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  • Mandy McHugh

Fan Club, Erin Mayer: A Review

I love Mira's lineup, and this book caught my eye immediately. That pink cover is absolutely stunning the synopsis was right up my alley. I was thrilled to be approved and quickly dove in.

When a millennial editor at an internet news site discovers a group of women obsessed with the same pop icon that she is, her mundane life takes a turn to the dark side. Adriana Argento is more than a musician; she is their reason for living, the breath of their existence, and as her new album approaches its release date, the Ivies take their celebrity worship to the next level. I went into this book with very little idea of what to expect and I'm so glad I did. This book is an experience. To start, Mayer nails the narrative voice. So often we see millennial culture portrayed as glamorous, Insta-worthy. And while there are people in her circle who embody these archetypes, our narrator is far from the carefree avocado-toting influencers she encounters. She has a roommate, a budget, a thankless job she readily admits is pointless. She clings to her old friendship until Meghan thrusts herself into her life, introducing her to the Ivies and forcing her to embrace the guilty pleasure that is one, Adrian Argento's music. The execution of the friendships really reminded me of some of my favorite toxic girl groups. The Craft, The Furies, Mean Girls--all those elements of competition and fear of exclusion are there, except in this instance, we also get this delicious commentary on the obsessive and dangerous nature of celebrity worship. Instead of a god and church, we get a cult-like attachment to a celebrity. The ritualistic behavior, the picking apart of every morsel of gossip, pap photo, and social media update is portrayed as both normal and aggressive, both sides of the coin, and the line between healthy interest and extreme obsession is blurred and stretched. I loved Mayer's exploration, even though there were several moments I visibly cringed at the events. You're supposed to feel uncomfortable, and in that discomfort, you question your own level of reliance on pop icons. Overall, Fan Club is an unsettling, insightful, smart exploration of pop culture and millennial identity. Out in October, this one will leave its mark. Thank you to Mira and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.

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