way throughout you can see she wants to do the right thing.

One of the characters Baba asks her ‘If you were stuck here… What kind of an Imp would you become?’ Violet has to decide if she is in a romance or something more?

The Gallows Dance is a sci-fi dystopia where humans have been genetically modified as ‘Gems’ and normal imperfect humans are Imps. There’s a Romeo and Juliet type plot, brooding boys Thorn, Ash and Willow, rebels who want an uprising, and nods to The Wizard of Oz, Divergent and The Hunger Games.

As well as the romance the sibling relationship is portrayed well, and even though they are absent the calming presence of Violet’s parents is felt which is somewhat unusual for YA. Female friendships are explored in their complexity and limelight-stealing Alice and compound-swearing Katie remind us that we are dealing with a group of contemporary teenagers.

The story quite quickly goes off script and the group find themselves on a packed adventure with limited time to take the correct path. I found this a really fun read and an excellent homage to my favourite genre.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the stops on the tour and do pick up a copy of The Fandom which is out this week.

Which fandom world would you definitely not want to venture into?

Bucket List Update – End Mar 2012

Knocked a couple of films off my Bucket List in the last couple of weeks.

Saw The Hunger Games on opening night last Friday. Very good adaptation, I really liked all of the characters and Peeta had the right amount of charm that I’d felt from him in the books. I hope we get to see a bit more of Haymitch in the next film, I thought Woody played it well. Katniss was spunky and human – and the scene with Rue would have been heartbreaking was I not annoyed with the younger members of the audience who seemed to be laughing. Grrr. Speaking of Grrr I have been disgusted to read of the racism online towards the actors that played Rue and Thresh. Get. Over. It.

I also finally managed to see Breaking Dawn: Part 1. Having not enjoyed the films as much as I had hoped to I actually really enjoyed this one, best yet. And I’m still team Jacob despite the honeymoon scenes.

A week Monday I should be able to mark another thing off my Bucket List – on a roll.



My Goodreads review of The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins (hopefully spoiler free)

You can read these on Goodreads too – The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay – I gave all 3 5/5 stars and read them in about a week over Christmas pretty much having to force myself to go to bed (lots of late nights – I started reading Book 2 the second I finished Book 1 {Love my Kindle}).

Although these are spoiler free (and therefore pretty short) I can’t guarantee any comments will be – indeed if you’ve read the books please talk to me about them ;o)

The Hunger Games – Book 1

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Being a big fan of Divergent which is often talked about in the same breath as this I thought I would have to read it. I read some reviews that are negative about the violence in the book. Yes it is violent, but that suits the genre and I think it is signposted pretty much from the get go. I think the main characters are strongly written and being in an impossible situation act as well as can be expected, more so even. I found myself having to stay up late to read this. Suzanne Collins is not someone who ends chapters (or books – I had to start the second one straight away) neatly but is far too effective at making you turn just the next page (as the bags under my eyes will attest).
I was rooting for at least 4 of the contestants and did feel sad at times at their treatment. I was soooooo incensed by the mutts. Grr someone has to pay for that!
I’m hoping that the Capitol and President Snow get their comeuppance at the end of the trilogy which I suspect I will have read by the end of the year (it’s 22nd Dec today).
Divergent just pips it for me but I look forward to seeing this in film (or do I? – may have to close my eyes).

Catching Fire – Book 2

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Having to hold myself back from reading the third one straight away, hope the negative reviews of how it ends don’t spoil it for me. Oooh Snow needs to go down. I did not expect the Games to happen again. Can’t really say much more without spoiling it.
Once again Suzanne Collins keeps me turning pages even in the ‘quiet’ moments. So glad I didn’t start reading this series until it was all written.

Mockingjay – Book 3

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Well I wasn’t sure whether to give this book 4 or 5 stars (why can’t we have quarter, half and three quarter options hey?).
Another fast paced thriller from Suzanne, this time out of the Hunger Games arena but because of this all bets were off, the body count even higher. There were two deaths I’m not sure I can reconcile yet (but it is just 10 mins or so since I read the last word).
The reasons that many have disliked this book are why I think it deserves praise. It’s not full of happy neat endings and you don’t come away fully satisfied. But isn’t this what happens in real life. We don’t always find our one true love but end up loving the one we’re with. There is a scene with a cat that made me cry.
Peace doesn’t break out after war, the struggle continues and sometimes the ones who try to take over are as corrupt as the ones who have been overthrown.
Katniss and her fellow surviving tributes are asked a question at the end and I was shocked and disgusted by her answer. Despite her subsequent actions I’m still not sure whether she was believed in the answer she gave.
Real or not real you tell me!

I look forward to the films with anticipation and a little bit of fear. I also look to the future with the desire that as humans we learn lessons from books like these and hope that they remain books of fiction and not premonitions.

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